Red Sox 5, Mariners 0: Quick Reaction

Beckett deserves the photo today. But...come on! (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

A fan could get used to this.

Another well-played game of baseball has the team on a five-game winning streak and looking like a real team all-of-a-sudden.

It's hard to imagine a game that would have provided a more positive outlook for the team than this one. For the fifth straight game, the Sox lineup provided at least four runs--an encouraging run of consistent production rather than the bunches we've seen in the last year or so. For the fifth straight game, the Sox played encouraging defense, not making much in the way of mistakes and adding a few impressive plays (Mike Aviles, I'm looking at you).

And, most importantly, for the first time ever, the Sox have gone once through the rotation without a bad start.

Sure, Buchholz and Bard struggled peripherally, and the former had his start messed up by a slow hook, but Doubront and Lester were both in good form, and Beckett today...

Oh, if this wasn't exactly what he needed.

After a week of overblown stories of golfing and dramatic denunciations from every which direction, Josh Beckett came out today and made a statement. Perfect through three, dominant through seven, allowing no runs and just six baserunners in his outing, striking out nine batters along the way with an exceptional curveball doing a lot of the damage. It was 2007 again, if with a little less gas.

Add that to another strong (if brief) bullpen performance, David Ortiz getting a homer and a bunt hit in the same game, and the excellent pregame ceremonies for Tim Wakefield, and you have perhaps the most enjoyable dayof baseball the Sox have treated us to yet this season. And after the last few games, that actually is saying something.

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