It took the Red Sox lineup a while to wake up last night. They were utterly silenced by Aaron Laffey Taffy who was making his first starting appearance since 2010. Daisuke Matsuzaka and the bullpen were able to keep them very much in the game, and the Blue Jays bullpen eventually crumbled. The Red Sox are now back in sole possession of 4th place.
Daisuke doesn't seem like he's had Tommy John surgery at all. I'm not sure how good that news is, but considering the health of his fellow SPs, I'll take a 5.2 inning, 100 pitch Matsuzaka Special. And he only walked 1 batter. He's struggled at the beginning of his starts, then settles in and is nearly unhittable.
If he gets that 1st inning down, he can go deep into games and give the Sox an even better chance at winning.
Will Middlebrooks had another error. That's bad luck for him. I don't think this is a post-Youkilis trend manifesting itself. He's not a great fielder and I don't care. He can hit. He had an RBI sac-fly last night.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his 14th homerun of the season. He and Middlebrooks each have 35 RBI. Adrian Gonzalez has 40. He got his 40th last night with an RBI double in the 8th.
The Sox can end their homestand 7-2 if they beat the Jays this afternoon. They need Jon Lester to pitch like Jon Lester. That's because they'll be facing 8-1 Ricky Romero. Romero's benefited from good run support. He has a 5.82 ERA in his last three starts. So if Lester can shut down the Jays, the Sox can get a few off Romero and win.