The Red Sox have won the AL East in back-to-back years for the first time in team history.
Despite the success, this team has been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde all year. They beat a poor team like Cincinnati, but immediately struggled with Toronto. This team doesn’t have a lot of momentum going to in the postseason and that could be a problem.
I hate to say it, but Cleveland and Houston are the better teams on paper. Cleveland has Sale’s number and Houston added Justin Verlander, who suddenly has flipped a switch, and looks like the former Cy Young winner.
The concerns are there.
There are times whether this team looks flat, or unprepared from a game plan stand point. Hell, there are times where John Farrell has misused the bullpen forcing a closer-than-anticipated game. Hopefully, when the roster is thinned once again, Farrell’s favorite bullpen disaster, Matt Barnes, will not be an option.
David Price’s emergence has allowed for Farrell to use him as a bit of a fire extinguished. To be fair, in the AL East clinching win, Farrell recognized Carson Smith’s struggles early and contained the threat.
On the flip side, there was a point when the Red Sox were dominating opponents and even beating playoff contenders and made you think, “WORLD SERIES HERE WE COME.”
So, I ask which John Farrell team shows up?
Hell, I don’t know. We know that it’s a long season and wins and losses are part of the game. I just know that Farrell needs to push all the right buttons if he wants to win the World Series this year because believe me this team can’t afford to come out flat in any game.
This team not only can’t come out flat, but Farrell will need to be perfect with managing situations. He will need to make the decisions to bring in the correct relievers, or put hitters in the best situation to succeed.
There may be a time when Craig Kimbrel must get more than 3 outs and Farrell will need to make that call. In-game managing has not been John’s strong suit, but it is absolutely critical in October.
We will find out on Thursday, as the Red Sox open play against the Astros.