BOSTON — The Red Sox have won four straight. They’re as few as 10 games under .500 (56-66) for the first time since July 21. And they look like a team playing inspired baseball.
Is it too late to make a playoff push?
Conventional wisdom says, “Yes.” The Red Sox still face an 11 1/2-game deficit in the American League East with 40 games left. They must leapfrog nine teams in order to earn the AL’s second wild-card spot.
But acting manager Torey Lovullo isn’t ready to toss in the towel just yet.
“I do,” Lovullo said definitively after Friday’s 7-2 win over the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park when asked point-blank if he thinks the Red Sox still could make the playoffs.
For Lovullo, it all boils down to having faith in his players.
“Because we’re not eliminated and I believe in these guys,” Lovullo said when pressed on the issue. “And I know what happens in our dugout and I know the quality of players that we have and performers we have. And I feel like anything’s possible with this group.”
The Red Sox knocked around Royals ace Johnny Cueto on Friday night, continuing an interesting trend of Boston beating up on other teams’ best pitchers. Henry Owens also thrived in his fourth major league start, continuing a stretch of solid mound work by Red Sox starters.
Right now, it looks like everything’s clicking. And if an MLB season lasted 182 games rather than 162, Lovullo’s vote of confidence might seem a bit more believable.
One can’t fault the interim skipper for rallying the troops, though. Boston might as well ride this wave as long as possible in the hopes of doing the impossible.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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