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Sunday, August 4, 2013

If Buchholz Ever Decides To Return This Season, The Red Sox Would Have Some Kind of Rotation

They are doing it in many different ways and the bottom line is that the Red Sox continue to stack up victories and series wins in 2013, a far cry from 2012 (only 1 win away from last year's pathetic total). Boston (68-45 overall, 39-21 home) moved to a season-high 23 games over .500 with a 4-0 shutout of the Diamondbacks (56-55 overall, 26-31 away) this afternoon at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox have the most wins in MLB, one more than the Braves and Pirates, and they won the series (2-1) while wrapping up a memorable homestand (5-2 with a pair of walk-off wins and Jake Peavy's debut being the main highlights besides today). They also lead MLB with 23 series wins.

There was a time when Felix Doubront (8-5) could be counted on for short outings and high pitch counts. This latest quality start marked 15 straight outings where he's given up three runs or less, not bad right? He went seven solid innings, allowing five hits with five strikeouts. My two favorite numbers for him: 95 pitches and zero walks.

Rookie Drake Britton still hasn't allowed a run in MLB, he pitched a scoreless eighth and Koji Uehara had a scoreless ninth (don't ask me why he appeared with a four-run lead). Matt Thornton left with an oblique injury, he was the first guy out of Boston's bullpen.

Brandon McCarthy (2-5) kept Boston off the scoreboard for four innings but Jacoby Ellsbury changed that with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Dustin Pedroia added an RBI double two batters later.

The Red Sox added two more runs in the sixth which was more than enough. Ellsbury and Shane Victorino (2 hits) each had RBI singles. I'd say that the top of the lineup got it done today for Boston. Ellsbury owed his RBI to Arizona right fielder Gerardo Parra who lost his easy fly ball in the sun, this came after a first inning error by Parra.

Cody Ross and Martin Prado each had a pair of singles for the Diamondbacks in the loss.

Boston will play 16 of its next 19 games on the road. There next 10 contests are all away from Fenway (longest road trip of the season), starting with three in Houston (36-74, 5th in NL West)-MLB's worst team-beginning tomorrow night (8:10, NESN) with Texas native John Lackey (7-8) vs. rookie Brett Oberholtzer (1-0). Knuckleballer Steven Wright (2-0) makes his first career MLB start on Tuesday (8:10, NESN) vs. Jordan Lyles (4-5). Ryan Dempster (6-8) closes it out at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday (8:10, NESN) against another rookie-Jarred Cosart (1-0). The Red Sox swept a four-game series with the Astros April 25-28 at Fenway.

That's followed by four against the red-hot Royals (seriously) in Kansas City and three in Toronto against the hapless Blue Jays. Boston's next game at Fenway isn't until August 16 vs. Yankees.

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