It was a weekend to forget for the Red Sox in Detroit, as the Tigers, who are red hot right now, swept the three game series. But, looking at the big picture right now, the Red Sox head into the break with a double-digit lead, 10 games, over both the Blue Jays and Yankees.
If you had said that before the season began, I think any Red Sox fan on Earth would be happy with that.
Daisuke Matsuzaka had his first bad game in quite a while, allowing six runs in five innings, including three home runs. The Red Sox came back from 6-2 down, but lost by just a single run, 6-5. The best thing about today's game was the day that Julio Lugo had, going 3-for-3 and a walk, including a home run and a double. Hopefully, this will give him confidence going into the second half, and get above the Mendoza Line (.200). Congratulations to Jeff Bailey on his first MLB hit, which was a home run, and Lugo followed with one as well in the seventh.
The bullpen really did a fine job in Detroit in all three games. Javier Lopez and Hideki Okajima were very good, and so was Mike Timlin, who seems to have found his fine form again. Kason Gabbard gave the Sox six good innings on Saturday.
David Ortiz hit his first home run in 17 days on Saturday, but Manny Ramirez continues to struggle, especially with men on base, to get the big hit. He goes into the break with 11 home runs, the fewest in his Red Sox career at this point. And J.D. Drew continues to miss getting the big hit too, as he had a chance to knock in the tying run with two out in the ninth, but fouled out to end the game and conclude a rather miserable weekend.
The Red Sox open the second half on Thursday with a four-game series at home with Toronto. Tim Wakefield gets the ball that night. They end the first half 53-34, and 10 games in front.
Not bad at all. I'll take it.