Turns out these Boston Red Sox are who we thought they were......it just took a while
The Sox sure had us fooled, and fooled bad. It wasn't the way Theo and company drew it up, but I think we can officially welcome the Boston Red Sox back into the world of competitive baseball. They're somehow still in 4th place in the AL East, but are only a game and a half behind the second place Yanks.
While it's been the balanced combination of pitching, hitting and defense that has led to the Sox winning 6 of their last 7 and going 8-4 against the league's best over the past week, three individuals have to be singled out as the main reasons the Sox have pulled out of the doldrums of the first 5 weeks of the season....
Big Jon Stud Lester: We held our breath throughout April, praying he would do the typical bad for one month, masterful for the rest of the year act. Take a look at his last 5 starts and you'll see why he continues to rival CC for the "best lefty in baseball" title. He has put the Sox rotation on his back, assuming the true ace role while Beckett figures his body out and Lackey stumbles along. He has set the tone, challenging the rest of the staff to play in his league, thus far, only one other pitcher has managed to accept the challenge....
Clay "I look like a child molester" Buchholz: He saw Lester's challenge and whether we want to believe it or not, has pushed himself into the number two starter role. He may not actually be the number two starter, but he's been pitching like one all season. He's been the most consistent arm and has the best ERA (3.07) in a rotation that was supposed to be the best in the league (they still may be).
David "Ride or Die with me" Ortiz: Youk may be the hottest hitter in baseball right now, but we've come to expect that at times. David Ortiz however, has managed big hits and small ones....he's broken out of his slump in a big way, and is letting us all know about it. He's finally pulling his weight in the middle of the lineup (and batting his weight as well). Let's be honest, the offense wasn't necessarily the problem in April and early May.....but Ortiz is the X factor to put the offense over the top.
Honorable mention: Youk, Manny Delcarmen (yes, you read that right) and JD Drew (T Murph is flipping out in Alabama/Mississippi/Louisiana ((they're all the same to me)) right now).
I'm usually not one to wave the Red Sox pom poms at the first sit of resurgence....but given the teams they've managed to do it against, I'm on the bandwagon and excited about the possibility of this team going forward.
Just building myself up to only be let down again? Possibly.....god I hope not, because I'll break someone or something if they return to the abyss that was April.