The Sox certainly knew how to finish off that series, didn't they?
As it often does, it came down to starting pitching. The Red Sox starters did well. Certainly well enough to win the games. With the offense the Sox are currently sporting, that's all they really need.
On Saturday, Joe Kelly came back from the DL. We were all wondering what we would be able to expect from his first start. The issue of "trust" came up again. Would we be able to trust him going forward? Had he turned that corner? Well, I don't know either of those answers. But, carrying a no-hitter deep into a game is certainly a great start. So good that some have even been wondering if he was pulled too soon. He certainly looked like the was at the end of his tank to me, though. But he did a great job, especially early, of fooling the Indians hitters with a variety of pitches. If nothing else, that's one win from a questionable spot in the rotation. At the very best, Cy Kelly is back on track!
Parcel did his best to follow him on Sunday. He didn't do quite as well. And, I'm not sure he deserved a standing ovation leaving after 5.2 inning and giving up two runs. But, after his last outing, you certainly got the impression his poor performance was in fact bad luck. Yesterday he was able to keep things under control, even when a could grounders found their way through. While you'd like a little more length, it's exactly what you look for from Porcello.
Of course, the Red Sox offense could make everyone look good right now. The fact that Jackie Bradley Jr was intentionally walked TWICE on Saturday can't be mentioned enough. With an actual Major League hitter behind him, he was walked twice intentionally, and pitched around another time. He may just be on the hot streak of his life, but right now it;s hotter than the sun. Other teams have certainly noticed.
Which is interesting in that they have, obviously, noticed how well he's hitting...but they're not doing anything about it. Before, following a hot streak you could almost see teams figure it out. Or, at least see him lose it. That hasn't happened this time. Of course, it could happen at any moment. But, the fact that he's made it this long is a great sign. If nothing else he's putting it together for longer and longer stretches of time. And that's great.
That's how you make an all-star season.
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