Breaking Out

Yesterday's destruction of the Cleveland Indians is clearly the high-water mark of the Boston Red Sox' 2011 season thus far. In decisively winning their 10th of 12 games, the Sox are now a major-league-best 25-12 since starting the season 2-10. They and Cleveland are the only AL teams with a winning percentage above .600 in that span, another sign of the bizarre parity we're seeing in baseball this year.

In pulling themselves back into the race — they are the best second-place team in all of baseball right now — the Sox have also pulled themselves back to their accustomed position at or near the top of the leaderboards. Yesterday's pummeling single-handedly pushed up the Sox' team OPS 15 points, and as a result, the Sox are now second in the AL to the Yankees in team OPS and third to New York and Cleveland in runs. They are second in hits to the Angels, second in doubles to the Royals (what?), and tied for second in home runs to New York. They are also tied with the Yankees for first in walks, and just seven total bases behind the Yankees for the league lead.

The pitching, on the other hand, still has a way to go. Although second in K/9, the Sox are at or below the league average in every other category. That might be misleading, thanks to how amazingly bad John Lackey (8.01 ERA), Dan Wheeler (9.24), Bobby Jenks (9.35) and Dennys Reyes (16.20) were in their combined 62.1 innings pitched (60 earned runs, 8.66 ERA). If they had allowed a still-terrible 5.05 ERA instead, the Sox' team ERA would plummet from 4.08 to 3.78.

At any rate, the Sox, now 10-5 in the sunlight, move to Detroit for a four-game series that includes two afternoon games, beginning with today's opener. The 2-10 start is nothing more than a bad dream. At 27-22, the Sox are ahead of the pace set by playoff clubs from 1916, 1967, 1988 and 1990, matching the pace of the 2005 Sox and one game behind the clubs from 1975, 1995 and 2009.

Feel free to use this thread to comment on this afternoon's action.

82 comments… add one

  • D-Mac on the DL, Reddick recalled to start in RF.
    Carl batting 6th again.
    mlbdotcom is a mess. Clicked on the WEEI feed and am getting WFAN. So I’m pissed off.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 12:39 pm
  • mlbdotcom problem is fixed.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 12:47 pm
  • IH, I am not sure you will get the WEEI feed until the game starts…which isn’t for 1/2 hour or so.

    SF May 26, 2011, 12:48 pm
  • Ells walks on 4 pitches.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 1:07 pm
  • Papi, Carl open 2nd w/ back to back singles. Sutton up.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 1:27 pm
  • Sutton doubles, Papi scores. Carl at 3rd. Reddick up.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 1:32 pm
  • Reddick singles, 2-0, 0 outs, corners.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 1:32 pm
  • Ells homers. 5-0. Just fucken drilled it.
    Still only 1 out.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 1:39 pm
  • I sneezed and it was 5-0. Yesterday I tuned in a few minutes late and it was 7-0.
    Wowzers.

    SF May 26, 2011, 1:41 pm
  • Scherzer gets the final out of the second on his 50th pitch of the game.
    Bos 5, Det 0, bot 2.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 1:42 pm
  • Al Kaline in the Sox radio booth with Joe.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 1:44 pm
  • mlbtv is awful today. Guess I have to work.

    SF May 26, 2011, 1:50 pm
  • CRAWDADDY!
    Triple plates two. He is on fire.

    SF May 26, 2011, 1:55 pm
  • Here comes Leyland. Sox doing some damage to ERAs around the league right now. Pythagoras is going to show the Sox as underachievers pretty soon if this keeps up.

    SF May 26, 2011, 1:56 pm
  • Carl w/ a 2-run triple. 7-0. Just missed a homer.
    Carl is 6 for his last 6. At this rate he’ll be batting .300 before the road trip ends.
    By the way, my 3-year-old daughter LOVES Carl Crawford. Inexplicable. I told her yesterday that Carl had four hits she was VERY excited. Charlotte is a fucking riot.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 1:57 pm
  • Scherzer is out.
    Lefty Adam Wilk is now making his major league debut. Sutton up.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 1:58 pm
  • Looks like a lot of bands of rain flanking Detroit. Get to the end of 5 leading please!

    SF May 26, 2011, 1:59 pm
  • Sutton can’t plate Crawford. 1 down and Carl still at third.

    SF May 26, 2011, 1:59 pm
  • Reddick looking confused by the lefty. He whiffs and Crawford still at third. I know they are up seven, but you have to plate a guy at third with nobody out, no matter the lead. Every run matters with guys like Aceves and Wake on the mound.

    SF May 26, 2011, 2:01 pm
  • Tek flies out. That’s a wasted opportunity frankly, even realizing the Sox scored two there.

    SF May 26, 2011, 2:03 pm
  • Wow, my ESPN app totally dropped the ball on score alerts. I returned from lunch expecting a 1-0 game, and it was 5-0. Got in just in time to see Crawford’s triple though.

    Paul SF May 26, 2011, 2:05 pm
  • I don’t think Aceves is -that- bad a pitcher that you should worry about scoring too much.
    That said, I think the Red Sox should play more day games.

    Djt2445 May 26, 2011, 2:05 pm
  • Reddick’s problem the last time he came up was his inability to take a pitch, ever. He certainly hasn’t shown much improvement in the tiny two-PA sample. Swung at the first pitch for an RBI single the first time up, then takes one borderline pitch for a strike and flails weakly at two balls for a three-pitch strikeout in a make-contact-no-matter-what situation. Hopefully, he’s just got some nerves going on, but he looked horrible in that strikeout.

    Paul SF May 26, 2011, 2:09 pm
  • Aceves is, track-record wise, a pretty decent pitcher. I just don’t know his stamina as a starter and whether he can keep going for 6 innings. I don’t mean to imply he’s a Sox-era Jon Smoltz or anything!

    SF May 26, 2011, 2:14 pm
  • Ellsbury with a nifty .358 OBP now. If he can stabilize at the .360+ mark that would be tremendous.

    SF May 26, 2011, 2:15 pm
  • At the current moment with the weather the way it is, I think the Sox would be best served taking the Reddick approach now!

    Djt2445 May 26, 2011, 2:18 pm
  • Sox up 7-0 and Gonzo and Pedroia are a combined 0-6, fancy that.

    SF May 26, 2011, 2:19 pm
  • I’m pleasantly surprised with Sutton so far. Though his double was certainly aided by the fact that Boesch is perhaps the slowest outfielder I have ever seen.

    Paul SF May 26, 2011, 2:21 pm
  • Aceves not making it easy for the Sox to get these five innings in.

    Paul SF May 26, 2011, 2:22 pm
  • Come on, Ace, don’t hit guys on 0-2 pitches. Dummy.

    SF May 26, 2011, 2:23 pm
  • What are the rules on suspensions/postponements/cancelations?

    Paul SF May 26, 2011, 2:25 pm
  • Rain pushing up from the south, hard to say it might fall once it gets there. Probably not long.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 2:26 pm
  • I really wish they had plated Crawford when they had that chance. I like “two grand-slam” leads.

    SF May 26, 2011, 2:27 pm
  • If Ace gets out of this the Sox need to go up HACKING.

    SF May 26, 2011, 2:27 pm
  • Sutton hit the ball very well in spring training.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 2:27 pm
  • Kee-rist. Come on, Ace.

    SF May 26, 2011, 2:30 pm
  • Yes! Inning over. 7-1 Sox after four. Let’s get this official with a nice lead, ok?

    SF May 26, 2011, 2:32 pm
  • 5 outs to go to get an official game.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 2:35 pm
  • Sox looking scary. Damn them.

    IronHorse (YF) May 26, 2011, 2:35 pm
  • My guess is rain delay would be 40-60 minutes.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 2:36 pm
  • Ace is really taking his time right now.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 2:51 pm
  • Tigers with runners on 2nd, 3rd, Ace gets out of it and we have an official game.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 2:54 pm
  • With a win today, Sox would move into a tie for first, although they’d trail the Yanks by a game in the loss column.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 2:57 pm
  • My inner weather geek thinks the rain will begin any minute.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 2:58 pm
  • We have an official game, according to gamecast.

    Djt2445 May 26, 2011, 2:59 pm
  • Its viewers choice day here in the UK with ESPN America, we had choice of the Sox or the Philies, guess who the public choose, so I am not a happy camper having to watch the Philies

    Polf May 26, 2011, 3:00 pm
  • So…Aceves…full-time in the rotation? I say Lackey replaces Wake when the time comes, since Aceves has so much damn upside.

    Devine May 26, 2011, 3:23 pm
  • And if Lackey stinks up the joint a couple starts in a row, I’d have no problem jamming Wake back in there.
    PS That effing sucks, Polf!

    Devine May 26, 2011, 3:24 pm
  • Carl with his second triple of the day, RBI. 9-1.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 3:24 pm
  • Man, he needed one of those triples yesterday.

    Djt2445 May 26, 2011, 3:25 pm
  • Ace > Matsuzaka

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 3:25 pm
  • Also, Crawford appears to have arrived what with his 7 hits in his last 8 ABs (two triples today!).

    Devine May 26, 2011, 3:27 pm
  • Can’t wait to tell Charlotte that Carl had two triples, 3 RBIs today.

    Carl is 8 for his last 9.

    DO NOT LEAVE CARL AT THIRD W/ FEWER THAN TWO OUTS AGAIN!!!

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 3:27 pm
  • Boy, they refuse to drive Crawford in from third with nobody out. Nuts.
    Also (though it’s only two spot starts), agree IBM…though I don’t know when/if Matsuzaka’s coming back.

    Devine May 26, 2011, 3:30 pm
  • My next task: write a press release for a guy who is sentenced to life + 60 years for his second murder.
    Life + 60. Who gives THAT sentence?

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 3:40 pm
  • Pedey 0-4. just when he appears ready to break out.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 3:42 pm
  • Lazer RBI double for Pedey. 1-5. 10-1.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 3:44 pm
  • Everybody hits!

    Devine May 26, 2011, 3:49 pm
  • Sheesh. What a pair of games this has been. Sutton just ripped his second double of the game. Crawford is 8 for 9. Ridiculous.

    Paul SF May 26, 2011, 3:56 pm
  • So whatcha wanna bet we see Crawford stranded at third AGAIN…?

    Djt2445 May 26, 2011, 3:58 pm
  • This is unreal …

    pale blue eyes May 26, 2011, 3:59 pm
  • Suddenly this team is a machine.

    Devine May 26, 2011, 3:59 pm
  • 14-1, I mean.

    pale blue eyes May 26, 2011, 3:59 pm
  • Three hits from Reddick in his 2011 debut. Sox have scored 14 runs in two consecutive games. Time to look up when that happened last.

    Paul SF May 26, 2011, 3:59 pm
  • Hell-bent on correcting their pythag record.

    Devine May 26, 2011, 4:00 pm
  • Maybe the Sox are hellbent on restoring the league’s overall offense all by themselves?
    The Sox are the first team since the Rangers in August 2008 to score 14+ runs in consecutive games. The Red Sox last did it in 1998, and this is only the eighth time in club history.

    Paul SF May 26, 2011, 4:03 pm
  • Consecutive 14-run games for the Sox. I like this day baseball concept.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 4:03 pm
  • And here comes the tarp.

    Paul SF May 26, 2011, 4:05 pm
  • By the way, the Orioles in the bottom of the 11th had the bases loaded with no outs and could not score. Getting runners home from third is a bitch.
    And finally, rain delay.

    pale blue eyes May 26, 2011, 4:06 pm
  • I swear, if they call the game right here, Crawford will have not scored from third -again-….

    Djt2445 May 26, 2011, 4:07 pm
  • He already scored. They delayed it before the Tigers could bat in the bottom of the eighth.

    Paul SF May 26, 2011, 4:17 pm
  • Forgot to note this : Sox 9-for-21 w/ RISP. So far.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 4:31 pm
  • Top post up, a tad on the snarky side (28 runs in two days will do that to you), but more seriously how did Cashman decide to let Aceves go considering their pitching situation? What’s the rationale there?
    It’s the dreaded small sample this year, but Aceves had been a solid pitcher and his injury was from a bike accident, not from too many innings. Surely they could have afforded to re-sign him after non-tendering him, right!?

    SF May 26, 2011, 4:36 pm
  • They could. But they offered him a minor league contract. Boston (and I think the Mets may have also) offered him a major league contract.

    Djt2445 May 26, 2011, 4:46 pm
  • SF, Nick Cafardo addressed that when he was in the Sox radion booth today. He said Cash told him the NYY got sick of Ace’s goofiness, that he had become rather unreliable.
    And you know, there’s the rub.
    As a GM, you know that dumping a guy like that might send the lesson he needs to learn. And you’re afraid that he actually learns the lesson and it comes back to haunt you to taking a tough stance.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 4:53 pm
  • Eh, that’s semi-BS to me. They couldn’t straighten his attitude out? Seriously, he was too “goofy”? He was so goofy he pitched reasonably well. So what was the risk to sign him, whose roster spot was he taking? Certainly there was no financial risk. And what was the downside, that he would keep pitching like he had? He was good while he was in NY.

    SF May 26, 2011, 4:58 pm
  • And they called the game. 14-1, Sox.

    Djt2445 May 26, 2011, 5:05 pm
  • It’s a final. 14-1.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 5:06 pm
  • I’m not saying I agree with the decision, SF.
    Pete Abes has written several times that the Yankees liked him but that Ace was kind of a stubborn cement head.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 5:08 pm
  • but that Ace was kind of a stubborn cement head
    And that differentiates him from most other ballplayers how?
    ;-)

    SF May 26, 2011, 5:14 pm
  • Well played, SF.

    Lest we forget to mention, the Red Sox are now tied for first place in the AL East with the second most wins in the AL.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 26, 2011, 5:18 pm
  • Cafardo’s got it right (although people still forget that Aceves has an unfixed slipped disc in his back…the collarbone was just icing on the injury cake).
    Sometimes teams like to send a message to their players to get serious, and the Yankees felt that Aceves, who wasn’t recovering from his injuries as quickly as they thought he should have, wasn’t being serious enough in his rehab.
    So their policy (or should I say process?) didn’t pan out in this instance. Hasn’t really hurt them one bit, given their surprisingly solid pitching, but it did help their rivals, and so that hurts too. But who would have guessed that the ‘pitching-rich’ Red Sox would be relying on a middle reliever with a chronic back injury?

    AndrewYF May 26, 2011, 6:37 pm

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