Three other reasons for optimism - Metro US

Three other reasons for optimism

Josh Beckett’s performance wasn’t the only positive in the Red Sox’ series-clinching 4-0 win over the Yankees last night at Fenway Park. Here’s three other reasons to feel good about the State of the Sox.

1. Pedey’s playhouse: Another day, another three-hit game against New York for Dustin Pedroia. The Boston 2B registered nine hits (nine hits) in the series, with three doubles, four runs and five RBIs. After consecutive hitless games against Cleveland, the kid is simply raking right now. Just a thought: How much would Pedroia command on the FA market right now, in a world where Carl Crawford is worth $142 million? Surely he’d score a $100 million deal. Probably more.

2. Papelbon’s job safe: We still think Daniel Bard will be closing games at Fenway by mid-August. But Jonathan Papelbon went a long way toward keeping his job over the weekend, pitching a pair of scoreless, two-strikeout innings against New York. He looked basically unhittable last night, getting Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira on strikes.

3. Gonzalez stayed healthy: Heck of a scare in the bottom of the fifth, when Adrian Gonzalez took a CC Sabathia pitch off his hands. Luckily, he was fine. A few inches (or MPH) different, though, and he could have been looking at a DL stint. That would have been devastating for a team just finding its groove.

So much for the Yankees. Boston’s staying at home for a three-game set with the Rays starting tonight (7:10 p.m., ESPN, WEEI).

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