Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sox Get Back On Track, But What About Ortiz?

The following post was first posted yesterday as part of my weekly "Dead Red" Red Sox column at Blogcritics Magazine. The following is an excerpt.

Red Sox record for the Week of May 3-9: 5-2. Overall: 16-16, 4th place AL East

To start week five of the 2010 season and a 10-game homestand, the Boston Red Sox held a quick pregame team meeting led by manager Terry Francona that served to refocus as a group and start playing baseball at the high level expected of them. That was Monday (May 3). Next thing you knew, the Sox swept a surprisingly bad Los Angeles Angels squad in four games, outscoring them 36-16, and went into the weekend with a 15-14 record. All memories of a humiliating sweep by Baltimore were long gone.

Then the Yankees had to show up and do to the Sox what the Sox did to the Angels, for two games, anyway. Friday night, Josh Beckett (1-1) was bested by 4-0 youngster Phil Hughes. It was a relatively tight 3-1 game, with the Yankees on top by just two until the sixth inning, when Beckett quickly lost command of all of his pitches, letting up six runs on the board. Final score: 10-3.

Saturday night was a nightmare 14-3 loss, with Clay Buchholz (3-3) having his worst outing of 2010, letting up five ER in five innings, while the bullpen gave up the rest. Boston relief pitching was so spent by this point that young outfielder Jonathan Van Every became the fifth reliever of the game in the ninth and the first Sox position player to ever pitch against the Yankees. The icing on the cake: he served up a previously struggling Mark Teixeira's third homer of the game and fourth hit on the night overall.

Sunday, Mother’s Day night, the true ace of the Sox staff Jon Lester (3-2) came to the rescue to pitch seven quality innings, record 7 Ks and allowed two earned runs, outdueling veteran A.J. Burnett, who like Beckett before him, lost it quickly. Five of his eight earned runs came in the third inning, and was knocked out for good in the fifth when Jeremy Hermida hit his fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot. He had three RBI in the game and is tied for second on the Sox squad with 19 overall, a remarkable 15 of which have come with two outs.

Read more here

No comments: