There were moments Jon Lester actually looked bored out on the mound today at the Rogers Centre, as he hummed in strike after strike, making short work of Blue Jays hitters on another dozen-run afternoon. The big lefty worked at a brisk pace, reaching back over and over to unleash zone-pounding pitches like he was bagging groceries.
And once again, it was a single, monstrous fifth inning, in fact the third six-or-more-run inning in the last four games for the Red Sox, that put the game away on the offensive side of the ball. As with yesterday's seven-run fifth, the points came on multiple multi-run homers, this time at the hands of Dustin Pedroia and the white-hot David Ortiz, as well as an RBI single by Marco "Hey, Remember Me?" Scutaro.
I know I was navel-gazing about the pitching yesterday, and I still have some concerns about the middle relief, but who doesn't? In the meantime, you can't ask for a better week or so than the Red Sox have just had, in which they've earned a sweep of sweeps, a trifecta, if you will -- a 9 game winning streak that is the league's longest this year (they tied the Indians at 8 straight yesterday, according to MLB.com).
They also won 11 in a row in April 2009, and before that, 12 in the ill-fated 2006. To find a longer streak, according to the Projo, "You have to go back to the days of Williams, Pesky, Doerr and DiMaggio. From July 18 to July 27, 1948, the Sox won 13 straight en route to a 96-59 season."
Given the less-than-glorious outcomes of the years mentioned above, there are obviously no guarantees. And maybe I'm just giddy to have seen a pitching performance that rivaled the bats. But with the heavy expectations placed on this team and the way they're starting to gel, I can't help but be reminded of a 10-game streak back in August to September 2004, which also, IIRC, included games in Toronto, and cut the Yankees' seemingly insurmountable 10.5 game lead in the division down to 2.5 games. Good times.
Though we have yet to get to the All-Star break, this streak is especially encouraging because 6 of the 9 wins have come on the road. I seem to remember a time this team couldn't buy a win on the road. So much the better, because they still have miles to go before they sleep, traveling to Tampa Bay for another three-game set before returning home for more interleague play.
So, in for a penny, in for a pound -- and since today it seems the sky's the limit -- what would you call a quadruple sweep?