On a night that the Red Sox broke the record for consecutive sellouts, Jon Lester threw 119 pitches and dominated a struggling Rays team as the Red Sox won 3-0 to gain yet another game on the Rays in the AL East. Between the surging Sox and the struggling Rays, Boston has gained 5 games in the last 7 days to close their deficit to only one half game....the closest they've been to first place in two months.
While I'm a little concerned about Lester's pitch count, the game was still very much in question and lets face it, the guy is a horse. The big lefthander appears to be getting stronger as the season goes on. He is now 9-1 at home with a 2.37 era at Fenway. He's been the Sox anchor and has set the tone for the series. Boston now sends Dice-K and Josh Beckett to the mound in their effort to regain the AL East lead.
The Sox got to Edwin Jackson early, scoring three runs in the first via a David Ortiz rbi double, Youk's rbi single and a crushed solo tater to center field from Jason Bay (he now has 28 for the year).....and it's a good thing they did as Jackson settled in and rendered them scoreless for the rest of his outing. Coco Crisp continued his surprisingly productive play, going 3 for 3 and extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Covelli hit .305 in August and is hitting .529 in the month of September...pushing his average up to .291 for the year....a number I never thought I'd see from Crisp. Good for him.
We all know you don't have to win the division to have success in the playoffs, but it sure looks like the Sox are poised to take home the AL East crown. They are winning and playing well at the right time of the season and have a favorable schedule down the stretch.
-Can we finally stick a fork in the Yanks, it has bothered me how much press they continued to get over the past few weeks while sitting 11 games out of the division and 7 out of the wild card. It's safe to say let's not talk about them again this year.
-NESN just showcased a great stat....Jonathon Papelpon has the lowest ERA in major league history for pitchers with a minimum of 200 innings pitched. The closest pitcher was from the early 1900's. In fact, the most recent pitcher in the top 5 was from 1917...safe to say this guy is special.