The 21st century has been kinder to the fans at Fenway Park than the previous century. In these brief 11 years the Boston Red Sox have been to the postseason six times and have won two World Series. The fans have yet to pay for Boston Red Sox tickets to see a season finished below .500. Yet, the Boston Red Sox fans still seemingly have a right to complain in the summer of 2012.
At 42-40, the Boston Red Sox are in fourth in the AL East and have major issues with the starting pitching. A combination of injuries and performances better reserved for the minors have resulted in the 11th-worst ERA in the MLB. In particular the starting pitching has been an issue. Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, and Daisuke Matsuzaka have missed starts and Franklin Morales and Aaron Cook have been designated as the temporary replacements. Though they have delivered 4 quality performances in 7 starts, they are not likely to be able to maintain that quality of performances.
Thus, General Manager Ben Cherington is expected to find another arm or two. So far Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and Felix Doubront are in play. Clay Buchholz and Daisuke Matsuzaka are on the DL. Buchholz is on the 15-Day DL but he is throwing in light workouts and is expected to return to the starting rotation after the All Star Game. Matsuzaka just joined Buchholz on the DL. The worry is that the stiffness in his arm and elbow are worse than simply a 15-day placement.
The odd thing is that the Red Sox should not have to worry this much about the pitching staff. They are outscoring the opposition by 50 runs. The Yankees, the division leader, has only outscored opponents by 8 more runs. In fact, only five teams have managed to outscore the opposition by more runs. Perhaps, the season will take its natural turn and Boston will take their rightful place right on the Yankees heels in time for a memorable pennant chase.