"Fatman Returns" or some other meaningless title as the Sox seized the moment behind eight innings of three-hit, shutout ball by David Wells (2-2) to move to 9-6 and regain a share of first place with Baltimore. Jason Varitek added a three-run homer off former Sox Bruce Chen.
The Sox shutdown hot-hitting Brian Roberts and Miggy Tejada en route to the rout.
This was the second consecutive shutout appearance for Wells, who lowered his ERA to 3.51, and has allowed only 2 walks in more than 25 innings.
Matt Clement faces Oriole ace Rodrigo Lopez (2-0, 2.66) today.
Stat mongering. The Sox road record went to 3-4 versus their 6-2 home slate thus far. Although the Sox have been productive lately, only two regulars, Varitez and Johnny Damon are hitting over .300, so even better days could be ahead.
The Sox are second in runs scored (the penultimate stat after wins), third in OPS and tied for second in home runs. They are 12th in stolen bases, to which we all will recall the importance of Dave Roberts.
They are 6th in ERA, 5th in strikeouts per nine innings, and fifth in strikeout to walk ratio. Unbelieveably, Minnesota has a strikeout to walk ratio of 5.88, that must lead the history of baseball, even at this juncture.
On the quality start watch, the Sox are now 7-2 in games with quality starts, and 2-4 in games with non-quality starts.
Alumni field. Does it really matter how Sox alumni are doing for their new teams? No. But we watch anyway, right? Nomar Garciaparra (is it true teammates called him "Glass" in the minors(?)) was carried from the field with a severe groin injury. Nomar has been hitting .157 with limited production thus far in a contract year. Derek Lowe is 1-1 with a sparkling 1.27 ERA for the streaking Dodgers while Pedro is 1-0 with a very solid 2.45 ERA for the surprising Mets. Dave Roberts is hitting .286 for the Padres in very limited action and Doug ("ballhawk") Mientkiewicz is hitting .275 with a .776 OPS for the Mets.
Farm Boys. The Portland Sea Dogs fell to 11-2 losing 6-5 to Binghamton. Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia both got the collar and Manny DelCarmen got roughed up for two homers in the first two frames.