I experienced a variety of emotions throughout this see-saw battle of a ballgame. It was a great ballgame, very entertaining, as these Sox-Cubs games always are. I cannot remember the last boring Sox-Cubs game I’ve seen. It is always like the postseason in June every year when these games come around. Outstanding.
Still, while I loved seeing Beckham come through with the opposite field shot in the game over Bradley’s head, I was disturbed once again by this shaky defense, with three errors on the day, and a general inability on the part of Sox pitchers to pitch over errors. It seemed every time the Cubs swang the bat, they made contact and found a hole somewhere. The Sox pitchers are not strikeout pitchers in general, which requires their defense behind them to be close to airtight. They are anything but. When the Sox won in 2005, they had an airtight defense behind non-strikeout pitchers. Without this, I see this Sox team remaining a .500 team for the rest of the year .
Part of the problem is this infield is out of position. When Beckham made the diving attempt, leading to Ramirez’ error, he was using his shortstop instincts while playing third base. Beckham needs to be playing shortstop. Ramirez was better last year at second base than shortstop this year. I’m not sure what you would then do with Getz and Nix. I wouldn’t be against sending Ramirez down to learn how to cut down his swing and learn how to be what he should be – a contact hitter, not a power hitter. Still, I know we will likely have to simply live with what we have this year – a decent pitching, okay hitting, and defensively challenged team that will hover around the .500 mark all season. Still, I will take the exciting win today, and look for the series win tomorrow.