Final Score: Boston Red Sox 2, Baltimore Orioles 1
The Boston Red Sox: they'll beat you with their bats; they'll beat you with their pitching. They'll blow a hole in the score so large they'd have to dig up the Back Bay to fill it in; they'll come within 90 feet of blowing a save in a tight game in the ninth with two outs and their closer on the mound. They'll provide thrills, spills, chills, and minor heart attacks that could be avoided with some more consistent dominance and a little more attention to detail. But since they won, since they finished the first half of the season on a high note and regained first place, all is forgiven, if not forgotten. Daisuke Matsuzaka, you did not throw six innings of scoreless ball - or achieve a ratio of 1.5 walks or hits per inning in the process - in vain.
However, we have more pressing concerns: the season's half over. Surprised me, too. Our friend DC will have a recap of the first half's triumphs and failures tomorrow, so I won't steal his thunder by recaping specifics, but to wax philosophical for a moment, it seems utterly imaginable that the season's half over and that the Sox have survived: survived injuries to key players like Ortiz and Schilling, survived the trip to Japan and the miles and miles traveled, survived the world's most skewed home and away records...and now they're in first. I predict a temporary stay unless some things change, but enjoy it! We're doing well! We have several days off before we have to worry about things like bullpens and August. I plan to submerge my brain in some sort of decompressant fluids.