The Red Sox finally have the spotlight all to themselves…
After a shaky (but scoreless) first inning, Clay Buchholz settled down nicely last night, shutting out the Los Angeles Dodgers for 6 2/3 innings improving to 10-4 on the season while lowering his ERA to 2.47 in the Red Sox 2-0win over the Dodgers at Fenway Park. The win gave the Red Sox a sweep over LA this weekend.
Believe it or not, after their shaky start, and the media driven scorn and panic over the “run prevention” mantra, the Red Sox have the best record in the Majors since that rocky start, and have now tied the Tampa Rays in the standings, just one game behind the Yankees in the AL East. Something many experts thought impossible, given the start that the Rays got off to.
Peter Abraham has making a case to be an All Star this year with another strong performance. Brian MacPherson notes that for the second straight game, the pitching line didn’t tell the whole story for Buchholz, but also for the second straight game, it didn’t matter. John Tomase has the Red Sox crushing this homestand. Maureen Mullen has Buchholz settling in after a rough first inning. Mike Fine has Buchholz relaxing before the game by playing with the young sons of David Ortiz and Victor Martinez.
Bill Ballou says that Theo Epstein and the Red Sox deserve credit for not giving up on Buchholz. Joe McDonald has Buchholz rewarding the Red Sox patience in him. Ron Chimelis notes that Buchholz could make a run at the Cy Young award if he keeps up this pace. Speier has a look at how the Dodgers missed outon Buchholz.
Nick Cafardo wraps up a strange weekend with Manny’s quiet return and expressing regret over how he handled things at the end of his run here, and Roger Clemens sitting in the Monster seats on Friday night (unknown to the Red Sox). MacPherson has Kevin Youkilis talking about what he learned over the years from watching Manny Ramirez hit. Steve Buckley takes his predictable, tired shots at Manny Ramirez.
Lenny Megliola has the Red Sox resurgence coming as a sweet surprise now that they are once again the focus of our attentions. Steve Buckley has Mike Cameron a quiet contributor to the Red Sox run since his return. McDonald has a piece on the benefits of player-son bonding at the ballpark.
Danny Picard has a heads-up base-running move from Dustin Pedroia proving to be the difference in this one, as he made the Dodgers pay for their shift on David Ortiz. Alex Speier has Pedroia’s teammates marveling at the picture perfect play. Robert Mays has Pedroia putting on a show last night, at the plate and on the basepaths.
Laurel J. Sweet has a must-read piece about the horrific genetic disorder that has plagued former Sox outfielder Dwight Evans’ two sons – something that was going on during his playing days, but of which he never spoke a word about to anyone involved with the Red Sox.
Fine’s notebook has Terry Francona remembering his time as a kid in his dad’s locker room. Picard’s notebook has Pedroia and Adrian Beltre extending their 10 game hitting streaks. Ballou’s notebook has Buchholz on pace for 20 wins this season. MacPherson’s Red Sox Journal has more Francona memories on being the little guy in the clubhouse. Abraham’s notebook has Buchholz getting some help behind him in this one. Tomase’s notebook has more on Pedroia’s heads-up baserunning.
Mark Murphy has the Celtics needing to get right back to business with the draft and free agency looming. Paul Flannery provides a primer on what awaits the Celtics this summer. Steve Bulpett has a detailed look at the Celtics roster and what could happen with each player.
Christopher Price looks what the Patriots’ rookies have experienced to this point, and what’s ahead for them. Mark Farinella blasts the “Patriots’ sycophantic fan base that refuses to acknowledge that the team that won three Super Bowls (and should have won a fourth) had finally grown too old and too deficient at several key positions to assert itself in the postseason.” Ho Hum.
The word sycophant is a favorite among sports writers. They LOVE to use it, tossing it around frequently, usually with the intent of trying to rile up their audience. The term actually means a “servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.”
So what favor exactly are the fans trying win from the Patriots, and how are they being a “servile self-seeker” as a group in this process? Please, explain.