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Are these the real Red Sox?

After last nights sweep of the Angels, The Red sox are on an 8-1 run. The Sox are now just 1 game below .500, and just 3.5 games behind the 1st place Yankees. WHAT! Seriously, the Red Sox are just 3.5 games behind the Yankees for the best record in the East. Is that not mind-blowing? This team was 2-10 after losing at home to the Blue Jays on April 15. Since then, they have lost only one game, and are 10-11 on the year. Their hitting has improved, but it’s their pitching that has caused such a turnaround. They allowed 1 run in each of the 3 wins against Toronto, 3 runs against the A’s, and 2 runs, 3 runs, and then 2 shutouts against the Angels. The Red Sox pitching staff has a 0.88 ERA over the 9 game span, which is the lowest amount since Babe Ruth was pitching in 1918. But will the Sox be able to keep this up?

Well, no, they won’t. Of course the Sox starters aren’t going to continue to have a team ERA under 1.00 for every 9 game span. But, they will be better than they were to start the season. Lester is off to a hot start, uncharacteristic of him. Beckett looks like he’s back to his ’07 form, which is a huge lift for this team. Dice-K has had back-to-back great starts, allowing just 1 hit in each. I don’t know if he can keep that up, but if he can get back to his 18 win production in the ’08 season, he will provide a huge lift as well. He is capable of such a season, but for some reason, he has never been able to put it all together in the US. Lackey had a good start last night, but don’t expect that again anytime soon. Coming off the win over the Angels, Lackey is now 4-0 against his old team, with an ERA under 4.00. He obviously knows the team very well, and probably has some hatred towards them letting him go to Boston. He has been awful this season, but maybe this could be a catalyst for the rest of his season. He’s not gonna be a 20 game winner, but if he can get to 15 or over, it would be a good season for him. The only pitcher who hasn’t lived up to expectations so far this year is Buchholz. To that I say, look at Lester. He is notorious for having slow starts, especially early in his career. Every year I would wonder if the April Lester was the real Lester. But as the season went on, he would turn into a dominant force. So I hope Buchholz will be like Lester. Because he’s still very early in his career, and hasn’t had great success until last year, I will lean towards this being some growing pains. I feel Buchholz will get better, and then the Red Sox will have a dominant pitching staff. The Sox are not so far away from getting to the top of the AL East as people think. There may yet be hope for this once left for dead team.

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