By Matt Straub
One thing we never do at this website is sugarcoat things.
The Boston Red Sox saw their season end this weekend. Needing to get hot before the trade deadline, the players forced the front office’s hand and turned the team into sellers next week by embarrassing themselves with a humiliating, lackluster effort during a sweep in Anaheim. Not that the Red Sox have a lot to trade thanks to bloated contracts and poor performance, but now they’ll have to try.
In the days ahead we’ll get into what happened and why, and we’ll break down what the Red Sox do at the deadline. For now, even though no one wants to watch a team which laid down and died this week (not like dogs, that’s an insult to dogs), the year goes on.
So let’s look at this series, which Boston will probably sweep and get everyone’s hopes up again.
Boston Red Sox (42-51, last place AL East)
at Houston Astros (51-43, 2nd place AL West)
Tuesday, 8:05 p.m.
Brian Johnson (MLB debut) vs. Vince Velasquez (0-1, 3.94)
Wednesday, 8:05 p.m.
Wade Miley (8-8, 4.49) vs. Collin McHugh (10-5, 4.35)
Thursday, 8:05 p.m.
Rick Porcello (5-10, 5.79) vs. Lance McCullers (4-3, 2.52)
Houston has collapsed lately, missing slugger George Springer and lacking veterans who have won before to get it through tough times. The Red Sox, likely needing three of four in Anaheim to keep hope alive before the deadline, scored a total of one run in the first three games. Not one run per game, one run. To say they quit Monday night is an understatement. It was shameful.
Three Astros To Watch
1. Jose Altuve is one of the most fun hitters in baseball to watch. He’s having a down year, but he’s still a marvel to see.
2. Luis Valbuena is one of the team’s many home run hitters and someone who must fill the void with Springer out for the Astros to get back in it.
3. Speaking of fun to watch, Evan Gattis is the really good hitter in your beer keg softball league who can’t do much else. He looks like you or me up there.
A series at Fenway with the Tigers, who are also in full sell mode. That one will be fun strictly to see who’s on the rosters when it starts.