EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


April 30, 2013

A month for the history and record books

April, 2013 was an historic month in the City of Boston. The horrific events of April 15 brought everything to a screeching halt, and less than a week later, our national pastime was called upon to perform its most noble function, to help bring a city together and give them something to celebrate.

Ten days ago at Fenway Park, that’s exactly what happened. Using the strongest (maybe a tad salty) language he could muster, David Ortiz told us all, and I’m paraphrasing here, to be strong.

And then the Big Fella went out and got two hits in a thrilling 4-3 victory that, for the moment, made the world seem right again. Even the Federal Communications Commission, which normally fines people at will, had to tip its cap and let Ortiz’s slip of the tongue slide.

Since Opening Day in New York, the John Farrell/Ben Cherington Plan has been playing out almost perfectly.

“The Plan” was built around solid starting pitching and the starters have not disappointed. They set a club record for the most games giving up three runs or less (16) and if we throw out the Alfredo Aceves’ stinker on that brutally cold and raining Tuesday night, the starters ERA is a microscopic 2.72. Clay Buchholz was the first 5-game winner in The Majors, and the team leads the majors in strikeouts with 248.

John Lackey gave us a major scare in Toronto in early April when he walked off the mound cradling his right arm like a wounded duck, but what looked to be the end of his year or career-ending injury, turned out to be a simple two-week bicep strain. He came back Sunday and gave his team six strong innings and looked like the guy we signed a couple of years ago.

The offense has been full of present surprises, but the biggest one has to be the torrid pace being set by Ortiz. Although he hadn’t seen a major league pitch since August 2012, he’s been white hot, batting .516 with two homers and 11 RBI in just 8 games. Mike Napoli is doing for the Red Sox what he used to do to the Red Sox for all those years, getting clutch hits and driving in lots and lots of runs.

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