Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Lost in all the Michael Pineda pine-tar commotion was the fact that there was actually a baseball game played last night, which the Boston Red Sox won 5-1. Here are the three biggest takeaways from last night’s win:
1) Dustin Pedroia’s wrist is definitely feeling better- Pedroia went 2-5 with an RBI in the win, and is 12-34 (.353) since he received positive news on his nagging wrist. Not only is he getting on base, but he’s hitting the ball hard which is something we hadn’t seen since the first couple games of the season. Still waiting on that first “La Luna!” call from Don Orsillo (I couldn’t find the actual video, but that link is an equally hilarious conversation explaining it), but I have a feeling it will come soon after he’s hit the top of the monster twice in the past couple games.
2) John Lackey gets back into top form- After two consecutive starts in which he allowed six earned runs, Lackey picked the perfect time to get back to the guy we’ve come to appreciate in Boston. On a night where the bullpen was exhausted from the previous few games, Lackey went eight innings, striking out 11 with zero walks and only the one earned run, before turning it over to Koji Uehara who struck-out the side in the ninth. With Clay Buchholz struggling, the Sox are going to need more performances like this from the rest of the rotation if they are going to climb back toward the top of the standings.
3) The Sox can win a game in which A.J. Pierzynski is behind the plate- As Sean Sylver wrote about yesterday, there’s been a little bit of fan frustration surrounding the Red Sox lately and Pierzynski has become the scapegoat for the early troubles. So much so That twitter was abuzz yesterday with people calling for David Ross to be the full-time starter and wishing the Sox had signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a long-term extension. Are we that spoiled as Boston fans? Patience is the name of the game here people. He was 1-3 with an RBI at the plate and Lackey seemed pretty comfortable with him calling the game. It’s early. He’ll grow with the pitching staff.
It sounds like Shane Victorino will be making his return tonight, with Will Middlebrooks possibly back tomorrow. Adding those two to an offense that’s starting to find its rhythm can only help things in Boston.