NESN told me last night that the Sox actually had a better record (by one game) than this at the same point in 2002, and we weren't exactly racking up any new hardware that year. So, grain of salt, etc.
But I can't shake the feeling that something truly special is going on here, at least for right now. Everybody senses it, even if nobody wants to put any names on it--some don't even want to talk about it.
Take last night, for example. How very Canadian of the Blue Jays to open the roof in an effort to throw off Tim Wakefield. Are you kidding me? Tim Wakefield has faced down the howling hordes of Yankee Stadium. Some Canadian wind is going to send him reeling?
It did look touch-and-go for a moment, though, in the bottom of the first, with Frank Thomas at the plate, one out, bases loaded. WEEI's broadcast indicated that Frank Thomas has 9 hits against Tim Wakefield, and four of them are home runs. Wake proceeded to fall behind Thomas 2-0 to open the at-bat.
I don't know about you, but it was at that moment that I went into Damage Control Mode; okay, win some, lose some, everybody's got tough luck sometimes, hopefully we'll score him some more runs next inning...
Then Thomas struck out.
Then Kevin Youkilis broke for the first-base bag.
Doug Mirabelli gloved the final strike on Thomas from Wake and sent it humming down to first without a second's hesitation. Youkilis beat a napping Troy Glaus to the bag for a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play to end the inning right there at first base.
Jaw, meet floor.
Youk and Dougie said later they hadn't talked about it, hadn't planned for it, hadn't even signaled to each other before the final pitch to Thomas. They both just made the same split-second, instinctive, and ultimately correct decision.
Tim Wakefield's scoreless streak is now at 16 innings. He leads the American League in ERA (1.79) and BAA (.189). And that man is our Fourth! Starter!
I won't jinx things much further, but I will say this: this ain't your daddy's Red Sox.
P.S. Do yourself a favor today, and read this.