Published June 19. 2013 4:00PM Updated June 19. 2013 4:48PM
Eighteen innings of baseball over the course of around 9 1/2 hours ended with a home run from Johnny Gomes lifting Boston to an AL best 44 wins. Punting the helmet after rounding third was a little much, but I'm never one to ruin a celebration. Through 73 games it seems like there have been several nights like last night where the Red Sox found a way to win in late innings, a characteristic usually seen with teams still playing in October.
Nine wins and two losses against the Rays so far this season is also something to celebrate. What occurred down in Baltimore over the weekend not so much, but again the Red Sox position as of today is better than anyone expected and their play through the middle of June has been consistent, to say the least.
Clay Buchholz landing on the 15-day DL with a neck strain is a definite concern. Obviously up to this point, Buchholz has been right at the top for pitchers in the American League so hopefully this doesn't turn into something more serious or recurring.
We saw a fantastic performance from Felix Doubrant last night, probably best of his career. Lackey has actually been good and Dempster is pretty much what we expected. Jon Lester has to be better. He hasn't recorded a win since May 15th and in that time has just not been what you expect from your "No. 1" pitcher. Especially now with the news on Buchholz, Jon Lester has to return to the form we saw to open up the season.
Andrew Bailey is getting a lot of discussion today after blowing his third save last night and giving up a run in 3 of his last 4 outings. I think Bailey is still regaining form coming off his injuries from last year and early this season, and with the loss of Hanrahan, has to be the guy to close out games. He's got good stuff so hopefully he'll get the problems he's dealing with corrected.
One more against the Rays tonight then it's off to Detroit to take on the AL-Central leading Tigers. Many have the Tigers as the most complete team in the American League so it should be another good test for the Red Sox. Oh, and GO BRUINS!