Sunday, June 12, 2011

Boston Red Sox - Team Of The Week (6/6-612)

Starting 0-6 and being a season low 8 games under .500 at 2-10, we knew the Red Sox were a lot better than that (as you can see they were both of our World Series winners in our 2011 projections).  With that lineup and pitching staff it was only a matter of time before they got hot and made a run as the AL's best team.

The week started with a huge 3 game series in the Bronx against the Yankees, a fight for first place.  Boston trailed the Yankees by a game coming in and had their chance to take over 1st place in the AL East.

The Red Sox wasted no time as Jacoby Ellsbury hit a lead off homer against Freddy Garcia, Adrian Gonzalez tripled in Pedroia who walked and then Youkilis hit a sac fly to score Gonzalez, to give the Sox a 3-0 lead after the top of the 1st.  Robinson singled in a run off lester in the bottom half of the 1st, but Pedroia's RBI double in the 2nd gave the Sox their 3-run lead right back.  The scored stayed 4-1 until the 5th when David Ortiz hit a 2-run homer to right, but Nick Swisher hit a 2-run double in the bottom half to cut the lead to 6-3.  Going into the bottom of the 9th with a 6-3 lead, the Sox brought in closer Jonathan Papelbon to close it out.  Things got interesting after Jorge Posada singled in Brett Gardner who led the inning off with a walk, but with 2 outs Papelbon struck out Alex Rodriguez who was the tying run to end the game.  The 6-4 win tied the Yankees and Red Sox as the AL East division leaders.  Jon Lester picked up his 8th win of the year as he pitched 6 innings allowing 8 hits, 3 runs, a walk and 5 strike outs.  Yankees starter Freddy Garcia only lasted 1.2 innings, giving up 4 hits, 4 runs and 3 walks.



With the AL East lead up for grabs, the Sox once again wasted no time jumping out to a 3-0 off AJ Burnett in the 1st thanks to a David Ortiz 2-run home run.  JD Drew made it 4-0 in the 2nd as he delivered a sac fly.  With 1 out in the 4th the Red Sox loaded up the bases and Jason Varitek grounded into a fielders choice which scored a run to make it 5-0 and runners on 1st and 3rd.  Ellsbury followed up with a double to deep right that scored Carl Crawford and Pedroia capped off the inning with an RBI infield single that scored Varitek to make it 7-0.  A-Rod got the Yankees on the board off Tim Wakefield with a solo home run to lead off the 4th.  The Yankees bats started coming alive in the 5th as Francisco Cervelli singled in a run and then scored on a Derek Jeter double, and Mark Teixeira hit a sac fly to score Jeter to cut the lead to 7-4.  In the 6th, Boone Logan came on in relief of Burnett and ended up walking Adrian Gonzalez with the bases loaded to make it 8-4 Red Sox.  After Cervelli's single made it 8-5, the Red Sox got a solo home run from Carl Crawford and a 2-run homer from JD Drew for an 11-5 lead.  Teixeira added an RBI single in the bottom of the 9th, as the Sox win 11-6, picking up their 5th straight in the Bronx this year,.  Tim Wakefield improved his record to 3-1, and Alfredo Aceves picked up a save going 3.2 innings.

With the pressure on the Yankees to avoid the sweep they sent CC Sabathia to the mound to take on Josh Beckett, but they would have to wait 3 hours and 27 minutes to get started after a bad storm that hit the East coast.  When the game finally started, it was the Yankees who finally jumped out to an early lead as Curtis Granderson hit a 2-run homer in the 1st, and the game would reamin 2-0 until the 7th when the Red Sox exploded for 7 runs off CC Sabathia and David Robertson. In that 7th inning the Red Sox had 5 singles, 2 doubles and a triple as 6 different players had an RBI in the inning, and David Ortiz went 2-2 with a single, double, a run scored and 2 RBI.  The Red Sox went on to win the game 8-3 sweeping the Yankees and now having a 2 game lead in the AL East.  After the Granderson home run, Beckett really settled down going 7 innings, allowing 4 hits, 2 runs, walking 2 and striking out 6 as he improved to 5-2 on the year with a 2.06 ERA.  Sabathia was lights out through the first 6, but after a rough 7th his final pitching line showed 6.2 innings, 8 hits, 6 runs, 2 walks, 5 strike outs and falling to 7-4 with a 3.15 ERA.

With the Sox 2 games up on the Yankees and winning their last 6, they traveled to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays, another division rival.  The Red Sox won this game 5-1 as they scored 2 in the 3rd inning, 2 in the 5th inning and 1 more in the 9th.  The top of the Red Sox order (Ellsbury, Pedroia and Gonzalez) did most of the work offensively as they combined to go 8 for 13 with 4 runs, 2 doubles and 3 RBI.   Clay Buchholz pitched a great game going 7 innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks and 6 strike outs as he improved to 5-3 on the year.

Now on a roll the Red Sox had their best offensive game of the year as they explode for 18 hits and 16 runs as they go on to win 16-4, their 7th in a row.  In the 3rd inning the Sox put together 4 hits, a walk and a hit by pitch to jump out to a 4-0 lead.  In the 4th, Dustin Pedroia added another run on his RBI double.  The Blue Jays jumped back into the game after Raji Davis hit a 2-run double with 2 outs off John Lackey to make it 5-2 after 4 innings.  But the Red Sox again produce a big inning as they get an RBI single by JD Drew and 3-run homers from Jason Varitek and David Ortiz as they take a commanding 12-2 lead.  In the 6th the Red Sox added another run and the Blue Jays scored two, but the Red Sox finished the scoring with a 3-run 8th inning.  Lackey went 6 innings, allowing 6 hits and 4 runs but it was plenty to pick up his 4th win of the year.  Brandon Morrow for the Blue Jays pitched one of the worst games of his career only going 4.1 innings, allowing 10 hits and 9 runs as his ERA increases to 5.63.  The Blue Jays bullpen wasn't much better as they went 4.2 innings, allowing 8 hits and 7 runs.

Apparently a 12 run win wasn't good enough for the Red Sox, but 13 was as Boston wins 14-1 finishing off their 3rd straight sweep to give them 9 straight wins.  Adrian Gonzalez's home run in the 1st got the offense going as the Sox took a 3-1 lead into the 5th.  The 5th inning was one Kyle Drabek hopes to forget about in the future.  Before recording an out, Drabek allowed a single, 2-run home run, double, passed ball, walk, wild pitch, and a 3-run home run.  Once it was 8-1 and still nobody out Drabek was done.  Marco Scutaro added an RBI single to give Boston a 9-1 lead. In the 6th Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia had RBI doubles to give Boston a 12-1 lead.  Kevin Youkilis put the finishing touches on an absolute one sided series with a 2-run homer in the 9th to give Boston the 14-1 win.

Boston not only swept the Blue Jays but they embarassed them outscoring them 35-6, including a 12 run win and a 13 run win.  The Red Sox have now won 9 consecutive including 3 series sweeps against the Athletics, Yankees and Blue Jays.  After a 2-10 start the Red Sox are now 39-26, which means they have gone 37-16 in their last 53 games.  This is the type of baseball we all expected to see from them heading into the season after acquiring Carl Crawford in free agency and trading for Adrian Gonzalez.  We will be seeing this team playing in the World Series, there is no doubt about it.  Other than unfortunate injuries, do you see it possible for any team to beat the Boston Red Sox in a 5 or 7 game series?

Notable Player Stats
  • Jon Lester - 14 Innings, 10 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 13 strike outs, 2-0
  • Jacoby Ellsbury - 14/30, 10 runs, 3 doubles, home run, 4 RBI, 2 SB, 2 BB
  • Dustin Pedroia - 9/19, 6 runs, 3 doubles, home run, 8 RBI, 7BB
  • Adrian Gonzalez - 8/22, 7 runs, 4 doubles, triple, home run, 10 RBI, 4 BB
  • David Ortiz - 9/35, 8 runs, 2 doubles, 4 home runs, 13 RBI, 3 BB
  • Marco Scutaro - 10/24, 7 runs, 3 doubles, 2 RBI, BB
Previos winner - Texas Rangers
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