Four Red Sox Thoughts: Pitching, Lowrie, Varitek And More
BOSTON (CBS) – Thought I would stick with the Channel-4 theme on this Thursday and give you four items to digest on the Red Sox…
1). We now have the feeling of a baseball season around here after that bizarre start. You would expect a split with the A’s out in Oakland during a normal season. Oakland has gotten tremendous pitching so far this season and that’s what the Sox saw out of Brett Anderson on Tuesday night. Good job by the Sox to pull out a win Wednesday afternoon. Now it’s on to Anaheim where you would almost expect another split.
2). There are several reasons why the Sox have turned things around, but number one in my book is their starting pitching. Go back to last Saturday when Josh Beckett threw another gem (7IP 3H 1R 1ER 2BB 9 K) and that got the ball rolling. Sunday it was Jon Lester’s turn (6IP 6H 1ER 3BB 5K) as he didn’t have his best stuff, but gutted through it. Monday, the Sox saw the good Dice-K (7 one-hit, shutout innings with 1BB and 3K’s). Then Tuesday in Oakland John Lackey had his best start (6IP 1ER 1BB 3K) of the young season in a 5-0 loss. And finally, Clay Buchholz was solid (5.1IP 6H 1ER 4BB 2K) in Boston’s 5-3 win.
That’s a great turn through the rotation and it allowed the Sox to win 4 out of 5. During the 0-6 start the Sox were in a hole early in almost every game. It’s kind of like the Bruins and the first goal thing.
The question is now… can they keep that up?
3). Jed Lowrie has been the team’s offensive MVP so far. Doesn’t shock me at all. Jed was known as an offensive player when he came out of Stanford, he just hasn’t been healthy long enough to show it. I know Terry Francona loves his versatility, but you have to wonder when he takes over for Marco Scutaro as the starting shortstop. Also, it’s amazing to me just how much double, triple, and home run power he gets from his swing. He really drives the ball with what looks like little or no effort, and from both sides of the plate. His right-handed swing looks like the sweet swing that you see from most lefties like JD Drew and Adrian Gonzalez.
4). I agree with my colleague Tony Massarotti in that I think that Jason Varitek has settled down the pitching staff. However, it doesn’t mean that Saltalamacchia isn’t going to work out. I remember when Tek first came to the Red Sox from Seattle, Scott Hatteberg saw a good amount of time until Tek was ready for full-time duty. Patience is a tough word these days in sports, but it’s needed here.