Before the Red Sox took two of three from the Angels to start their long homestand, we explored a few keys to them finding success. Aside from capping a 9-1 season series with Anaheim, there were several other scenarios to take away from the series.
Patience with Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia was told by the medical staff that he would not be playing every game upon returning from a broken left foot. Try as he might to get in there every day, it's just not possible.
After playing the first two games of the series the All-Star was in the lineup for the finale on Thursday but became a late scratch when he continued to feel some pain that had been building since the night before.
"I knew that [I would need time off]. They told me that," Pedroia said. "It's kind of impossible to break your foot in the area I broke it and come back and play 43 straight games. I knew that."
Pedroia will have to take things day-by-day.
Play the Hand You're Dealt
The Red Sox essentially lost four more players in the series, placing both Eric Patterson and Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the disabled list and effectively ending the season for both Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron.
While the losses of the latter two cannot help, there was a sense that Terry Francona no longer needs to wait on them or worry about whether putting them in the lineup, when active, was going to hurt them.
Boston will press forward with an outfield rotation of J.D. Drew, Ryan Kalish, Daniel Nava, Darnell McDonald and Bill Hall. Patterson will be eligible to come off the DL at the end of the month.
Close it Out
Jonathan Papelbon's sixth blown save in Toronto last week was so alarming that it caused the talks of him losing his closer's role to resurface. Considering he had allowed one earned run in his previous 17 2/3 innings, it was a useless debate.
Still, it was nice to see Papelbon bounce back the way he did. After throwing a scoreless inning in a non-save situation at Texas, he returned from a five-day layoff to blow away the Angels.
By striking out the side to cap Wednesday's 7-5 win, a dominant Papelbon became the first pitcher in major league history to reach 30 saves in each of his first five full seasons. And that's the guy people want to push out of the job.