AP Photo/Adam Hunger

AP Photo/Adam Hunger

After taking 2 of 3 from the New York Yankees in the Bronx and winning 8 of 11 so far in July, the Boston Red Sox face an incredibly important stretch if they hope to stay in contention and make a push for the playoffs. After an off day Monday, the Red Sox begin a 9-game home stand against the team with the best record in baseball right now, the San Francisco Giants. The quick 2-game set will be a good barometer for the Red Sox, who have faced some bad teams as of late. Following the 2-game set with the Giants, the Red Sox will face the terrible Minnesota Twins for 4 games and wrap-up the home stand with 3 against the solid Detroit Tigers.

Sitting at 12 games above .500 and 1.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for 1st place in the AL East, the Red Sox need to take advantage of this extended home stand. Hopefully they will stay competitive against the Giants and then pick up a few wins at the hands of the Twins. The Tigers will be a tough series, but if the Red Sox can emerge from this home stand with a 6-3 record, then I would consider it a strong success.

The home stand is also important because we get to see the debut in a Red Sox uniform of Drew Pomeranz. The lefty starter will have a big adjustment moving to the AL East, but will begin his tenure by facing the Giants, a team he has faced 9 times (7 starts). Unfortunately he has a 1-4 record with a 4.54 record against the Giants, but at least there is some familiarity with his opponent and he will have a supportive crowd behind him.

At this point in the season the Red Sox need to be focused on winning series and not worry about standings, but I’m scoreboard watching on a nightly basis. Let the fun begin.