The Red Sox won their 30th game yesterday with a nice start by Kason Gabbard. He struck out seven and walked just one in the Red Sox 6-3 over the Braves and this was after a doubleheader split on Saturday that saw a blowout going in both directions. That’s the second doubleheader the Red Sox have played this week and it’s forced them to go to the farm for some spot start. Unfortunately, unlike Kason Gabbard yesterday, Devern Hansack didn’t throw quite as well in the loss on Saturday
Kevin Youkilis remains red hot and he went three for three in the win yesterday. He’s seen his batting average rise from .280 to .340 in his latest thirteen game hitting streak. And he’s done particularly well at Fenway Park where he has an OPS of 1.015 versus a road OPS of .876. And he’s hitting an even .400 in May and he has 15 RBIs already after driving in just 8 in April.
Mike Lowell also seems to have picked it up after a mediocre 2006 and a very poor 2005. He leads the team with 35 RBIs and he’s right behind David Ortiz with eight homeruns.
And of course the Red Sox travel to Yankee Stadium to begin a three game series beginning tonight. The Yanks are tied for second, but they’re way, way behind and if the Red Sox could roll into Yankee Stadium and sweep them, it would send a ripple affect that would probably cost the Yankees their manager as well as cause a general panic in the city of New York. So far, I’m loving it, but we can’t let them back into the mix this week and give them any hope. It’s time to crush the Yankee spirit and it’s only May.
Daisuke Matsuzaka took care of the Tigers last night and tonight it’ll be Tim Wakefield hoping to seal game two. In the meantime, the Red Sox added to their already major league best record so it was timely that Baseball Prospectus’ Joe Sheehan is taking a look at the the liklihood of the Red Sox being in the top spot at season’s end.
And of course, there’s a lot of optimism. He talks about how Jon Papelbon putting himself into the closer role really did wonders for what looked like a weak bullpen and how the emergence of Hideki Okajima has also helped the Red Sox hold onto their leads. The rotation seems solid but the Josh Beckett injury has me worried. He’s had his problems with blisters in the past so hopefully this is just one of those things. He closes things out with a look at the offense and it’s hard to go wrong when you get to build around Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.
He closes things out with the fact that while the Red Sox have had their surprises, the disappointments are there as well. Imagine what will happen when J.D. Drew begins to hit or Julio Lugo really gets it going. The sky is the limit and I don’t even think Roger Clemens will tip the balance that much, considering the Red Sox already have such a nice cushion.
Sorry about the abscence, but we’ve been having some technical difficulties here that finally got resolved. And just time in because the Red Sox mounted a come from behind win that saw them shut down for eight innings only to ring up six runs in the ninth to walk away with the win. Prior to that ninth inning, the Red Sox had been held to four hits but they picked up three in the ninth and had some help with two errors in their 25th win of the season.
Of course the big story was Josh Beckett, who came into the game with a 7-0 record and a win would have tied him with Babe Ruth for the best start by a Red Sox pitcher ever. Unfortunately, Beckett was pulled out of the game because of another blister after just four innings. His streak is intact though so hopefully he’ll pick up that eighth win when he comes back.
The Red Sox have a nice eight game cushion right now but another one of the division leaders comes to town this week for a four game series. The Tigers are down right now but they’re the hottest team in baseball right now. I like the pitching matchups and the Tigers rotation is a bit dinged up so I wouldn’t be too surprised if the Red Sox are the team that cools down the Tigers.
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