Sorry for the delay with this entry but with the Mother’s Day holiday I didn’t get a chance to watch yesterday’s game until late last night. Another week of Red Sox baseball is now history and unfortunately not too much else is known about this team. Just as the Celtics played in the regular season, the Red Sox are having an up and down start to the year. Thankfully the Sox went above .500 this week taking one of three from the Royals (thereby doubling the Royals wins at home on the campaign) and then winning three games over the weekend over the Indians after dropping Thursday night’s game to Cleveland. Of course there was plenty of drama this week, and Josh Beckett was at the forefront of it yet again, and sadly I believe his performance on the golf course was better than his ugly game on Thursday night (2 1/3 innings, 7 hits, 7 earned runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, and 2 HR allowed).
And besides Beckett and the obligatory Bobby Valentine hate, there was one truly tragic event this week with the team with the passing of Fenway Park Public Address Announcer Carl Beane on Wednesday afternoon. Beane, who had been the voice of Fenway Park since 2003 and is famously known for opening each game with the words “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Fenway Park”, suffered a heart attack while driving in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and his car crashed into a tree and rock wall. Beane was one of those guys who was truly happy with his life and his job, and though I’ve never met him from everything I’ve heard and read he was a very well respected sports broadcaster. The Red Sox honored him by not using the PA system for the game on Thursday night and the silence was definitely noticeable (even on TV) and was a touching tribute. It’s been almost a week and I can still hear Carl Beane’s voice and I have a feeling that his legacy surrounding this ballpark is something that many in Red Sox Nation will remember for a long, long time.
Monday, May 7: 11-5 win at Kansas City Royals (Will Middlebrooks 2 HR game powers Sox)
Tuesday, May 8: 6-4 loss at Kansas City Royals (Billy Butler goes yard off Matt Albers to give KC win)
Wednesday, May 9: 4-3 loss at Kansas City Royals (Disputed calls, Lester only going 5 innings doom Sox)
Thursday, May 10: 8-3 loss vs. Cleveland Indians (Beckett blows up, loses more fans postgame)
Friday, May 11: 7-5 win vs. Cleveland Indians (Buchholz best outing so far)
Saturday, May 12: 4-1 win vs. Cleveland Indians (Doobie goes 6, bullpen perfect, Cody Ross crushes ball)
Sunday, May 13: 12-1 win vs. Cleveland Indians (Sox blast Masterson, Bard pitches well, Salty 5 RBIs)
Sox (15-19) remain in last place in the AL East: 6.5 games behind Baltimore for first and 3.5 behind Toronto for fourth. The team will battle to get back to .500 and if they can achieve that they will have a real chance to make up some ground in the division next week when they play 6 games against Tampa and Baltimore.
Aside from Josh Beckett the pitching for the Sox was a lot better over this past week. Felix Doubrant was the ace of the staff for the week, going 2-0 with only 4 earned runs allowed in 12 1/3 innings. He also led the team in strikeouts with 7 on the week. Daniel Bard had two good starts, going 1-1 and allowing 6 runs in 13 innings, and that includes the two inherited runners that Matt Albers allowed to score off the Billy Butler blast that did the Sox in on Tuesday night. Clay Buchholz had an encouraging start in what may his best on the young season, going 6 1/3 innings allowing 3 runs on 8 hits. I am still expecting more out of Clay, but this week he looked more like his old self than the John Lackey impression he did last week. The Sox bullpen which is a heart attack waiting to happen had an extremely solid week with Atchison, Rich Hill, Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales, Clayton Mortenson, and Vicente Padilla all making it through the week without surrendering an earned run. Closer Alfredo Aceves went 2 for 2 in save situations on the week, and the Red Sox will need more weeks like this past one from its bullpen if they want to continue to experience success.
The Sox bats woke up a bit this week, and some of it came from unlikely sources. Outfield call-up Daniel Nava hit an outstanding .600 on the week, going 6-10 with 4 doubles, 4 RBIs, and adding 4 walks to be a giant spark in the Red Sox lineup. Another relatively new Sox outfielder Marlon Byrd went second in average for the week at .429 (6-14, all singles) and Adrian Gonzalez also hit over .400, batting a solid .407 with 7 doubles and 4 RBIs. Dustin Pedroia and Will Middlebrooks continued to do damage at the plate with 6 extra base hits and 9 RBIs a piece to tie for the team lead for the week in both categories. David Ortiz got on base 12 times over these past 7 games to continue his amazing year and it may be time to start thinking about him potentially hitting above .300 for the second consecutive season, even at his ripe age of 36.
The Red Sox remain the second best fielding team in the Majors, only 1 percentage point behind the Yankees still. The team has only made 15 errors on the year, and with no defensive plays costing the team any games like Saltalamacchia did last weekend, I have to give these boys the credit they deserve.
The Week Ahead
May 14-16: 2 games vs. Seattle Mariners
May 16-17: 2 games at Tampa Bay Rays
May 18-20: 3 games at Philadelphia Phillies (and Jonathan Papelbon)