The Stanley Cup Playoffs seemed to last an eternity for you Boston Bruins‘ fans. Although their disappointing loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 was heartbreaking, the good news is you have a lot to look forward to this summer.
Welcome back to MLB. Your Boston Red Sox have the best record in the American League at 46-33. They are in the most insanely competitive division in baseball, where no team is below .500. A total of just 6.5 games separate the five teams.
The lineup is being led by, you guessed it: Jose Iglesias. The supposedly soft-hitting shortstop has been playing a lot of third base, but has reached base in 27 consecutive games. His .434 batting average can hardly be considered a fluke either, since he’s had 113 at-bats. His 49 hits are one short of Stephen Drew’s total, despite having half the plate appearances. Yet his long-term spot on the team is still a widely debated issue. I don’t get it either.
You also missed the re-emergence of Dustin Pedroia, who’s on pace to score 100 runs and hit 100 RBI. And David Ortiz? You thought he was done? Nope, just having a career year. Papi is hitting .316 with 16 home runs and 56 RBI. Both of those power stats lead the team despite missing the first 20 games of the season.
The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Shane Victorino has been flying all over the outfield, particularly into walls, which has kept him out of the lineup several times. Not to worry though because old friend Jacoby Ellsbury is on pace for another 70 stolen base season, and has upped his average to nearly .300.
And remember that Daniel Nava guy who used to get called up late in the season? Yea he’s become one of your most consistent players and should probably be an All-Star, if only his name were on the ballot. I remember you were all worried when Mike Napoli failed his initial physical and had to have his contract restructured too. Luckily it led to a discounted price for your new first baseman and all he’s done is knock in 52 runners.
All is not well though and there’s been two class dunces in the lineup. Just as you predicted the new Drew is a disaster. Unfortunately your upstart third basemen has been a nightmare. Will Middlebrooks was just demoted to Pawtucket, largely on account of his .192 batting average.
The pitching staff is currently being led by, you guessed it: John Lackey. Yup, he’s bailed out your team several times to help overcome the quickly deteriorating Jon Lester. Clay Buchholz was on his way to winning the Cy Young and has a 9-0 record in 12 starts. But then he had a bad night’s sleep and he hasn’t pitched much since.
Felix Doubront has been his usual mediocre self and Ryan Dempster has been pretty much what you expected. Oh yeah, and Alfredo Aceves was called up twice from Pawtucket, won both games and was sent down immediately after.
Despite losing Joel Hanrahan for the season, and watching Andrew Bailey start off well, get injured, and then fall apart on his return, the bullpen has been a strength. It’s cool though because Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, Craig Breslow, and Andrew Miller all rock ERA under 3.00.
So that’s about it in a nutshell. It was tough to watch the Bruins go down like that, but take consolation in the fact that after the Hawks’ fans are done celebrating they’ll have to go back to watching the Chicago Cubs.