Aside from adding V-Mart and Gonzalez, the cast is basically the same, and you just can't tell which team will show up. I was at a game when the Sox last came to Toronto, and they were just so lackluster. Now they return to Toronto and look like the championship-caliber team I've always felt they could be.
Not much more to say other than to vent a bit. If they could play with consistency, they would have stayed in first place and not be fighting for their lives to make the Wildcard. And now I'm not so sure they'll get that far. Sure, the pitching has holes, but it's the uneven offense that is killing them, and they just don't seem to have the ability to sustain a solid attack for more than a few games at a time. It's like the whole team has ADD - they just can't focus for long periods of time.
You'd like to think the Toronto sweep is a sign of getting on track, and with the Yankees up next at home, they'll have a true reality check. If they continue swinging the bats and sweep, all of a sudden they're in contention for the AL East. But if they revert being the Bad Sox, nobody hits and the Yankees blow them away. In that case, their only hope is the Wildcard, and their confidence to beat good teams will be totally shot.
It's coin toss to me. I'm certain that one of those scenarios will unfold this weekend, and opening with the #4 and 5 starters, this could be an ugly series. If they can keep hitting, they can probably overcome weak pitching, but the Yankees are playing so well right now, and will be pretty motivated to put the Sox away at Fenway.
Something tells me Texeira will have a lot to do with this, and that would be a painful reminder of how costly it was for the Sox to lose him to NY. I can't think of any recent scenario where one player could impact the balance of power so much between these two teams. The Angels didn't lose any ground seeing him go to the Yankees, but the Sox sure did, and I think it's going to haunt them for a long time. I'd better stop now and get back to Smart Grid - this is starting to ruin my weekend...