Since the 2-9 start that left most fans shaking their heads and wondering "When is the ship going to turn? They can't be THIS bad, can they?" with all the lineup juggles, the pitchting woes, and the catching situation all being problems, it seemed like this year's team would go the way of the 2008 Tigers in the "Highly talented, yet underachieving" category. Now it's looking like things are turning around with an unlikely spark plug stepping up in Jed Lowrie.
Lowrie who's been swinging the hottest bat on the team with a .431 AVG, 3 HR, and an OBP of .686 in his 16 games this season has sparked what was needed to get this offense rolling. On the other side it's been two faces that have stepped up huge for the Sox, one familiar, the other people questioned if he was worth bringing over, those faces have been Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Beckett is currently boasting a 2-0 record with a 1.93 ERA in his last 3 starts while Matsuzaka has been lights out in his last two starts allowing 2 hits and boasting an ERA of 0.00. Yes, that's correct 0.00 ERA, it's not a typo. Both pitchers have had great success by hitting their called pitches and dominating with both speed and off speed pitches. Could the Vartek factor play a part of this? It's a strong possibility. Varitek has caught both pitchers best outings for the team and both seem to be very fond of Varitek catching for them as opposed to Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Another part that shouldn't be skipped over is the reemergence of Closer Jonathan Pappelbon. Pappelbon looks like the pitcher he was in 2007, dominating hitters with brutal pitches.
There are still questions in middle relief, though the back end seems ok with Bobby Jenks (Who has struggled as of late), Daniel Bard, and Pappelbon. The constant lineup juggling as well brings up questions (Carl Crawford hitting 7th as an example) as to finding the perfect mix for the next few months.
Questions will be answered soon as to how this team performs in the next coming weeks as we head into May.