For those who were not already aware, the Red Sox won last night.
And they did so using offense.
This is not something we are entirely unfamiliar with, but it is something that we seem to have been missing for a few weeks now. So to call it a relief might be a bit of an understatement.
It feels a bit silly to post a long-winded recap of the events of a game more than 12 hours after its conclusion, so here are the salient points:
- Ryan Lavarnway left the bases loaded twice in the first three innings.
- The Royals scored first in the third on a sacrifice fly that could have been extra bases had Jacoby Ellsbury not made an amazing play out in right-center.
- The Sox took the lead right back in the fourth, however, with a double from Carl Crawford and a triple from Darnell McDonald(!).
- Ryan Lavarnway then picked up his first hit in the fifth, and scored his first run when Jarrod Saltalamacchia brought three men in with his 12th homer of the season. Keep in mind that he doesn't even have 300 plate appearances this year, so that number isn't unimpressive.
- ESPN would later joke about said homer, informing us that Salty "has 99 problems, but a pitch ain't one." Way to go, Bristol.
- Andrew Miller actually did a solid job, with 5.1 innings of one-run ball on a low pitch count. Alfredo Aceves then did his usual thing by recording 11 outs for the long save.
- All-in-all, the Sox had 13 hits, 18 baserunners, and 7 runs. A good day's work.
So here the Sox stand, up 2-0 in the series, and with Tim Wakefield and Jon Lester set to take on Felipe Paulino (who is actually pretty good) and Danny Duffy (not so much). Their offense has shown signs of waking up despite the ridiculous lineup that came out last night, and meanwhile Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz are getting some much-needed rest.
Coming out of their series loss to Tampa Bay, the Sox had an 11-11 record over their last 22 games. It's perhaps worth noting that this streak started with their split series against the Royals, when they blew them out twice and went largely without offense twice.
Would it be too poetically appropriate to hope that maybe the Royals will be the team to break them back out of things? I certainly hope not. The Yankees have somehow managed not to take much advantage of the situation, leaving us just half-a-game back in the division. And while our wild card lead appears relatively safe, I'm a fan of home field advantage, and would honestly prefer short-series Verlander and the Tigers' lineup to Texas' murderers' row and gauntlet of lefties. And that's assuming they manage to hold off the Indians.
Am I making too much out of one game to be talking division titles and ended slumps? Quite possibly, yes. But at least until tonight I've got hope that we're done with this period of mediocrity and ready to get back to kicking ass.