Tuesday, May 15, 2007

When Teams full of All-Stars Play Like Them

The Red Sox success this season hasn't come from any mysterious brew. Although they do lead the AL in runs scored (205-200 over the New Yorkers, the Sox having played an extra game), the answer is simply pitching.

The Red Sox have never, except perhaps during an eight game stretch in the 2004 playoffs, had starting pitching this consistent. And that can change in a heartbeat, or maybe the tear of Josh Beckett's finger. Last night the Sox needed someone to step up and give the bullpen a breather, and doryoku occurred, Daisuke Matsuzaka delivered a complete game, seen about as often as black swans at Fenway.

The Sox are second in ERA (3.21) in the AL (in a smaller ballpark than Oakland's mausoleum), are fourth in quality starts with 22 (the Angels lead with 25), have the league's lowest OPS against (.648), the second highest K/BB ratio (2.4) which predicts future ERA, and are tied for the fewest blown saves (2).

We haven't yet reached the quarter pole, and the Sox have four starters with four or more wins, and the Sox bullpen has an amazing ERA of 2.34 in an ERA where sluggers still muscle up like, well, they're shooting up.

Sure, things can change, but the Sox also are developing a stable of young, potentially solid starters in the minors, with Jon Lester, Clay Buchholtz, and Michael Bowden (recently promoted to AA) all prospects, not just suspects.

Let's be thankful for what we have.

1 comment:

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