From a distance, Texas Rangers infielder Michael Young had a two-word reaction last month when he heard the Red Sox [team stats] traded for left-hander Erik Bedard.

Great move.

Everyone knows solid pitching is paramount to a long postseason run, and the way Young sees it, the trade-deadline addition of Bedard and John Lackey's improved health have made the Red Sox stronger in the middle of a rotation fronted by the lefty-righty punch of Jon Lester [stats] and Josh Beckett [stats].

Young is somewhat of an expert, too. During a 12-year career spent entirely in Texas, he hasn't faced any pitcher more often than Lackey (98 plate appearances), a longtime member of the Los Angeles Angels. And over the past few seasons, he routinely saw Bedard in AL West matchups against the Seattle Mariners.

Last week, the Red Sox bludgeoned the Rangers for 30 runs in three victories in Texas. But Young emerged most impressed by Bedard and Lackey. Bedard allowed little more than a homer to Mike Napoli in a hard-luck 4-0 loss last Monday night. One night later, Lackey gave up four runs but still pitched into the seventh inning to pick up his 12th win in an 11-5 victory.

"I think getting Bedard was a great move for them, and I expect Lack to pitch really well the rest of the way," Young said. "I fully expect both those guys to throw really well for them down the stretch and in the playoffs."