BOSTON (CBS) — Hope you’re ready for some early-morning baseball, as the Red Sox finish up their first home stand and four-game set with the Orioles Monday morning at Fenway.
The Sox currently sit at 7-5 through 12 games. Here’s three things we learned this week and three things to watch going forward:
Three Things We Learned
1. The starting rotation is not as good as it appeared the first turn through — and — not as bad as it looked the second time around. The Sox rotation has the worst ERA in baseball at 6.24 and only Joe Kelly has an ERA under six. Certainly not what we were looking for. The problem the Sox were trying to avoid this season was the roller coaster ride that the likes of Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa put the team through last year. They would be good for 4-6 innings, but then a 2/3rds of an inning would be a total stinker. This year’s Sox are experiencing the same thing through the first two weeks.
2. Hanley Ramirez is what we thought he would be, but in an extreme fashion. Ramirez has a sweet swing and hits the ball as hard as any player in the game. I still think he’s going to lead the world in singles off the wall because of how hard he hits the ball. His five home runs and 12 RBI have given the Sox the presence they need behind David Ortiz and when the weather heats up – watch out. The problem with Hanley has been his defense in left field. I think we all knew it would be an adjustment, but so far Hanley has had a tough go of the wall. He’s worked hard with Arnie Beyeler, but there was no way to truly understand how tough the wall would be up here, rather than at JetBlue Park. Hanley’s attitude seems to be good and he’s not letting his defense get in the way of his offense, so Sox fans need to hang in there with him.
3. Koji is Koji, which is a great thing. After watching Edward Mujica blow a save in Week 1, Sox fans were concerned about the end of the pen. Well, they can breathe a bit easier after watching Uehara return from a hamstring injury in excellent form. Uehara picked up a win and a save and struck out four over two innings of work. His splitter was in fine form too, which is a great sign.
Three Things to Watch
1. Getting back to the starting rotation, Ben Cherington spent a lot of money on Porcello, Miley, and Masterson to give the team quality starts. Once they settle in they should be fine. It looks as if all they have to do is give six good innings each time, because the bullpen can be that good. From Koji on the end, all the way in, the bullpen shouldn’t be a weakness. So watch the starters this week. If they produce, the bullpen and offense should be fine.
2. These games are important. The Sox got off to a good start and that bodes well for this team. Go look it up. When they get out of the chute well, they usually contend. With that said, the Sox can set the tone in the AL East this week by playing well on the road with three at Tampa and three more at Baltimore.
3. The Red Sox are 7-5 with the following numbers: Ramirez .255 – Pedroia .255 – Ortiz .231 – Betts .191 – Napoli .143. That will change, and when it does, the Sox will win a lot of games. Offense is scarce around baseball and the Sox are one of the teams that have it.
Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.