This past series is probably as close as the Sox have come to the team everyone envisioned before the season began. There were, naturally, an exception or two. But, it was a very encouraging series for the local nine.
Monday night the Sox were able to score some runs. Against weaker pitching, the Sox certainly should continue to do that. Putting 13 runs on the board certainly shows that there are some bats in the line-up. They won’t be there every game. But, they’re capable of making an appearance once in a while. Now, I’ll admit. All those runs against bad pitching are supposed to be accompanied by the Sox starters shutting the other team down. But, Josh Beckett pitched more like John Smoltz than I’d have liked. I’m not stressing over that at the moment. He’ll come around. If not, Dice-K is on his way! (Yeah. That didn’t sound all that great to me either.)
Tuesday night, it was more of the pitching and defense ruling the day. The Sox couldn’t score many runs. But, they didn’t need to. The Red Sox pitching held the other team to even fewer. I’m amazed as anyone that the “pitching” part of the equation involved Clay Buchholz. If I’m Theo, I have ol’ Jed on the phone right now. Get him out while he can. It was quite encouraging to see the bullpen hold its own. Even without Papelbon to lock up the ninth inning, the Sox were able to get the save. That’s quite encouraging.
Wednesday night was even better. The real Jon Lester finally showed up. He dominated just like he was supposed to. One game does not a turnaround make. But, I’m more confident that Lester has turned the corner than I am that Clay did. Once again, the offense took the night off. But, once again the run prevention was the key. As long as you score more runs than the other guy, the number doesn’t matter. A win is a win.
So, Theo might finally be feeling better about himself. He finally saw what we thought he’d see from the team. They got runs when they needed them, and got pitching when they needed it. They swept a division foe, on the road. I know. One series didn’t mean the Sox were a bad team, and one series doesn’t mean they’re a good team.
But, it’s nicer to sweep than be swept.
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