By Andy Lindberg
The Red Sox still have the ability to shock the most cynical of fans.
This week Boston hit the road to win six out of seven games, losing a 4-1 decision to the White Sox on Sunday for their only blemish. Sure, the Sox played the Twins and White Sox, neither team a world-beater; but those are the teams that must be beaten to win a World Series. Felix Doubront (1-0) further proved he was starting pitcher material with a win in game one of the Chicago series, allowing three runs in six innings to finally earn his first win of the year.
The bullpen didn’t collapse (although they certainly tried in the Twins series at times).
Jon Lester (1-2) out-dueled Jake Peavy in a stellar 1-0 win on Saturday as well. Winning that contest was crucial for Boston because it showcased their ability to out-pitch an opponent rather than out-slug, something they have yet been unable to do in the first month of this season.
Last week I wrote more about Boston’s near certain demise. The Red Sox are not yet out of the woods. There is still a lot of work to be done for this team to contend in a very tough division. The additions of Rich Hill and the possibility of a Daisuke Matsuzaka return before May is out, along with using Aaron Cook out of the bullpen would signal the pitching depth and help Boston still most desperately needs.
Although the Red Sox finish this April with one less win than April of 2011, they still hold a better record. At 10-11 this season, the Red Sox improved on their 11-15 record to end the April of 2011. We will see if they can improve on their impressive 19-10 May 2011 record in order to creep out of the basement in the American League East.