Friday, August 19, 2016

Are The 2011 Storm Clouds Forming Over Fenway Park?

Five years ago on this date (also a Friday), your 2011 Carmine Hose boasted a record of 76-48. They were in second place—one-half game behind in the AL East. If the Red Sox bullpen had done it's job yesterday, the 2016 squad would be in the exact same position. However, at 67-53 they sit 1.5 games off the pace. Getting back to 2011, in the month that followed their August 19th win at Kansas City, the Red Sox went 12-18 and were well on their way to blowing what seemed like a cakewalk to the post-season. They ended up 90-72 (going 7-20 in September) and missed the playoffs by one game. Could it happen again? Well, first of all, this team doesn't have the record of the 2011 squad—at one point A-Gon, Papi, Youk & Co. were 31 games over .500. But, the 2011 team scored 875 runs—this 2016 team is on pace for 890. The 2011 team's run differential ended up at +138, this year's team has a differential of +112. And, amazingly, the 2011 pitching staff ended with an ERA of 4.20—this morning, the 2016 team's ERA is 4.21. So, what does it all mean? Well, while a lot of the 'atmospherics' are similar, this 2016 team is younger (overall by about a full year) and seems less likely to succumb to the Chicken And Beer culture that devastated the 2011 squad. So, ignore those storm clouds, and look for a good chance at a post-season berth.