The Red Sox shutout the Rays tonight 2-0 to consolidate their recent strength. In the past seven outings (per NESN), the Sox have six quality starts, a 1.69 ERA, and 7.1 innings per start.
Jon Lester got his fifth win and lowered his ERA to 3.15 and continues to creep down his WHIP ratio, already in the top 15 in the AL. Lester only lasted six innings between nine strikeouts and five walks, but allowed only a single hit.
The pen pals of Delcarmen, Bard, and Papelbon combined to close out the Rays without a hit the rest of the way. Papelbon notched his eleventh save with a fastball up into the mid 90's, including taking B.J. Upton out with heat upstairs to close out the game.
Papelbon's strikeout to walk ratio has been continually falling through the past years, and we'll see whether that's a durable trend. As noted before, the Sox believe K/BB ratio predicts future ERA better than current ERA itself.
Jacoby Ellsbury continues to have soreness and that gives Darnell McDonald a third life.