Well, it’s time for the Red Sox/Yankee series, which will consist of four games over three days at Boston’s Fenway Park. It is a massive series for the Red Sox, which is a club hovering in last place in the AL East. This is as good a time as any to take a look at the home team and consider where they are.
Beckett Gets Start
Josh Beckett (4-7, 4.06 ERA) starts tonight against the Yankees. Beckett has pitched well lately but has not been able to notch a win over the past three starts. He’s received little run support from his teammates, as the Red Sox have been good for just 8 runs in those three starts. In his last five games Beckett’s ERA is 3.60. He is 5-0 versus the Yankees. This is a good place for him to be but he needs some runs.
Bad news on Dustin Pedroia as he is back on the DL after reinjuring his thumb when diving for a ball in the Oakland series. Pedroia has struggled at the plate after first injuring the same thumb earlier in the season. The Red Sox have had hitting woes and his bat has been missed.
Will Middlebrooks, who has seen his batting average drop 33 points in the past two weeks, is out with a hamstring and is day to day. Crawford and Ellsbury are playing rehab games in the lower minors. Ryan Sweeney and Scott Podsednik have been doing the same in Triple A, and they may be back soon but as of this morning are not on the Red Sox active roster. Dice-K and Buchholz are both on the DL. That’s a lot of important bats, arms and legs left out of the mix.
Yes, David Ortiz is complaining about being contracted one year at a time. But, quite honestly, it may be to the guy’s advantage as a good season at the plate can result in a huge payoff the next season. He’s earning a bit over $14 million this year (after arbitration). The Red Sox are still one of the few American League teams to use a pure DH, which means there’s not a huge market for Ortiz. I love Big Papi. I acknowledge his right to his opinion and to offer it. I feel it’s bad timing. Rather see the teammate David Ortiz at this point rather than the kvetching, solitary athlete complaining about his sorry state.
Team Red Sox
That’s what the Fenway Faithful need to see tonight a team effort against the dreaded, hated and irritating Evil Empire. Focus on the win and rest will fall into place.