Red Sox on top through 81 games

At the halfway point of the regular season, no one thought the Red Sox would be where they're at.

Now 81 games in, the Red Sox are tied for the most wins in baseball at 48, have the best record in the American League and show no signs of slowing down. Consistency is the word to describe this team from top to bottom. Even dealing with injuries to key players, the Red Sox continue to find ways to win and have been a really fun team to watch through the first three months.

How about John Lackey a few nights ago? 12 strikeouts in a pretty dominating performance. He's been the pitcher so far this year that Boston was hoping they signed when they gave him that big contract. With the news that Clay Buchholz may be out longer than expected dealing with bursitis in his right shoulder and Lester not looking right in the late innings last night, the resurgence of Lackey is that more important.

Obviously the Red Sox need their stars like Ortiz and Pedrioa to perform but it's how players like Daniel Nava and Jose Iglesias are playing that shows why the Red Sox are where they are. It also seems that when one play is going through a rough spot, another steps up. Take the closer position. Andrew Bailey clearly had problems and now Uehara steps in and steps up. In the outfield Victorino gets hurt and Mike Carp steps in and steps up.

At the halfway point, this formula for the Red Sox has worked. We'll see if it can hold up.

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