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After beginning the season taking 2 of 3 from the Yankees in the Bronx, the Boston Red Sox continued that trend to start the month of June. Granted one win was shortened by Mother Nature but you take a win however you can get it.
After 58 games, the Red Sox are in 1st place in the AL East at 35-23. They've been very good at home going 17-12 and are suprisingly 18-11 on the road. Ironically, the team most picked to win the division, the Toronto Blue Jays, are 10 1/2 games back of Boston at 24-33. There's still a lot of baseball to be played but you'd much rather be in Boston's position than Toronto's at this point.
Through two months, the blueprint the Red Sox needed to follow to be successful this season has almost been followed perfectly. If you go back to one of the first blogs I wrote this season, I pinpointed three things that needed to be better and perform each night for Boston to have a shot at the postseason:
2) Middle of the line-up
Lester and Buchholz so far have been a solid 1-2 punch with Buchholz on a Cy Young pace. The Ortiz-Napoli combo is becoming a daunting task in a line-up that has overall been better than advertised. The bullpen, even with the Hanrahan and Bailey injuries, has performed well. So far, everything that needs to be going right is going right for the Red Sox.
Outside of on the field, I think some credit absolutely has to be given to John Farrell and the coaching staff. Clearly the clubhouse culture/cemistry is a 180 from the Bobby Valentine mistake but the approach both at the plate and on the mound are different. At the plate, we're seeing a much more patient team that is making pitchers work early driving up pitch counts. On the mound, pitchers are working much quicker and efficiently and not taking the patent Beckett 32 seconds between pitches.
After two months, the Red Sox have put themselves in the best position they can. There's still 104 games left, we'll see if they can keep this pace up.