Boston won their 26th series (tops in baseball) yesterday beating L.A. 8-1 and regained sole possession of first place in the A.L. East in the process.
Jake Peavy (who always reminds of me of Jeremy Renner) went complete game, allowing 3 hits, striking out 5 and only walking one. The other Boston starters in the series also had good nights as John Lackey also went complete game in his 2-0 loss and Jon Lester went 8 innings for his win.
Mike Napoli hit a monster 2-run shot and Salty added an opposite field 2-runner himself. Both guys are favs of mine and I'm happy to see them have good games. Napoli's been struggling for a while and with a couple days off, seems to have come back with a vengence, hitting for power and average. Nice to see Salty, who's leading the team in doubles, still hitting some homers and he's finally starting to get some credit for being good behind the plate as well. With Ross back to give him the occasional day off, I'm expecting a good rest of the season from the big catcher.
There was a lot of chatter prior to this road trip that this was where the Rays would finally overtake Boston and get a solid hold on first. Instead, the Rays are right where they started with the Sox holding a one game lead after going 4-2 on the trip and now return home to face the Orioles.
Remarkably, a team that was projected by all the supposed brilliant baseball minds to finish dead last in the division, has been in first solely, tied or only a 1/2 game out since May. This is a scrappy, hard-playing team that wants to win bad. I'm not a big fan of the Grizzly Adams beards, but there's a vibe with these guys not unlike the "cowboy up" version of the Sox that won the 2004 series. How cool would it be for them to win it all this year after the two year nightmare they've endured?