The Red Sox now have sole possession of first place. For a team that started 0-6, and at one point was 2-10, that's remarkable. Since that 2-10 start, the Red Sox have rattled off a 27-12 run, including a seven game winning streak, a five game winning streak, and an ongoing four game winning streak. They've been getting contributions from all over, including the injury replacements in the rotation. Both Wakefield and Aceves are a combined 3-0 in the rotation, a huge improvement from the struggles of Daisuke and Lackey. In their 24 2/3 IP as starters, the two have only allowed 5 earned runs, good for a 1.82 ERA. If they both keep it up the Red Sox could have a tough decision on their hands, once Lackey is ready to come off the DL.
Lately, the bats have been contributing just as much. In their finale of the Cleveland series and the opener of the Detroit series, the Red Sox won 14-1 and 14-2. This was the first time in the history of the team that they had won consecutive road games by 12 or more runs. In their last three games, they've done a spectacular job knocking out the opposing starting pitcher. Mitch Talbot, Max Scherzer, and Rick Porcello combined for 8 IP, while allowing an incredible 21 earned runs. All three had pitched well so far in 2011, with Scherzer and Porcello both sporting ERAs right around four. After their starts, both Tigers starters had ERAs right around four.
Hell, in their their 4-2 win over the Indians earlier this week, Jason Varitek even managed to throw out two consecutive base runners. Over the last three full seasons Varitek has caught 17% of the runner attempting to steal on him. Assuming that number is representative of his true talent going forward, that puts catching two consecutive base runners at just under 3%. When the 3% likelihood things are coming up, you know things are going well.