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Let’s not get carried away with Red Sox fast start

The Toronto scoreboard does not the Red Sox season foretell
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

If you’re like half the Twitterverse this morning, you’re practically giddy about the 4-2 start the Boston Red Sox are off to. You see that third baseman Will Middlebrooks hit three home runs yesterday – half of the club’s total of six in its 13-0 rout of Toronto – and that starters Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are pitching like the aces the Sox need them to be to have a shot at the post-season.

But hang on just a minute.

Sure, the Red Sox are on pace to win 108 games, Middlebrooks is on pace to hit 108 dingers, and Lester and Buchholz are on pace to win 56 games between them (assuming 28 starts each). But we know full well how early-season numbers can decieve, don’t we. Don’t we?

Do we really think Jose Iglesias is going to hit .529 for the year with an OPS of well over 1.000? Or Mike Napoli is going to post the .179 he’s started at? No, we don’t.

The Providence Journal this morning made my point by writing about a certain Chris Shelton, who as a Tiger in 2006 hit .471 with an Iglesias-like 1.216 OPS over the team's first nine games, including nine homers, five doubles, three triples, and 17 RBIs. The reason he’s not a household name is that he finished with only 16 homers, 16 doubles, and four triples. So let’s not get carried away with what we’re seeing so far.

There’s no question that the Red Sox appear to be remade in the way we all hoped they would be, and that team promises to be a whole lot more competitive and entertaining than it has been in some time. But let’s not queue up for our World Series tickets quite yet, as there’ll be plenty of time for that in September.

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