It's already May, which is a bit terrifying, but your Boston Red Sox do enter the second month of the big-league season with the best record in baseball. Let's recap some of how they got there.
Ben points out that the Sox' impressive record becomes all the more remarkable considering that April was projected as a difficult month for the team, with a host of division games. May could provide Boston with a bit more breathing room. Matt Sullivan looked at the Sox' numbers so far and points out that while the wins are certainly real, we'll want to see more against top contenders before making plans for October.
The key to Boston's resurgence has, of course, been its pitching staff. Matt Collins examined the results to see how much of that staff's success can be traced to its new coaching staff of John Farrell and Juan Nieves Marc took an even closer look, focusing on Farrell's impact on the mechanics of Jon Lester, who's appeared to return to his pre-2012 form. Boston's other ace, Clay Buchholz, had such an impressive start to the season that he was named AL Pitcher of the Month for April, although his success against Toronto prompted their crack announcing team to accuse the slender righty of cheating. Said accusations are frankly too dumb for me to even go after, so I'll let Eck handle it.
Of course, you can never have too much pitching, as last night's meltdown by Felix Doubront proved. That's why it's nice to see onetime top prospect Anthony Ranaudo doing well in the minors this season. A healthy, productive Ranaudo makes an already stacked farm system even deeper in arms, which is not only valuable in terms of future Sox players, but also of course in trade possibilities. Ben examines one such possibility, considering whether the Sox might take a shot at acquiring Cliff Lee from the faltering Phillies. In less great pitching news, Andrew Bailey had to miss out on a save opportunity against Toronto with a sore bicep. Joel Hanrahan filled in pretty well, but it's possible the team will be shuttling closers for a while.
On the offensive side, rumors just started swirling that Boston might be searching for a new catcher, hoping for more production than Jarrod Saltalamacchia is currently giving them. Brian McCann's in the last year of his contract, which is a thought that actually made me drool a little. One thing Boston hasn't lacked of late is power. Although the offense seemed to center on timely singles and doubles for a few weeks early on in the season, the power game has returned. This is thanks largely to David Ortiz, who didn't miss a beat in returning to the Sox lineup (Also, I strangely haven't heard a single "ugh, they never should have re-signed him" line in two weeks. Weird.), and of course Mike Napoli, who turned two baseballs into confetti in Toronto the other night.
The Sox look to rebound against Texas today with John Lackey on the hill. Enjoy the weekend.