The Red Sox wrapped up the unofficial first half of the season yesterday with Josh Beckett pitching a complete game in a 6-0 shutout of the Kansas City Royals. It was just late last week when Mike Felger was attempting to stir the masses into a panic, constantly harping for hours about how the Sox had blown a five game lead in the AL East since June 24th. Now just days later, the Sox are back to a three game lead in the division, thanks to the Yankees losing three in a row to the Angels.
Adam Kilgore has Josh Beckett getting the 100th win of his career with the victory. Dan Duggan has Beckett continuing to dominate the opposition. Bill Ballou has Beckett hitting the All Star break in postseason form. Joe McDonald has the Sox sitting pretty as they head into the All Star break. Dom Amore says that the Royal might as well has not gotten out of bed yesterday. Eric Avidon has Beckett making the afternoon memorable. Glen Farley has Beckett giving the Sox bullpen some relief with his complete game.
Kilgore has a feature on Tim Wakefield, set to make his first All Star appearance, and talks at length with the man who brought him to the Red Sox, former GM Dan Duquette. Alex Speier has a similar look at Wakefield’s arrival in Boston, and has him as one of the top free-agent signings in Red Sox history.
Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox should be rested and in a great position to start the second half. Brian MacPherson has Daniel Bard remaining solid during the recent bullpen struggles by the Red Sox. Jim Donaldson has Beckett one of the hottest in baseball right now. Mike Petraglia says that Beckett is without peer right now. Lenny Megliola says that the Sox are looking strong at the break, but they could be even better. Mike Fine takes a quick-hit look at the first half. Chaz Scoggins says that the Sox are just half-satisfied with their season.
Kilgore has Clay Buchholz getting the call to start the second half of the season for the Red Sox this Friday against Toronto. Rich Thompson has more on Buchholz set to make his 2009 debut on Friday. The Projo says that Buchholz hopes to make the most of this opportunity.
Julian Benbow has Aaron Bates having a strong game in what might’ve been his last game with the Sox before heading back down to Pawtucket. Rich Thompson has Bates making a statement yesterday. Joe Haggerty has Dustin Pedroia declining his All Star nod. McAdam also writes about the All-Star pass from Pedroia. McDonald has more on Pedroia choosing family over the All-Star Game. Pedroia bowing out opened a spot for Haverhill’s Carlos Pena, as Bill Burt points out.
Kilgore’s notebook has Dustin Pedroia choosing to skip the All Star game and instead be with his wife. Duggan’s notebook has Nick Green ready to face whatever the second half holds for him with the impending return of Jed Lowrie. Ballou’s notebook has Buchholz tabbed to start the second half of the season for the Sox. McDonald’s Red Sox Journal has Bates ending the first half on a hot streak. Amore’s notebook has more on Buchholz getting his shot. Burt’s notebook has Beckett just short of perfect yesterday. Farley’s notebook has more on Pedroia’s decision to stay home from the All Star game.
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