Bad news, good news. The bad was the disruption of the Sox 17 game errorless streak with a first inning Mirabelli throwing error. The good news was an 11-5 trouncing of the Marlins, with both David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez going yard twice. Ramirez drilled a three-run shot into the bleachers in the first, his 2000th major league hit.
Tim Wakefield moved to 6-8 with his 150th Red Sox win, as Wakefield is among the Red Sox career pitching leaders in most categories.
The big picture is that the Sox have dominated interleague play, going 15-2. ESPN ranks the Sox number three in their power rankings, behind Chicago and Detroit.
The Sox have just been overall solid recently, in almost all areas. The infield is sound, and they have middle infield depth at Pawtucket between Pedroia and Machado.
The outfield came together with the return of Coco Crisp and the recovery of Gabe Kapler, who has been a talisman since his return, in addition to playing well.
The starters with Schilling, Beckett, Wakefield, and Lester provide a chance to win every game, and Kyle Snyder picked up a win tonight for the Pawsox. We'll see how Clement's recovery goes and where Jason Johnson fits in.
The bullpen is led by Papelbon and Timlin in defined closer and setup roles. Manny Delcarmen's stuff is showing and Craig Hansen is also getting valuable work. I suspect that the 'Ends with Z' crowd, Tavarez and Seanez will pitch better in the second half, AND have less responsibility as more falls on Delcarmen.
Notice how Alex Cora tried to deke Hanley Ramirez into thinking he had caught Mirabelli's errant throw? Cora is probably the headiest ballplayer I have ever seen with his overall play.
ESPN reports that Pedro Martinez had a 6.23 E.R.A. in June. In his appearance against the Sox, I only recall one fastball (up) over 90 mph, and Martinez could be either wearing down or hurt, which is why the Red Sox were not willing to go long (four years) for Pedro, regardless of how great he has been in the past.
Should be a fascinating matchup tomorrow with Jon Lester (3-0) facing off against Josh Johnson, who has been the Marlins' best starter.
Although I think the Remdawg is terrific, I do get a little 'pitch fatigue' from Jerry Remy's frequent shilling for his events and website. Hey, good luck to him.