Daily Noontime – May 29, 2012

Miami’s Dwyane Wade and LeBron stole the show in Game No. 1, as the Heat defeated the Boston Celtics, 93-79! (Photo Credit: WBUR.org)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Tuesday to everyone, and welcome into this Tuesday edition of the Daily Noontime! Let’s kickstart the four-day work week with some headlines and news from the city of Boston, and state of Massachusetts.

* Miami held Boston to 15 points in the third quarter and 18 in the fourth, as the Heat defeated the Celtics in Game No. 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, 93-79. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 54 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and five blocks, while Kevin Garnett paced the Celtics with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

* Miami and Boston will return to the hardwood on Wednesday for Game No. 2 at 8:30pm. With Monday’s win, the Heat currently lead the series, 1-0.

* After Monday’s contest concluded — Ray Allen told the media that he’s battling with his inner self to work hard and overcome the bone spurs in his ankle. He told WEEI’s Paul Flannery, “There’s nothing really to talk about. It’s like a battle within myself that I have to try and win. You always talk, if it was the playoffs would you play? It’s the playoffs.”

* The Boston Red Sox concluded their Memorial Day Weekend with a 7-4 victory against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. Felix Doubront earned his fifth win of the season on the bump, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia finished the contest 2-4 with two runs, a home run and an RBI.

* Boston is now 24-24, and will attempt to earn their 25th win of the season and 12th at home on Tuesday against Detroit — Daniel Bard opposes Justin Verlander – first pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM.

* Prior to Monday’s contests — the Red Sox continued their 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park by recognizing Trot Nixon. The original dirt dog sported his No. 7 home white jersey, and tossed the out the ceremonial first pitch.

Daily Noontime – May 21, 2012

Mike Aviles cranked his eighth home run of the season on Sunday, as Boston defeated Philadelphia, 5-1! (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Monday, which means a brand new week has officially started! Let’s get things rolling with some news and headlines from the city of Boston, and state of Massachusetts.

* The Boston Red Sox concluded their weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies with a 5-1 victory. Boston defeated Philadelphia two out of three times, and are now 20-21 overall.

* Against Cliff Lee on Sunday, Boston’s bats recorded five runs on nine hits. Mike Aviles cranked his eighth home run of the season, and also recorded his 27th RBI. Jarrod Saltalamacchia finished the day 1 for 4, and hit a home run and drove in three runs.

* Boston will continue its current road trip on Monday when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles at 7:05PM — Clay Buchholz faces Tommy Hunter on the bump.

* According to the Boston Globe — if the Sox record a sweep against the Orioles, they’d be able to “tighten things up” in the American League East. Also, don’t expect Daisuke Matsuzaka to return to the rotation anytime soon, as the right-hander is currently dealing with “pain in his right trapezius muscle.”

* The Boston Celtics will return to the TD Garden on Monday for Game No. 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Philadelphia 76ers. The series is tied, 2-2, and Boston has only won one game at home this series, and one in Philadelphia.

* The Celtics squandered a golden opportunity to earn a two-game cushion on Friday, and know that this particular match is critical, especially after an “idle weekend.”

Daily Noontime – May 14, 2012

Jarrod Saltalamacchia recorded one home run and 5 RBIs on Sunday, as Boston extended its current winning streak to three-games! (Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Monday, which means a new week has officially begun! Let’s get it started with some news and headlines from the city of Boston!

* The Boston Red Sox won their third consecutive game on Sunday, as the local nine pounded the Cleveland Indians, 12-1. Daniel Bard picked up his third win of the season, as he pitched six innings, allowed one earned run, and fanned two batters, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia recorded one home run and 5 RBIs.

* Boston has now won 15 games, and will look to earn their eighth win at Fenway Park on Monday when they host the Seattle Mariners — Jon Lester opposes Jason Vargas – first pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM.

* According to various reports — Daisuke Matsuzaka will make two more rehab starts with the PawSox before returning to Boston. The right-hander made his most recent start on Saturday, and lasted 5.1 innings and allowed seven hits, five runs, but fanned five batters.

* The Boston Celtics will look to earn their second Eastern Conference semi-final victory on Monday when they return to the hardwood at the TD Garden. Boston defeated Philadelphia, 92-91 on Saturday, and were given the day off on Sunday.

* Finally, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was recently interviewed by Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who wrote in his weekly, “Monday Morning Quarterback” an excerpt about his first start against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 30, 2001.

Five things to look for during the upcoming Red Sox season.

By Andy Lindberg 

Mr. Matt Noonan kindly asked me this weekend if I would write a top-10 list for the Boston Red Sox from the 2011 season; a top-10 list, which would highlight the good things from the 2011 season.  After informing Mr. Noonan that was impossible because there was no way there are 10 good things to take away from last season, he simply requested a top-5 things to look forward to this upcoming 2012 campaign.  In no particular order, here they are.

1. Will Carl Crawford recover?

To say Carl Crawford had a poor season in 2011 would be the definition of an understatement.  In 130 games for Boston, Crawford hit a career-low .255, had a career-low on-base percentage of .289, and stole a measly 18 bases.  For the Red Sox to be successful next year, Crawford has to turn into the solid #3 hitter the Red Sox envisioned he would be.  Crawford needs to get on base and score runs.  The upcoming season will be the one that labels Crawford a bust or a solid investment.

2.  Who will catch?

Jarrod Saltalamacchia did more than I expected of him, playing in 103 games and cracking 16 home runs while driving in 56.  Jason Varitek rounded out the catching platoon over the course of the season.  With Varitek seemingly out of the picture as a player in Boston, the emergence of young Ryan Lavarnway (who was the one player during the final Baltimore series who actually played like he didn’t want to go home) has created a catching controversy.  The Red Sox also went out and signed Kelly Shoppach to a short-term contract.  I anticipate Lavarnway will start the year at Pawtucket while Saltalamacchia and Shoppach platoon for Boston, but Spring Training may dictate otherwise.

3.  How will Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves perform as starters?

Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and Clay Buchholz are the only two certainties in the pitching rotation for the upcoming season.  Buchholz is coming off of a lost season due to stress fractures in his back.  John Lackey is lost for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and Daisuke Matsuzaka will be out until at least the All-Star break having undergone the same surgery earlier in the 2011 season.  Alfredo Aceves was arguably the best pickup of the year for the Red Sox and provided quality depth and spot-starting ability.  Daniel Bard not only has an electric fastball, but his slider is devastating to opposing batters and his changeup is coming along as well.  If Boston is rebuilding, Bard’s transition will hopefully provide the Red Sox an outstanding starting pitcher for the 2013 season.

4.  How will Jacoby Ellsbury follow up 2011?

If the Red Sox had made the playoffs, Jacoby Ellsbury would have won American League MVP honors.  Ellsbury hit .321, slugged .552, hit 32 home runs with 105 RBI, stole 39 bases, and amassed 212 hits while leading the league with 364 total bases from the leadoff spot in the lineup.  Ellsbury bounced back after a lost season in 2010 and his production at the top of the lineup in 2012 is imperative for Boston’s success.

5.  Will David Ortiz reach 400 career home runs?

Ortiz may not match his excellent production from 2011, but he currently sits at 378 career homers, only 22 away from 400 all time, a number that would greatly increase his long-shot chances at the Hall of Fame as a designated hitter.  For some perspective, recently elected Hall of Famer Jim rice hit 382 homers with 1,451 RBI in 16 years with Boston.  Ortiz was signed to a two-year contract with Boston and his RBI total is 1,266 and he has 1,760 hits.  It is possible for Ortiz to eclipse Rice’s RBI and home run totals and it is also possible for Ortiz to reach 2,000 career hits.  If he does so, he will go from close but no cigar Hall of Fame chances to possible Hall of Famer.  The DH position, however, severely hurts Ortiz’s chances.

Lindberg: Thoughts on the Sox

By Andy Lindberg 

The Sox seemed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on Saturday, June 4 with a ninth inning debacle that saw the Oakland Athletics score four runs to tie the game.  The A’s took the lead in the 11th only to see Boston claw back with two outs in the bottom of the frame when Jacoby Ellsbury doubled in Jarrod Saltalamacchia for the tying run.

In the 14th inning came J.D. Drew, whose previous four at-bats saw him swing for the Golden Sombrero. Drew hit an 0-1 pitch sharply into right-center to score Carl Crawford from second and the game was won.

Saturday’s game was pretty much the week from Boston. They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and in other games were forced to claw out of a hole in an effort to put up a W in the AL East standings.

Boston went [3-3] for the week, first getting swept by the White Sox, and then sweeping the Athletics. The offense looked terrific overall, but the pitching was suspect, especially from the bullpen. If it’s not a save situation, I would seriously reconsider putting Jonathan Papelbon on the mound. While he thrives in tight game scenarios, non-save situations actually seem to give him trouble.

This week saw the Red Sox lose Daisuke Matsuzaka and Rich Hill, both until late next year. In Matsuzaka’s case, maybe never again. One would be safe in assuming Matsuzaka never pitches in a Boston uniform again given the rehab he will go through. Not to mention by July of next season, the Red Sox will have a set rotation because they have to compete. Don’t be shocked if Boston makes a few moves for a capable #3-4-type starting pitcher in the near future.

This week also saw preliminary All-Star votes come out. Don’t even get me started on how stupid fans are because they should NOT be allowed to vote for All-Stars, plain and simple. There’s no reason Mark Teixeira should be leading over Adrian Gonzalez. There’s no reason Russell Martin should be leading over Alex Avila and there’s no reason Alex Rodriguez should be leading over Alberto Callaspo or even Adrian Beltre.

If you even TRY and tell me Derek Jeter should be leading over Asdrubal Cabrera at this point, I will mentally smack you in the face. The only Yankee who should be leading at his position is Robinson Cano, because the AL second base field isn’t as great as it has been in prior years. Cano to this point is the most well rounded second baseman statistically.

Now, I do not vote for All-Stars until voting is nearing its end to give the players time to accumulate more stats. However the stats right now once again show dozens of players getting the shaft. But I digress. Expect a podcast on this subject later this week.

Coming up Tuesday night, the Red Sox for once play against the Yankees during the week. History has shown Boston own the Yankees in the first seven to eight games played against them, so look for the Yankees to throw down now.

On Friday the Sox stay on the road against Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays, who have played the Sox tough in Toronto this season, but overall, it’s going to be a hard week for the local nine.

Lindberg: Thoughts on the Sox

By Andy Lindberg 

I doubt this past week could have been any soggier in fair New England. For the Red Sox, they escaped the weather woes with only one rainout, which was Tuesday’s game against Baltimore.

Within the dreary doldrums of the foggy, misty Fenway Park, the Red Sox compiled a weekly record of [5-1] to briefly take hold of first place in the division, only to now reside a half a game back of the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, a feat many viewed as ludicrous merely two weeks ago.

On Monday night against Baltimore, the night began in less than stellar fashion with Daisuke Matsuzaka getting drilled in the chest on a liner up the middle on the very first pitch of the ballgame by Oriole second baseman Brian Roberts. From there, Matsuzaka never recovered, giving up five earned runs in 4.1 innings while walking seven batters. Shortly thereafter, Matsuzaka was placed on the 15-Day DL.

Down 6-0, the Red Sox stormed back with five runs in the sixth inning to pull within one. In the bottom of the ninth, down 7-6, Boston sent Adrian Gonzalez to the plate with two men on. Tired of Carl Crawford getting all the attention for walk-off hits, Gonzalez added one of his own, ripping an offering from Kevin Gregg off of the Green Monster, and plating both runners for the win.

From there, the Sox could virtually do no wrong. After the rainout, the Red Sox swept up the Detroit Tigers, winning the first game 1-0 behind a Jarrod Saltalamacchia eighth inning double.

The second game saw Boston take a 3-1 lead over Detroit’s ace Justin Verlander, only to see Daniel Bard give it right back on back-to-back bombs. Not feeling the fact that he didn’t get the Monday walk off, Carl Crawford enjoyed his third game-winning hit of the year, a bases loaded single in the bottom of the ninth to dead center field to win it.

The weekend set saw Boston face-off against the Chicago Cubs for only the second time since 1918 and for the first time in Boston since that date.

The first game went to Boston in a 15-5 dismantling of the Cubbies, despite another start in which Boston’s Jon Lester struggled. Game two went to the Cubs when Boston’s bullpen melted down in the eighth inning. With Boston holding tight to a 3-1 lead, poor defense and shaky pitching by Matt Albers led to eight Chicago runs.  However, in game three, Tim Wakefield thought it was 1995 again and completely shut down Chicago for a 5-1 win. Wakefield is now six wins away from 200 career wins.

It seems as though Jarrod Saltalamacchia is beginning to enjoy showing off what he can provide, as on Sunday he hit his third home run in his last four games. Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Gonzalez are as hot as they come right now and David Ortiz hit his 300th homer in a Boston uniform.

I was initially concerned when John Lackey and Matsuzaka went on the DL only because I thought it would tax Boston’s bullpen too much. Alfredo Aceves pitched very well on Saturday, but unfortunately, the bullpen did break down like I expected. This could be an issue going forward in terms of that fifth spot in the rotation. Starter by committee is not the best way to go.

Coming up this week Boston travels to Cleveland, a squad that sports the best record in baseball. After that, beginning on Thursday, Boston travels to Detroit to finish the week with a four game trip. Boston seems to be hitting its stride, winning eight of their last nine games, and they will need to pitch far better out of the bullpen to keep the pace with both Tampa Bay and New York.

Lindberg: Thoughts on the Sox

By Andy Lindberg 

Sunday was “Sweepday” in Boston.  The C’s threw down on the Knicks, (although it was far from pretty) and the Red Sox took it to the Angels (a very pretty series).  With a game every day this past week, the Red Sox went [6-1] in grand fashion.  The starting pitching was spectacular, especially from Daisuke Matsuzaka, who allowed no runs on one hit in seven innings to the Blue Jays on Monday and no runs on one hit in eight innings against the Angles on Saturday.

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s not one run allowed on two hits in 15 innings pitched by Matsuzaka this past week.  He was effective, kept his breaking ball low in the zone and threw several of his pitches with confidence, allowing him to spot his fastball more often and throw a wider array of pitches deeper into the count.  The lone blemish of the week was the first game at Oakland, but John Lackey pitched very well, only giving up one run in six innings.  Lackey pitched even better against his old team today in Anaheim, going eight innings without allowing a run.

Carl Crawford has picked it up this week as well, knocking his first home run of the season today.  The pitching and the hitting are both coming together at the same time, and in the most obvious and obnoxious statement of all time, the rest of the league should be on notice.

There’s not much more detail I can get into about the wins this week, as the Red Sox played well-rounded baseball in nearly every game, not to mention Jonathan Papelbon was outstanding, pitching in three consecutive games and earning a save in each.  Kevin Youkilis has encouraged me as well, going to the opposite field for power for two of his home runs on the season, including Saturday at Anaheim.

What does still irk me, however, is the catching situation.  I do not think it is any coincidence that Jason Varitek being behind the plate for Josh Beckett and Matsuzaka has seen both hurlers off to a run of extraordinary pitching.  The staff is quite comfortable with the captain catching.  Since both catchers on Boston’s roster aren’t hitting at all, there’s no controversy over who gets playing time.  At this point, anything they provide at the dish is a bonus.  But a team cannot win with a vacant hole in the lineup and Varitek in all likelihood cannot remain in tip-top condition starting consistently.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia has to show he can perform and be disciplined at the plate.  To this point in the season Saltalamacchia has struck out 13 times while walking only three times.  This is from a player whose plate discipline was highly touted.

In 2007 Terry Francona stuck with Dustin Pedroia, who was hitting below .200 at the time and the faith paid off.  Boston can only hope history repeats itself with Saltalamacchia, as catching depth across the league is minimal.

Lindberg: Thoughts on the Sox

By Andy Lindberg

It’s sad when it takes until Sunday April 17, 2011, to win back-to-back games.  It only took the Sox a shade over two weeks to do it, but it has been done.  And lo and behold, they doubled their win total this week!  From two wins up to four wins is a big-boy week.  I find it sad that I have to say a 2-3 week seemed somewhat successful for the Boston squad, so I won’t say it.

The Sox should have gone, 4-1 this week.  I’ll say they earned the 16-5 drubbing they received from Tampa, but Jon Lester got no love in game two of the series and Bobby Jenks was in full hate mode as the Sox dropped the first game to the Jays on April 15

But what rewards that come to those who wait. Josh Beckett really wants to convince the “Fenway Fickle” that he’s going to light it up this year.  Well, I refuse to argue with a man who’s, 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in the Boston rotation. Beckett has finally shown me what I’ve been begging of him for so long: pitch selection.

Beckett seems to be morphing himself into a pitcher in this young season rather than a thrower.  Last year he relied solely on his fastball, showing no confidence in his other pitches, and coupled with an injury, paid the price.  To this point, Beckett has made sure to incorporate his curveball early in games.  His changeup becomes brutally effective when he is throwing his curveball and fastball for strikes and the change of pace leave hitters baffled.  Beckett’s rotation on the deuce has been as tight as I’ve seen it while he’s been in a Boston uniform.  If he continues to mix up his pitches and rely on all three during every start, Beckett will win at least 17 games this year.  It looks as if he’s finally realizing that his fastball speed is declining and he’s becoming a more balanced, controlled pitcher.

In game three of the Toronto series, Jon Lester was less than stellar, but pitched well enough to get the job done.  Lester labored through six innings of work only giving up one run, but he walked three and went deep into counts no thanks in part to home plate umpire Doug Eddings, who had a particularly inconsistent strike zone.  Nonetheless, Lester buckled down when he had to and in the process earned his first win of the year with help for the first time from the bottom of the order. Jarrod Saltalamacchia had his best game to date with Boston as he racked up two hits and drove in three runs. “Taco Bellsbury,” (Jacoby Ellsbury) added a three-run homer, but his swing is disturbing me.

In the movie Major League, manager Lou Brown tells Willie Mays Hayes that with Hayes’ speed, every time he hits the ball in the air, he owes 20 pushups. Ellsbury’s value is his speed, not his attempt at power.  Yes, he drove the ball very well, but that same uppercut hack has gotten him off to a .196 batting average start.  For every time Ellsbury flies out, he should owe Tito 20 pushups.

Jed Lowrie added himself yet another hit and is “en fuego.” Lowrie arguably could have gone 3-4 against Toronto in game three, but tough scoring led to two of those knocks being called errors, and thus a 1-4 day with an RBI.  It’s at the point where until he stops hitting, Lowrie has to play every day.

How many of you are still worried about Carl Crawford and his .127 start?  I’m not as worried about the start as I am with how Crawford’s gotten there.  He’s terribly impatient at the plate and has yet to show the ability to work the count and foul off pitches.  He’s not being the pest he was in Tampa Bay. Instead, he tries to square up the first strike he sees and either whiffs or meekly grounds out.  His slump will eventually end.  He’s not going to pull a Mark Reynolds and finish the year under the Mendoza Line, but if Crawford doesn’t pick it up soon, the Boston offense will suffer with the gaping hole wherever Crawford is placed in the order.

This upcoming week the Sox finish off the series with Toronto on Monday at 11am in the annual Patriot’s day game.  There is no off-day for Boston this week, as they fly out Monday night to Oakland for two games with the Athletics on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by three with the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim, finishing up on Sunday.

And I’d like to point out for those of you keeping score at home; the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim are currently beating out the Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans for weakest name in professional sports.

Boston Red Sox Thoughts and Questions

By Brian Maloney and Matt Noonan

Noontime Sports was indeed watching the Boston Red Sox – Texas Rangers series and after digesting three painful outings, both Brian Maloney and Matt Noonan felt it was necessary to answer a few questions from what was on display.

Being a part of Red Sox Nation, fans know how susceptible people are to overreaction. While the Boston Red Sox began their season with three straight loses to the Texas Rangers, there is the general consensus that the sky is falling, but really, is it?

Well, realistically the season is far from over and with 159-games remaining and with a brand new series against the Cleveland Indians beginning Tuesday, here are just a few reason why all Bostonians, New Englanders shouldn’t get concerned or worried just yet.

Adrian Gonzalez is the “real deal:”

Brian Maloney: I think we’ll take three RBIs in three games. He struck out twice, which is huge for a middle of the lineup bat.

Matt Noonan: I was rather surprised with Gonzalez’s performance. I thought he would have struggled, but how about his stolen base too, Brian? Certainly, he will be fun to watch all season, but when will Carl Crawford pick up a bat and copy Gonzalez’s swing?

Should fans be concerned about Carl Crawford’s weekend performance:

BM: Crawford is a career [.296] hitter and it’s ignorant to think that his [2-12] start means anything.  Sample size means everything and twelve at bats do not make a season. Although, the market probably forced the Sox to pay more for him than what he was actually worth, so people are already seeing another J.D. Drew situation begin, but again, he will hit and run, so just give him time to find his swing.

MN: Couldn’t agree more, Brian, but again, it is only three games, so it is rather hard to tell what kind of impact he will have on the team come July, August and September. I do agree that the Sox may have dished out too much money for this guy, but hey, let’s hope he doesn’t take a page out of Shaquille O’Neal’s book. The “Big Shamrock” ended up getting hurt and just doing a bunch of celebrity appearances around town, but for all those Crawford fans, just know, he’ll be fine and eventually produce at the plate.

Jon Lester always starts slow:

BM: April has always been a bad month for Lester. His ERA is almost a run and a half higher in March and April, compared to his other career numbers, [4.95 vs. 3.58]. He is the “Ace of the team” and will slowly transition into “hero mode,” just watch!

MN: Brian, why are we so concerned about Lester? Similar to Crawford, he will be fine. Yes, Lester always starts slow and while we both ponder his unusual play during the early part of the season, let’s just admit that he’s still on pace to win 20-games, so again, let’s not worry because the lefty will snap out of his funk sooner or later. I also think that John Lackey and Clay Buchholz will follow in his footsteps, but again, while those are bold predictions on my end, let’s just sit back and watch Lester bounce back in his next outing.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia can hit:

BM: Ok, his career numbers don’t really support my theory, but trust me. This kid can hit.  He has “plus-plus” power and a fairly good eye, but also, he can produce from both sides of the dish, which is something the Red Sox will need out of him. If the Red Sox can bring out his potential or even most of it, the Nation will be ecstatic with Salty behind the dish until one of our prospects is ready for the big time.

MN: This guy has not been impressive, but certainly, he does remind you of Dustin Pedroia, who began his big league career incredibly slow, but then took off toward the end of the season. Remember when Pedroia hit that towering home run over the Green Monster during game seven of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians? Similar to Pedroia, I sure hope we can watch a similar story, but while his defense isn’t bad, it’s just his hitting that needs to improve.

How good are the Texas Rangers:

BM: They are indeed the reigning American League champions. It’s not like Boston was swept by Kansas City, but instead, by a team that could certainly win the AL West. Their trio of starters that the Sox faced included, C.J. Wilson, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis, who aren’t that bad, but also, let’s not forget to Neftali Feliz, who is a valuable member of their bullpen. The Rangers offense is quite impressive too, especially when a team has Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler.

MN: Texas is indeed coming off their World Series high, but it is too early to hand them the division crown. Let’s not forget about Oakland, a team that surely has potential. Also, whatever happened to Los Angles of Anaheim, weren’t they usually a lights out team? I completely respect your thoughts, but after only watching three games this season and yes, all three being Red Sox vs. Rangers, I cannot hand them the title just yet.

Noonan: This Sox Losing Streak Will End

Can the Red Sox rebound from their slow start?

By Matt Noonan

It’s official; the Boston Red Sox are going to lose more than a 100-games this season. There, I said it. I just wrote that the Red Sox will lose 100-games, is that a problem? Are you going to attack me for that ridiculous comment? Is it fair to predict 100 losses?

Let’s face it, the Sox looked awful against Texas this weekend, as the Rangers completely outplayed and scored Boston, 26-11.

All three starting pitchers, Jon Lester, John Lackey and Clay Buchholz, as well as other member of the pitching staff allowed 11 home runs combined, but that is a statistic that one shouldn’t be proud of any day.

The offense, yes, it showed some light, especially David Ortiz who finished the three-game series with two home runs and four RBI’s.

Newcomer Adrian Gonzalez clearly was worth the money, as he finished the weekend with five hits, two runs, three RBI’s and one stolen base.

Meanwhile, Carl Crawford and Jarrod Saltalamacchia look like they need an additional week of training in Florida. Crawford finished the series with two hits and one RBI, but Salty certainly looked lost, but hey, he’ll bounce back, right? Didn’t Dustin Pedroia rebound after a slow start in ’07?

Yet, why sit here and criticize a team that has only played three games. Three games.

Should I be allowed to question a team that clearly will rebound and earn a few wins this week?

I believe this “funk” will end, but again, three games won’t break a season that has so much promise.

They most likely won’t lose 100-games, maybe 50 or 75, but really, 100-games? Can they actually win 100-games?

The last time the Sox won at least 100-games was in 1946 and surely, all Bostonians know how that season turned out, right? It was a year that the Sox to thought they could bring an end to their “Bambino curse,” but those pesky St. Louis Cardinals, as well as Enos Slaughter, shattered all the hopes, as they defeated the team from New England, four games to three.

The lofty goal is out there and clearly the Sox have to feel some pressure to win 100-games. When the media predicts an amazing season, as well as a World Series victory there is always pressure, but did any analysts see a three-game losing streak coming?

Please tell me that someone, at least someone in the organization was contemplating their division title hopes this past weekend, but then had another official assure them, it is just one series and that the season has just begun.

Certainly the hype for this season will continue, especially since there are a variety of new faces and members of the organization, but let’s be completely honest, are we a tad bit concerned? Is anyone actually worried that the Red Sox will lose 162-games in a row?

That has never happened, so please, get that image or nasty thought out of your head because the Sox will rebound, I promise.

Boston travels to Cleveland on Monday and then returns to the comfortable combines of Fenway Park on Friday when they welcome the New York Yankees to town for a three game series.

The Sox won 46 games at Fenway last season, so don’t get too concerned because they will win at least one of these days and end their current losing streak, but who knows when that will occur, right?

Again, the season has just begun, but let’s not hit the panic button just yet, but if the Sox continue to stumble and their pitching continues to pitch batting practice to their opponents, then their 100 wins may seem like a goal that won’t be reached.