BOSTON — Although the Red Sox ended their first half on a down note, the bigger picture suggests they’re trending upward. The picture bigger than that, however, suggests the first half was a disappointment.
In other words, one can look at the glass as half empty or half full as Boston enters the Major League Baseball All-Star break. And perhaps that toss-up itself represents a minor victory for the Red Sox, who a few weeks ago didn’t even have a drop in said glass. They were in total shambles.
The Red Sox, who sit at 42-47, closed out their first half with an 8-6 loss to the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Boston enters the break sitting 6 1/2 games back in the American League East.
Let’s run down some notes from Sunday.
— The Red Sox’s streak of four consecutive series wins was snapped. They’ve lost just two of their last nine series overall, though, and are 15-9 in 24 games since June 16.
“I’m super optimistic,” said starter Wade Miley, who suffered the loss Sunday. “We’ve got a good club in here. All we can do is put the first half behind us. It is what it is. Come out on Friday and start all over.
“It’s anybody’s division. It’s anybody’s league to win right now. We’ve just got to do what we can do and we’ll go from there.”
— Miley, who fell to 8-8, had been unbeaten in his previous five home starts (4-0). He also had six consecutive quality starts at home before allowing six runs over 5 1/3 innings to the Bronx Bombers.
Miley faced 150 consecutive left-handed hitters without surrendering a home run before giving up a two-run homer to Brian McCann in the second inning. It was the longest active streak in the majors entering the day.
— Xander Bogaerts is hitting .395 (17-for-43) over the life of a career-long-tying 10-game hit streak. He’s hitting .392 (29-for-74) with runners in scoring position this season.
Hats off to the 22-year-old shortstop on an excellent first half.
— The Red Sox didn’t post their lineup Sunday until about an hour and a half before the game because David Ortiz was battling an upper respiratory issue. It turned out he was unavailable.
“David was sent home even before the game, so he was not available in any capacity (Sunday),” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game. “This came on throughout the game (Saturday night), he was checked here this morning and per doctor’s instructions was to leave the ballpark.”
The Red Sox will check on Ortiz daily, according to Farrell, and the hope is the issue won’t linger beyond the All-Star break.
— Dustin Pedroia is expected to rejoin the Red Sox for their first game out of the break Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels. He will not require a rehab assignment.
— Eduardo Rodriguez will not face a strict innings limit this season, according to Farrell. That’s important because the left-hander could pitch in some important games down the stretch.
— Blake Swihart caught for seven innings and went 0-for-3 in a rehab game with Triple-A Pawtucket.
— Rafael Devers, 18, and Manuel Margot, 19, played in the MLB Futures Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Devers, who’s currently stationed at Single-A Greenville, hit a chopper to first base in the seventh inning and struck out looking for the final out of the game. He entered at third base in the sixth.
“I’m really proud,” Devers said through a translator, according to WEEI.com. “It’s such an important event because there are so many great players. To be the one representing this team is really special.”
Margot, who’s been playing for Double-A Portland, played five innings in center field to start the game. He went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and lineout.
“It’s been a really great experience,” Margot said through a translator, according to WEEI.com. “I’m really proud to be here. The fans have been great. I thank God and everyone else for giving me the opportunity.”
Thumbnail photo via Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports Images