BOSTON (CBS) — Expect the unexpected? No, expect ANYTHING in this wild and wacky 2020 baseball season.
It’s a 60 game sprint to the postseason. Are you ready? I know I’m ready for some Red Sox baseball.
The coronavirus remains front and center, as we’ve seen nationally (Washington’s Juan Soto) and locally (Eduardo Rodriguez). So we may start, but once travel begins, who knows how the game will be affected — or if the full 60-game slate happens.
But on the field, it’s great to see the game back, a return to some normalcy in a summer that has been anything but normal. Watching Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole go toe-to-toe for five innings Thursday night was fun. The stars of the game — Stanton and Judge — rose up. Yes, it’s tremendous to have the game back.
The fun in Boston begins Friday night at Fenway Park. For the first time in a long time, the Red Sox are being written off before the season begins. The expanded playoff format will help, giving the Red Sox a good chance to be one of eight AL teams that qualify come October. The bats alone should take care of that.
But with no Sale, Price, Porcello, and now Rodriguez to start the season, the starting pitching is paper thin.
Dave Bush will need Nathan Eovaldi to be an ace for 10-15 starts. We all know his stuff is electric and we all know he can dominate. We also know he’s battled injury after injury after injury throughout his big league career. If he can stay in one piece, this team has a chance.
After Eovaldi, the Sox starting pitching is woefully thin. Martin Perez and Ryan Weber are your two and three starters, with four and five being an opener and TBD. That’s scary when you think about facing the lineups of the AL East 10 times each.
The hope has to be that, at least for a few turns, Perez and Weber can give you 4-5 quality innings and the bullpen can hold. Then, the hope is E-Rod can return to give a major boost and maybe some veteran arms (Godley, Covey, Johnson) can help along the way.
And the bullpen has to be elite. It has to become the strength of this team.
For 162 games? No chance! But for 60? Why not?
And no matter what happens when this season ends, at the very least, new CBO Chaim Bloom will have had a chance to assess the roster and the organization as he begins the process of re-tooling the franchise.
So, my advice is simply enjoy two-plus months of baseball. Hopefully come 2021 everything will be on the upswing on and off the field. And by off the field, I’m talking about some normalcy returning to our lives.