The Red Sox Welcome Old Cardinals to Fenway

The Red Sox have been red hot over the past month. I said they had a chance to save their season back on May 16th, due in large part to positive regression and a soft schedule. They did what they had to do against weaker competition, and now find themselves at 34-30 and just a half game out of a Wild Card spot. Their next string of games are certainly not cupcakes, however. That begins tonight, with the start of a three-game series at home against the 37-28 St. Louis Cardinals.

Familiar Faces

Incredibly, the Cards will feature three of the key members of their 2004 NL-pennant-winning team: Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, and Albert Pujols. That was the Cardinals team that got swept by the Sox in the World Series, Boston’s first title since 1918. Although Pujols was gone to LA by then, Molina and Wainwright faced off against the Cardinals in the World Series again in 2013. They lost again, this time in six games. Needless to say, this trio probably doesn’t have the fondest of memories playing in Fenway Park.

Yadi and Albert are kind of just along for the ride at this point. They aren’t big contributors anymore; most of their value comes in the form of leadership, save for a savvy at bat or defensive play here and there. Waino on the other hand, is still dealing at 40 years young (2.84 ERA and 137 ERA+). He’ll toe the rubber tonight against his former teammate Michael Wacha, who spent seven years in St. Louis. For what it’s worth, Waino is the last Cardinals pitcher to win a game against the Sox, back in a 2014 regular season game.

(He also lost two of those 2013 World Series games. Has to sting a little.)

See What They’re Made of

Three of Boston’s next four series are against teams over .500. Two of those, the Guardians and Blue Jays, are also in the AL Wild Card hunt, and they’ll face them on the road. Major tests to close out June. This series against the Cardinals could set the tone for this stretch of pivotal games. Trevor Story, as hot as he was, has fallen off a cliff recently. That has to change. The pitching has been lights out, that will need to continue. If the Sox can win the majority of their games over their next 12-game stretch, that’s a major victory. That will probably equate to a one- or two-spot jump in the standings.

It all starts tonight at 7:10 against those geriatric Cardinals.

Born and raised in Miami, Florida. I used to play baseball for a living; I walked a lot and didn't hit enough. Now I write words for a living and drop absolute bombs every Sunday for my men's league team.

The Sopranos is more groundbreaking than it is good.

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