Return of the Red Sox report
When we last left our heroes, the Boston Red Sox were losing a series at home to the Tampa Bay Rays that could have closed the gap in the American League East. Since then:
- The Boston Red Sox took 4 of 6 against the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays and built optimism in the city that the Boston Red Sox could make a run back to the top of the American League East. This was followed by losing 2 of 3 against the Orioles and getting swept at home by the Nationals. Now, I understand that baseball in the DMV is much better this year than it has been in recent years, especially in Washington where they might have the best rotation in all of baseball, but getting swept at home is pretty pathetic. They have followed that up by dropping a game to the Miami Marlins not getting the memo that Boston fans don’t want to lose to two different Miami teams twice in the same week.
- The Sox disabled list and missed games due injury list grew to exponential numbers forcing the Boston Red Sox to jump on the backs of Daniel Nava and Will Middlebrooks. Not a bad thing. Daniel Nava this has an OPS of .918 and 19 RBI in 29 games this season and has played the outfield well enough for the Red Sox to contemplate whether or not they want to turn him into the starting right-fielder. Will Middlebrooks has an OPS of .859, highlighted by a .517 SLG percentage that has effectively put fan favorite and long-time third baseman Kevin Youkilis on the trading block.
- David Ortiz continued a spree of play that can only be scientifically described as nasty (.975 OPS, 14 HR, 38 RBI so far this season. He does look good)
- Dustin Pedroia (OPS of .750) Adrian Gonzalez (OPS of .733) and Kevin Youkilis (OPS of .686) who were supposed to be the core of the Boston Red Sox line-up along with the injured Jacoby Ellsbury have been average at best. Of the three, Pedroia has the best chance to swing better sooner rather than later only because slow starts are (surprisingly) nothing new to him. Kevin Youkilis, on the other hand, is more likely to be dealt than anything.
- The starting rotation went from being “pretty good” back to average. Struggles in the rotation were highlighted by Daniel Bard being sent back to Pawtucket to re-find his game and promptly hitting two batters in his first start in Pawtucket. At least Dice-K wasn’t terrible on Saturday giving hope that the Sox might move Bard back to the bull-pen where he belongs.
- The Boston Celtics made a magical run deep into the post-season and effectively made sure that no one was paying attention to the Red Sox when they got to within 3 games of the American League East game. Of course, when the Celtics season winds down, the Red Sox start losing again and drop to 6.5 back of the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East.
Now, the Boston Red Sox are the only game in town which means its time to start writing more and more about the Red Sox.