It really is indicative of just what a slump the sox bats have fallen into as of late that Ace Curt Schilling has to throw a no hitter through 8 2/3 Innings in a complete game shutout of the A's to secure the 1 run lead secured by Big Papi's solo shot in the first. It was really heartbreaking to see Schilling lose his bid at a no-hitter shaking off catcher Jason Varitek's signal with 2 down in the 9th to Shannon Stewart, but his performance was very impressive nonetheless. I think it was also important for the sox to put a halt to what has been far and away the worst stretch of baseball the sox have played thus far. The pitching has been acceptable, but the offense has simply dropped off the map and this skid may have marked a turn for the worse for the sox. Hopefully this win will restore some confidence for the Sox as they cruise in to Arizona for a 3 game series with the Diamondbacks. The Dbacks have put together an impressive year just below the .600 mark and a game behind the Padres in their division. Tonight's game with Beckett v. Doug Davis looks promising, the subsequent games of Tavarez v. Owings and DiceK v. Randy "The Big Unit" Johnson are not as promising, but if Tavarez and Daisuke put up good starts like each of their last outings they should be wins with a bit of offense from the sluggish sox bats.
It's impressive to note that despite being in a slump the sox are still the best team in baseball (Angels tie for wins but have 2 more in the loss column) and have a commanding 10 game lead over Toronto in the AL East (10 1/2 games on the Yankees). If the sox offense can get out of this slump and the pitching continues to be strong (possibly stronger with the imminent arrival of John Lester to the Sox rotation) their winning ways should resume in no time at all. The lackluster NL Colorado Rockies and SF Giants coming to Fenway for 6 games following the Arizona series and an off day probably won't hurt either.