Thursday, May 27, 2010
SOX OUT OF 4TH PLACE, INTO 4TH GEAR
Normally ascending to 3rd place is hardly something to be be proud of. But to do it by sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays on the road changes things. The Sox got yet another Quality Start as John Lackey went 6.1, allowing only 2 runs despite the 8 hits and 4 walks he allowed. He held the Rays to 1/14 with runners in scoring position.
He was helped by a Sox offense which surprisingly knocked around Matt Garza. Beltre hit 2 homers, and Ortiz hit his 10th of the season. He hit his 10th of last season on July 8th. Beltre was 4 for 6. He also had a triple, and knocked in 6 runs.
While Jason Varitek's offensive production has expectedly dissipated (he's hitting .250 in May), it's probably not coincidental that he's been a consistent presence behind the plate, and the starting pitchers have excelled. I'll reluctantly give him half of an assist for the recent quality of starting pitchers. But in the end, pitchers still have to pitch.
Sox now sit in 3rd, 3 games behind New York in the loss column, and 6 behind TB. But they host the 19-28 Royals for 4, then the barely above .500 Athletics, then they play the abysmal Orioles. So this is a good time to compile some wins and chip away at some deficits.
Matsuzaka vs. Brian Bannister tonight.