36-15: Beckett breezes in return

The Boston Red Sox won again last night 4-2 by leaning heavily on starting pitching and the bullpen, just as they have all season long. Fresh off the disabled list, Josh Beckett (8-0) showed the same intensity and sharpness that he had before his blistered finger. He needed only 91 pitches to go seven innings against the Indians, giving up two runs while walking only one and striking out seven. This is just a great outcome for the Red Sox, who continue to pull ahead in the AL East.

The bullpen pitched two scoreless innings, with Hideki Okajima taking the ball for save number 4. That was a curious choice, since Jonathan Papelbon did rest two days before, on May 27. Papelbon has also been rather hittable in a couple of recent outings (May 28 and May 20), which surprised me. This is pure speculation here, but I think Papelbon’s shoulder could be bothering him, or it could just be that the Sox are being extra careful with their stud closer. Their cautious usage of him thus far has me thinking that they won’t lean on him as much as they want to this year.

Kevin Youkilis watch: The Greek God of walks has expanded to reign over hits and home runs. Youk went 2-4 with yet another home run. Forget the 21-game hit streak- what about his current 9-game multi-hit streak? He’s amazing! He’s now tied for second in batting average in the AL. As good as he’s been, Youk is even better with runners in scoring position (.383/.474/.489). With Papi out of the lineup, he has been carrying this team with his bat.

Julio Lugo (.291 OBP) and Coco Crisp (.298 OBP) batted one and two in the order. We have to address that, don’t you think? What about putting Dustin Pedroia (.391 OBP) and Youkilis (.432 OBP) up there? I know, I’ve been advocating hitting Crisp second, but the last few games have dampened my enthusiasm for that. I was wrong.

David Ortiz is expected back in the next game, after sitting three games with hamstring soreness. The offense managed to score 15 runs in those three games, which is nice and shows that we are really rolling. Usually when Papi is out of the lineup, the offense tends to go kaput.

Jon Lester watch: Lester made a start at AAA Pawtucket, going five strong innings. He threw 79 pitches, 50 for strikes, and his fastball touched 95 mph, which it didn’t at all last year with the major league club. Lester didn’t allow a run, while walking two and striking out six. He’s looking primed to join the Red Sox, as his pitch count is up. Looks like Julian Tavarez is going to move back to the bullpen. Consider it punishment for that rolling the ball to first stunt.


One Response to 36-15: Beckett breezes in return

  1. firedannyainge says:

    Great game . Beckett did a great job after all that rest and I got to see Trot so:)


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