By Andy Lindberg
The Red Sox weren’t aggressive this past week; they were dominant. Heading into Monday’s off day in the midst of a nine-game win streak, Boston is sitting pretty with the best record in the American League, a record previously scoffed at by the Boston fans in April. For the first time since 1912, the Red Sox have swept the Yankees twice in New York. This past week Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield, and Josh Beckett all put up wins against the Yankees. For Beckett, it was his third win in three starts against New York; all three seeing him beat down CC Sabathia. Beckett made one mistake in his Thursday outing, a 3-1 fastball that was a little too far over the plate which was mashed by Curtis Granderson for a two-run homer. However as has been the case this week, Boston exploded for seven runs in the seventh inning against the bombers to put them away.
The weekend Toronto series wasn’t even close. Coming off of a very late game Thursday, Boston entered Friday with many expecting them to lose because of how tired the team must have been.
Clay Buchholz said no.
In his best outing yet, Buchholz mastered the Jays’ offense to the tune of seven innings and one run allowed in a 5-1 Boston win. Buchholz’s back seemed to be better and hopefully it can stay loose the rest of the season. The next two games weren’t even a little close.
On Saturday Boston blasted Toronto 16-4, the most runs Boston has ever scored against the Jays. On Sunday the Red Sox put up a 14-1 victory that saw Jon Lester hit a 9-2 record, good for the most wins in the American League.
As has been the usual the past two weeks, the Boston offense has been outstanding, with the exception of J.D. Drew, who struck out four times on Sunday and is batting a mere .227 on the season.
But Drew’s woes can be overlooked when David Ortiz clearly thinks it’s 2006 again and Adrian Gonzalez keeps mashing. Shoot, even Jason Varitek whacked a three-run blast to right field in Saturday’s drubbing.
Upon trading for Gonzalez, Boston fans knew he was going to be good, but we did not know he would be just this good. If he is pitched away, he takes the ball to the opposite field for power. If pitchers come inside, Gonzalez will rip the ball down the line. There’s no clear way to get him out right now. How he isn’t the leading first base vote getter for the All-Star game right now is stupefying. Fans have once again proven their ineptitude at picking an All-Star squad, and that privilege must be taken away from them, especially because now the All-Star game decided home field in the World Series. The same can be said for Ortiz. Ortiz is punishing left-handers this year by taking the ball to left field with power. He is catching up to the fastball and laying off of bad pitches he used to chase to start the previous two seasons. Dustin Pedroia is heating up again as well, raising his batting average from .247 to .261 all in this week.
This week Boston heads to Tampa Bay to open that series up on Tuesday, followed by a weekend series at Fenway against big Prince Fielder and the Milwaukee Brewers.