With all of the things that have gone wrong and gone right for the Sox this year, there finally seems to be some consistency, that is getting healthy.
Josh Beckett pitched five and 2/3 innings giving up 1 run and had 5 strikeouts Friday in is debut from the DL. It was a very welcome sign, and a huge sigh of relief to see a good and healthy Beckett. With him back, he now has to work his way up the latter again to claim the number one spot that Lester and Buchholtz have taken over this year.
Speaking of Buchholtz, he is supposed to be making his first start against the Angels since being placed on the DL. That is a very welcome sight because it finally makes the whole starting rotation healthy for the first time all year. Tim Wakefield has been pushed to the bullpen where he can help out where the Red Sox biggest fault has been all year.
I know Matsuzaka has been back for a while, but he is finally starting to get into a groove. He is 5-2 in his last 8 starts, and has brought his ERA down to 4.29. As the fifth starter in the rotation now that is not too shabby. His ERA over those last 8 starts is 3.15.
The Sox also welcome back Jed Lowery from the DL. In his first game back he had an RBI which was good news as well. He has played in four games thus far having only one strikeout. Yes his average is low, but at least he is hitting balls in play. As his season progresses, he could be a very vital utility infielder and a nice starter while Pedrioa recovers.
Jeremy Hermida came back a few days ago. He was a solid fill for Elsbury and had some good RBIs that are much needed now.
Dustin Pedroia is hoping to get back soon, he has hopes that he can skip rehab in the minors and join the Sox again soon.
Mike Lowell started for AAA Pawtucket and looked good. He was getting to ground balls real well and is expected to be back soon.
Victor Martinez is expected to start Monday against the Angels. He has been out for a month, but has been feeling good as of late. He has been key in the lineup, and as the catcher, and it would be a welcome sign to see him back on the field.
So what do all of these guys coming back mean? Well hopefully wins. It may take a while for some of the hitters to get back to their normal self, but as long as the starting pitching can be as good as they have, then the Sox have a chance to stay in the race.
Everything relies on the starting pitching. If they can give about seven innings each, then the bullpen can rest. Also if they can stay healthy and pitch well it gives a chance for the offense to stay in the game. Hopefully with everyone coming back quickly the Sox can make some noise and put pressure on the Yanks and Rays.