With a month and a half left in the season, the Red Sox playoff hopes may just come down to the next few weeks. In that span the Sox head to Baltimore and New York before coming home to host the Angels in a 3 game series and the Royals in a 4 game series. While Boston stands 5.5 games out of one of the Wild Card positions in the American League, they still have these key matchups ahead of them that could either make or break their season.
Jon Lester’s performance in Cleveland this past Sunday will give Red Sox fans something to hang on to with a little more than a month and a half left in the season. Lester went 6 innings allowing just 1 earned run while striking out 12. While Josh Beckett seems to be nowhere near ready for a performance of this nature, it is reassuring to see Lester finally live up to his billing.
The Sox consistent trend of a few wins followed by a few losses will do them no good heading towards the end of the season. With 12 of their next 19 games coming against teams that they are chasing in the Wild Card hunt it is do or die for a team that has showed little promise of performing under pressure this year.
Between several games against Wild Card contenders, the return of Andrew Bailey and David Ortiz to the roster, and the impressive second half of Clay Buchholz there are several reasons to believe this team has a good run left in them. While losing Will Middlebrooks is surely a big blow, it isn’t the knockout punch quite yet. That knockout punch may be coming within the next few weeks, but for now the Red Sox are still in the playoff hunt.
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