Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first two outings of the year were so poor that his catcher – a man who is described as having near-photographic recall of pitches – couldn’t even remember them.

In these parts, it will always be difficult to separate Jon Lester and Johan Santana

Nothing seemed particularly striking about the blast. Last Sept.

In this moment of bad, we are reminded of some very, very good.

In one respect, Tuesday’s game between the Red Sox and Blue Jays was treated merely as the backdrop against which David Ortiz returned to the lineup.

"You know," I told a member of the Blue Jays' decision-making team, "by writing this I'm virtually guaranteeing that you plummet in the standings."
"I guess we'll take our chances," he said.
The way they're going, I don't blame them one bit.

So where do the Red Sox stand?

The stage was set for a familiar refrain.

There is a danger to allowing one-run games to play too substantial a role in coloring the judgment of a team. When the Red Sox were amidst an 11-game winning streak just a few weeks ago – a run that included improbable come-from-behind, one-run wins – the team’s lineup depth was heralded.

ANAHEIM -- This has gone well beyond slight adjustments, pitching trends or worries about well-placed fielders.