The Rays finally took a series from the Sox. The Rays' pitchers quieted the Sox' bats. The Sox only scored 10 runs in their weekend series. And while Saltalamacchia won Saturday's game with a walk-off win, Alfredo Aceves returned the favor to Tampa Bay by blowing a save. His 3rd blown save of the season.
Jonathan Papelbon has yet to blow a save this season.
People have been praising the Red Sox bullpen. But such praise is merely selective memory. In the last 20 games, the bullpen has been decent. The 20 games before that, not so much. Looking at the guys that are out there, none of them are guys I'd classify as tough-situation-relievers. When the game is on the line, how confident are you when Padilla or Albers comes jogging in from the bullpen? Be honest.
The Sox scored some runs off Doug Fister yesterday, and that's not easy to do. They got 11 hits off him, including 3 doubles and a homerun. It was Saltalamacchia's ninth. He has 5 more homeruns than Adrian Gonzalez, in 69 fewer at-bats, and for $19.6 million less salary. He's been a nice and surprising offensive contributor.
The Sox got another very respectable start from Doubront. Prince Felix went 6, allowing 2 runs off 4 hits and a walk. He struck out 6. He's 5-2 on the season, which means he's the winningest pitcher in the rotation. He's the only Sox starter with an ERA under 4. Again, a nice and surprising contributor.
I enjoy rooting for the Felix Doubronts and Jarrod Saltalamacchias on this team. They try. They care. They're playing to the maximum of their potential. And they're the reason this team is .500 and within shouting distance of a playoff spot.
As I said at the start of this post, the Sox are 0-5 when they've had a chance to be over .500. Technically, I suppose it's 0-6 since they lost their first game (when they were 0-0). I'm not overly optimistic that they'll improve on that mark, as Verlander is on the mound for Detroit. Bard is pitching for the Sox.