The million dollar question for Red Sox fans everywhere has to be: Is Big Papi back?
If you take a look at his power numbers since the beginning of June, not one American League slugger can hold a candle to David Ortiz. His 25 home runs lead the league and his RBI total is approaching the 100 mark, which most Red Sox fans thought was unattainable just a few months ago.
Papi?s peak comes at just the right time. The postseason is right around the corner, and a few Boston bats are currently in sleep mode.
In addition to his hot bat, every good Red Sox fan knows how Papi flips the switch in the postseason. With that in mind, be prepared for Ortiz to pick up his production with a new life in the playoffs.
Another big question that may have Red Sox fans biting their nails is the playoff pitching rotation. Who would start Game 1 if the playoffs began today? Does Terry Francona go with Josh Becket, his surefire No. 1, who has had tremendous success in the postseason? Or does he lean toward Jon Lester, the Red Sox? hottest arm of late?
It?s a win-win situation.
So now that poses the third starter scenario. Is Clay Buchholz the best third starter on a playoff-bound team? He?s proven to be one of the best starters in the AL over the last two months and has newfound confidence. But will he be able to do it against playoff-caliber teams?
If all three starters step up to challenge, the Red Sox are equipped to make a deep run in the second season. And with Victor Martinez settling in behind the plate with the staff, it could be a long day for whomever the Red Sox draw in the first round.
As we all know, the baseball season is a marathon not a sprint, but with the regular season coming to an exciting conclusion, the Red Sox appear to be sprinting toward the finish line.