After a catastrophic end to the 2011 season and a disastrous 2012 in which they only won 69 games, the Boston Red Sox appear to be back and better than ever season. Things took a turn for the better in August of last season when the Red Sox were able to work out a deal to send insanely overpaid players Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Following the firing of Bobby Valentine, the Red Sox were rewarded once again with the hiring of former pitching coach John Farrell during the offseason. The Red Sox then rebuilt their roster by adding Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Stephen Drew, and Ryan Dempster. By the start of the season, the Red Sox were ready to move on from the past and start a new beginning.
The Red Sox opened the season with a 20-8 record on their way to an American League best 39-25 record after today’s win against the Angels. Farrell’s presence has had an enormous impact on the pitching staff, which was among the league’s worst last year. Jon Lester and Clay Buccholz are pitching like aces, John Lackey has pitched very well after missing all of last season, and Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront have been getting the job done as 4th and 5th starters. The bullpen is much improved as well with the additions of Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, and Andrew Bailey. On the offensive end, the lineup is as good as anything they could have hoped for, leading the league in runs scored. Pedroia is well on his way to playing in the All Star game, Ortiz is carrying the team by putting up numbers from his prime, and Napoli leads the league in pitches seen and is among the leaders in extra base hits. There have also been the surprises of Daniel Nava (.302 average, 8 home runs, 39 RBIs) and Jose Iglesias, who is batting over .400 after just a .202 average in the minors, to add extra spark to the lineup as well.
Most importantly, the Red Sox lead baseball’s toughest division by 1.5 games over New York, 3.5 games over Baltimore, and 4 games over Tampa Bay.
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