Beat LA! The Dodgers checked into Ye Olde Ballpark to face the tail end of the rotation in newcomer Felix (the Cat) Doubron and Tim Wakefield and the Sox have closed to within one game of a tie for the top of the AL East.
1. Revenge of the Turds. Not really, but his Manholiness delivered a Wakefield butterfly into the departed left field nets. Fortunately, like Manny it was a Solo Shot.
2. Did You Know? Tim McCarver played MLB for about a thousand seasons, but in one unglorious ended one for the Sox (1967), McCarver finished second in the NL MVP race, socking 14 homers and 69 RBI for the Cards.
3. Slugging fools.
4. All-Stars? Distribution requirements aside (at least one from every team, and the mandatory Yankee infield rule), the deserving Sox include Youkilis, Buchholz, Lester, Papelbon, Beltre, and possibly Victor Martinez or David Ortiz on the bubble. I don't see more than two Sox pitchers making it and two position players making it.
5. Inter-net? The Sox 9-2 Interleague record has been the difference along with generally playing better baseball. Today the "run prevention" approach fell down a little with some erratic infield arms (is Scutaro still hurt?), but the combination of solid starting pitching and leading the majors in runs scored produces predictable results. The Sox' ERA was 11th in the AL in April, 7th in May, and has shrunken to 4th in June. Dramatically the Sox K/BB ratio rocketed from 1.82 in April and 1.73 in May to a much more palatable 2.26 in June.