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After a brutal series with the Yankees last week, the Red Sox started to get back on track this past week. However, they faltered again towards the end of the week after a trip to Texas with a match-up with the Rangers. The Red Sox went 4-3 on the week after two series with the Tigers and Rangers.
We all know that Youk can get a little hot-headed sometimes. The guy gets ready to kill himself if he does not get a base hit, but this past week saw Youk get a little bit more hot-headed. During Tuesday night’s match-up with the Tigers, Youkilis charged the mound after being hit by a pitch by pitcher Rick Porcello. Youkilis was suspended for five games and decided not to appeal, instead taking a break for five games for a little rest and repair.
Capitalizing on Youkilis’s suspension was third baseman Mike Lowell. Lowell has been basically demoted to the bench after the arrival of Victor Martinez, but got to see some starting time at third base in the absence of Youk. Lowell hit two home runs after coming in from the bench on Tuesday night then hit another one on Wednesday night.
Speaking of players who are smacking home runs and getting back on track, Jason Bay had a productive week at the plate. Bay hit his 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th home runs this week. Bay now has 83 RBI on the season and is fourth on the RBI list in the American League.
After another solid start on Wednesday night, Beckett kept up his lead in the American League in the wins category. Beckett now has 14 wins on the season with a 3.10 ERA and 145 strikeouts. He is fifth in the AL in strikeouts and sixth in ERA.
David Ortiz was dropped down to the seventh spot in the lineup at the start of the series with the Rangers. Ortiz had not batted that low in the lineup since his first season with the Sox back in 2003. He responded to the demotion by going 2-3 with a home run, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. On Sunday afternoon, he responded again by hitting another home run. Ortiz currently has a .221 avg, 17 home runs, and 65 RBI.
Alex Gonzalez is probably the best defensive shortstop in the bunch that the Sox have had since the departure of Nomar Garciaparra. The Sox re-acquired Gonzo on Friday from the Cincinnati Reds. He’s batting .210 with three home runs and 26 RBI. Gonzo is great defensively and should get rid of the defensive problems the Sox have had between Jed Lowrie and Nick Green playing shortstop. They will not get much offensively from Gonzo, but defensively he’s solid as a rock.
No, he’s not really a catcher, but Buchholz did come in to pinch run for catcher Jason Varitek in the ninth inning of Friday night’s comeback win against the Rangers. Buchholz was a little rusty at base running and stumbled as he tried to round third and was thrown out at the plate. Better just stick to pitching, Clay.
V-Mart seems to be enjoying his time with the Red Sox as he had a great week. Whether he is playing first base, catching, or being the designated hitter, Martinez is contributing in every way that is good. This week Martinez had seven hits with a home run and three RBI. Martinez is now batting .288 on the season with 18 home runs and 78 RBI.
Two weeks ago, the Red Sox really crippled their chances at taking the AL East division title after six straight losses to the Rays and the Yankees. This past week the Sox saw their lead in the Wild Card race disappear after they lost two straight to the Rangers, who now lead the Wild Card race by half a game. They are also currently 7.5 games back of the Yankees in the division.
So after a week where the Sox started to get back on track against the Tigers, they fell right back down again after a rough series in Texas. They really need to get solid pitching back, and getting Tim Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka off the disabled list somewhat soon will help.
This week, the Sox travel to Toronto and then welcome the Yankees back to Fenway to try and get revenge after the beating they took last week in New York.