Half Empty - Here's a true fact: according to the spreadsheets at BaseballReference.com, the only pitching statistic in which the Red Sox lead the American League so far this year is in HBP. They have 27 to the second-place Yankees' 25.
Half Full - They are second in average age by 0.3 years. Second in number of wins, second in losses, second in won-lost percentage, somewhere in the middle of the list for runs per game, ERA, innings pitched, hits, earned runs, home runs...you get the picture.
Half Empty- They have been okay. Even very good. But the starting pitchers have also often been...meh. Especially the power guys at the top of the rotation - while Tim Wakefield has quietly put in an unbelievable season so far, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester have been somehow off all year. Brad Penny and Daisuke have been inconsistent at best.
Half Full - From Big Papi's first homer, to the return of the newly healed Youkbacca (tm Surviving Grady), to a resurgent top of the rotation, this week has seen a few comebacks. Lester ground out a much-needed win to seal the sweep of the first-place holder in the AL East, finally surrendering just one run when a Toronto Blue Jay crossed the plate after he was no longer on the mound. Beckett seems to be improving with each start, but had yet to pull out a full-metal, fist-pumping masterpiece...until tonight.
As with Papi's homer, whether this week counts as a turning point or a fluke depends on the next time around, and the time after that...and for the record, Papi's gone right back to looking dismal since breaking out the other night. But also just like that homer the other night, watching Beckett scream praise toward Nick Green at shortstop and storm off the field hollering triumphantly did my heart a world of good. And that final pitch to Ramon Martinez in the seventh was a filthy thing of disgusting beauty.
Whether a fleeting flash of brilliance or the start of another monstrous streak, for tonight? I'll take it.
Half Empty - Papelbon seemed to be cruising with two scintillating strikeouts to David Wright and Jeremy Reed before surrendering the go-ahead run on a Monster shot by Omir Santos. The devastation of this was compounded by the extended length of time it took the umpires to retire into the dugout to review a replay before declaring the save blown, and the sublime Beckett effort a ND. The first time since the home opener that Beckett's been truly brilliant, and it's the one night Papelbon picks to blow it.
This series against the Mets is lost. That much is for certain. Beyond that, I'm really not sure right now.