who did the Red Sox actually beat?
The Cubs? 34-30, .279 team batting average, 4.07 team ERA - not a bad team, but they beat them only once with a great pitching performance by Wakefield with Mirabelli (finally) catching.
The next three games were against Cincinnati: 26-39, .257 team batting average, team ERA 5.57. Again with three excellent pitching performances, but this time against a bad team.
How they do against Pittsburgh (30-33 record, .260 team batting average, but a decent 4.00 ERA); Cleveland (33-30, .249 team batting average, 3.56 team ERA), and Philadelphia (36-30, .272 team batting average, 4.60 team ERA) will carry more weight with me and have a greater predictive impact on how they do the rest of the summer than the last four games.
As for Baltimore, I am with John: I don't see them fading anytime soon. They have better than average pitching, a good chemistry, lots of confidence, and Brian Roberts, who seems to be driving the team to take itself seriously.
PS: Having grown up in the D.C., area, I am getting a real kick out of the Nationals' performance so far, and paying attention to them. I always admired Frank Robinson, as a player and manager, and after his dissing of Mike Scoscia, who behaved like a kid caught with a porn magazine under his bed when Donnelly was kicked out, I like Robinson even more. At 69, he is just as tough and feisty as ever.