I thought about using a headline like "Sox on the Warpath," but racist article titles are the domain of CBS Sports and I wouldn't dream of trying to outdo them.
Can Felix Doubront and Clay Buchholz pitch every game for the Sox? The team is 5-2 when Doubront starts, 4-3 behind Buchholz (9-5 combined) and 6-14 whenever anyone else starts. .563 with Doubront or Buchholz, .300 with Beckett, Lester, and Bard.
Doubront had another very good start Saturday night. He's been a pleasant surprise this season. Imagine if he'd been struggling these last few weeks, how bad the Sox would be. Saturday night he went 6 innings, only allowed 3 hits, and earned victory #3.
Yesterday, the Sox simply annihilated Justin Masterson. He had no chance. I'm surprised he lasted 6 innings. The Sox swung and missed only 7 times against him. That's it. He wasn't fooling anyone. Nava was 2 for 2 with a pair of doubles. Middlebrooks hit his 4th homerun. Saltalamacchia exploded, going 3 for 4 with a homerun and 5 RBI.
Bard looked shaky. He only allowed 1 run (he walked it in), but in his 6 innings he gave up 6 hits and 4 walks. Way too many walks, especially with the Sox taking a big early add and consistently adding to it. Throw strikes. A few double play balls saved him, and the Sox building a big lead helped even more.
At least he had 0 balks.
Bard is still a project. I'm not sure how well he'll do in the rotation. As a starter in the minor leagues, he had problems with walks. He's walked 20 guys already, in only 37.2 innings. He's had three starts with 4 or more walks. It's a problem. The good news is if he doesn't work out in the rotation, he'll help out the bullpen. Maybe even close.
The Sox will try to make it four straight wins tonight against the Mariners. Lester opposes Jason Vargas, who is 4-2 on a 16-20 Seattle team. He has a 2.79 ERA, 5 Quality Starts, and his last outing was an 8 inning gem against Detroit. In other words, this is not Justin Masterson.