Opening Day at Fenway

Thursday, July 09, 2015

The Race Gets Tighter

It's starting to get interesting for the Red Sox in the AL East.

The Red Sox swept two games from the Miami Marlins, and have now won four games in a row for the first time in 2015. The 6-3 win last night means the Sox have won nine of their last twelve, and thirteen of their last twenty. On June 20th, they were 10 games back. Today, they sit just 5 games behind New York, and 1 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay in fourth. No one in front of them has played better than .500 ball over the last 10 days, and the Sox have taken advantage of that.

Last night's win was important mainly for Rick Porcello, who has been absolutely awful. Of all the pitchers who qualify for the ERA title race in the AL, Porcello was dead last at 6.08 going into last night's game.

Porcello was very good, going six innings and allowing just two earned runs. His ERA with Ryan Hanigan behind the plate is noticeably lower, and this was his his first start since Hanigan returned from his injury.

And very quietly, Koji Uehara seems to have regained his 2013 form. He was once again 1-2-3 in the ninth, and he has now allowed just one base runner in the last 29 he has faced, compiling 21 saves.

Now, the Evil Empire returns to Boston this weekend, in the first important series with New York in quite some time. It is the last series before the All-Star break, so the Sox can end the first half on a high note by taking this three-game set.

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