… but the Red Sox seem to be sneaking Jamesian bullpen philosophies back into their gameplan. For the second straight appearance, Jonathan Papelbon was used in the eighth, in a situation where he might not have been used in the ninth, which is exactly what happened after the Sox exploed for six runs. If ever there were a pitcher with the stuff and the mindset to test the "most important outs" theory, it’s Papelbon.
… but those bullpen numbers are a bit more even now. Sox: 24 IP, 18 H, 7 BB, 9 ER, 1.04/3.38. Yanks: 39.1 IP, 24 H, 18 BB, 11 ER, 1.07/2.52. Also of note, the Sox’ pen has yet to blow a starter’s lead. There’s a long way to go, but the feared/hoped for (depending on your perspective) multiple-choke meltdown in the opening weeks has yet to occur.
… but this format got old pretty fast.
As was mentioned in the game comments, when are Bob Ryan and Gerry Callahan going to write their apologies to J.D. Drew for criticizing and demeaning him without ever seeing him play? Not only has he hit the ball literally every single game, but there seems to be some passion and *gasp* grit there, too. Gritty Drew. Drewty. Drew Grit. I’ll stop now.
Also mentioned in the Sox gamer, Julio Lugo has looked just fine to me. Who would be upset to see a .324/.395/.442 line from your leadoff man at the end of the season? His two steals in nine games project to 36 over the course of the season. Just sayin’.
With 14-run and 10-run explosions sandwiching the King Felix start, can we officially consider the Sox offense healed? Well, maybe not until Manny is slugging higher than .226.
Even if the Sox are still struggling on offense, they aren’t doing as badly as this: .212/.282/.315 for a dismal .597 OPS and 28 runs scored in nine games (3.11 per game). "What team is that?" you might ask. Well, it’s not any one team. It’s the offensive line of the Red Sox’ opponents, who have scored more than three runs exactly twice.