Monday, December 9, 2013
(Continued from page 1)
Josh Beckett has a 4.26 ERA. He seems to have been settling in after some early bumps.
Offensively, the Red Sox are rolling despite having Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Cody Ross on the disabled list, and Dustin Pedroia possibly heading there.
Defensively, Boston is sound, and making those extra plays that can win games -- like left fielder Daniel Nava throwing out a runner at second base Wednesday, or right fielder Ryan Sweeney throwing out a runner at home Thursday.
The bullpen is humming. Lefties Rich Hill (1.69 ERA) and Andrew Miller (2.38) have been added. Current closer Alfredo Aceves (10.29 in April) has a 2.89 ERA in May, while new setup man Vicente Padilla went from 8.00 in April to 2.92 in May.
"Got a great group of guys," Miller said. "We're tying to make it last."
The bullpen will last if it's not overtaxed.
The starting pitchers will set the tone. Their grade as a whole, over the first two months, is a C-minus at best. And yet Boston is not far from first place.
Just think what a Grade-A performance from the starters, especially Lester and Buchholz, would mean for this team.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: