Good news travels far...and the Sox have made some progress with a three-game sweep over the Jays.
1. Fortune .500. After a miserable 4-9 start, the Sox have regained the .500 mark (Dirt Dogs' making a fortune and playing .500) with a 7-2 recovery, playing better baseball to boot. The Sox leapfrog Toronto and stand three games behind the Yankees. As I said before the season, fear the Rays.
2. Form fitting. Jon Lester notched his first win of the season with seven innings of one-hit baseball. Sure he wasn't exactly economical with pitches (110 in 6 innings, 119 overall), but he got the job done and shutout the Jays for seven innings. Also, as he did so often down the stretch last year, he had double digit strikeouts.
3. Cleanup crew. For the third consecutive night, the Sox got a clean save from the bullpen...with a Ramon Ramirez save sandwiched between a pair of Jonathan Papelbon saves. More than anything else, we need to wait for a bigger sample to see exactly what identity this team will have.
4. Rebirth of a Nation. Last year, after the arrival of Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek didn't hit his weight or Mario Mendoza's. But in a smaller role this season, he has gotten off to a fast start hitting over .300 with four homers. In fact, among the quasi-regulars, only Varitek and Adrian Beltre are hitting over .300. And the Sox out-stole the Jays 1-0 with a Lester pickoff.
5. Darn it. From the number nine spot, Darnell McDonald continues to produce, .333/.407/.667 with a run scored and an RBI tonight. Enjoy the ride while it continues, with Mike Cameron improving and Jacoby Ellsbury resuming some baseball activities.