It's two games. Two wins. Two days that haven't been disasters.
Is that enough to stake the season on?
The Red Sox were resolute in their 11-2 win against Minnesota on Tuesday night, from the fire Josh Beckett brought in his first-inning shouting match to the bombs David Ortiz and his teammates sent over the fences.
Still, even with the comfortable lead, fans weren't feeling good about the nine-run margin. Nine, after all, is the magic number that Boston had on the Yankees last Saturday. The Red Sox were supposed to win their first game in about a week and christen Fenway Park. Instead, they allowed seven runs in back-to-back innings in a performance that led manager Bobby Valentine to say the team had "hit bottom."
The fans weren't the only ones remembering the nine-run lead Tuesday. But this time, the manager had a sample of two straight days of excellent baseball he could draw on when he voiced his usual optimism about the team. He may have been on to something when he said he saw a different group of Red Sox.
''We had the one at home, and we let it get away," Valentine said after the game. "I don't think that's going to be allowed again.''
Sure, these next few weeks are the best chance the Red Sox will have to get their bullpen, starting pitching and bats in order, but an easy schedule shouldn’t be discounted for what this Boston squad is doing. Once they get firing on all cylinders, they may not be stoppable.
And once the raw ability shines through, then the Red Sox will be even more dangerous than ever — because, on top of the talent, they'll have a whole stash of motivation to draw from.
They're going to remember the 1-0, walked-in loss to the Rays, and they'll definitely remember the shot to the heart that the Yankees series was. When their play finally comes around, their hearts and minds will be in the right place, and they'll not only be picking up victories — they'll be winning with a vengeance. (Any doubt? How about the way Beckett ratcheted that one up? As Valentine said after the game, "He wasn't going to be denied.")
It's only been two games, but these Red Sox are becoming winners, and with winners, collapses, heartache, debacles and embarrassments aren't "going to be allowed again."