More important than the return of Manny…

Watching JD Drew play makes my heart happy.  I hope he's not too badly injured.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Watching JD play makes my heart happy. I hope he's not too badly hurt. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

…is the major league debut of Felix Doubront ending with his getting his first “W” in the bigs!  Felix pitched his five innings to be in line for the win and gave up six hits and five runs (three earned thanks to an error by, of all players, Felix Doubront!) in his debut.   He matched his walks and strike outs with two each.  Those strike outs?  Andre Ethier (he of the .330 average) and Matt Kemp.  Not too shabby, Felix.

As impressive was the work Scott Atchison did in relief.  (A brief side note:  Boof Bonser, we hardly knew ye.)  Last night, Atchison threw three perfect innings and struck out a career-high five batters (including, yes, Manny Ramirez watching strike three go by to end the 7th inning).  Atchison came up big for the team on national television last week when he was the literal last-minute starter replacing Daisuke Matsuzaka and I’m sure more than a few fans expected to be in the hole 10-0 when his work was done.  They weren’t.  Against Philly, he pitched the first three innings, struck out two and gave up two runs on two hits (the Sox went on to with the game 10-2).  Lately, he’s been a solid, go-to guy out of the bullpen and it pleases me to see the Sox using him like they did last night.

Another home run from Papi, the third of the “hitting the knee” homers from Adrian Beltre and a Green Monster home run that was originally called a double but overturned after watching the replay for JD Drew.   These things also made the game a fabulous one to behold.  There’s no word yet on JD Drew and his hammie (pulled while making a catch to put out Manny) but all in all not a whole lot to complain about is there?

The Yankees and the Rays both cooperated last night by getting beaten by the Mets and the Marlins, respectively.  This means………wait for it…………that the Red Sox are one game out of first place.  The Red Sox have the exact amount of wins that both the Rays and Yanks do and have two more losses.  Exactly a month ago today the Sox were 8.5 games out of first place (with not only the Yankees and Rays ahead of them but the, currently, 4.5 games out of first place Toronto Blue Jays ahead as well.

Back then, I posted a quote on my Tumblr page from Mitch Williams (currently working on the MLB Network) as told to Dan Patrick for Sports Illustrated:

You cannot win the division in April but at the end of the year the Red Sox are going to be able to testify that you can dang sure lose it in April because I think their season is over.

That a former baseball player could so easily fall into the trap of becoming a knee-jerk reacting talking head is sad.  The Red Sox certainly haven’t won the division in June but they ‘dang sure’ didn’t lose it in April did they, Mitch.  Say goodbye to your credibility.

Sox go at it again at 4:10pm ET today.  Yankees play at 1:10pm and Rays at 7:10pm.  Today could be the day the Sox sit atop the division after so many said it was over in May.  Make them all eat their words, BoSox.

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