Friday, August 27, 2004: For all of the sturm and drang, the 2004 Red Sox are two games ahead of the pace set by their much more lovable (at least knowing what we do now about the season) 2003 forebears. That is a remarkable fact, and one trumpeted pretty clearly in the Globe today. Dan Shaughnessy wrote a fairly gushing piece, yet another example of the kinder, gentler Curly Headed Boyfriend revealing himself from his hardened soul.

Of course a streak of nine wins in ten games will tend to have that effect. Last night the Sox won again, defeating the Tigers 4-1, highlighted by Bronson Arroyo fulfilling the Tigers’ deathwish in a 7 1/3 inning, 8 strikeout, one-run performance. Timlin once again came in and did his job, putting out a minor fire in which Detroit had Higginson on second with one out. He struck out I-Rod and then induced a Dmitri Young lineout, closing the last, best chance the tigers may have had. Foulke came in and shut the side down in order in the 9th. Outside of Arroyo and the pitching, it was a pretty lackluster win, but one we would have managed to turn into an adventure a month ago.
Tonight Varitek returns from his A-Rod-smacking-induced suspension, spelling a hot Doug Mirabelli who may well have earned himself at least a couple of appearances more than he might have gotten, and a DH slot or two should Ortiz enter the field or simply need a rest. Lowe hits the mound, and hopefully will continue to show the fortitude that seems to have returned to him these last few appearances.
The Red Sox have 36 games left on the schedule and are 5 1/2 aback the Yankees in the East. They lead the Wild Card by a scant 1/2 of a game. I am more worried about the latter than the former. And if the Blue Jays are reading, last night you were up 4-0 on them and still lost. A little help here!

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