The Sox-Red Sox series began as a coming home party for Kevin Youkilis, but ended as a coming out celebration for Cody Ross. That’s not a good thing for the Sox, which dropped 3 of 4 in Boston, and now lead the fast charging Tigers by just a game-and-a-half.
A little hamstring tweak kept Youkilis out of the finale, but he didn’t disappoint in the first 3 games. 5-12, including the game winning home run in the 2nd game.
It was great to see the crowd react to Youkilis, a favorite son to the bean-towners since he arrived in 2004.
In the 4 games the Sox faced Aaron Cook, Jon Lester, Felix Doubront and Clay Buchholz. I would’ve figured the Sox would beat 2 of the first 3, with Lester being the guy that couldn’t get past. Instead they were controlled by Cook and Doubront, but hit around Lester. There is just no way to figure out baseball.
Against the starters in games 1 and 3, the Sox managed 9 hits and 1 earned run. It really wasn’t the best of series for the Sox batsmen. Take away the 7 runs in game 2, and the Sox could only push across 3 earned runs in 27 innings.
Who were the main culprits? Alex Rios was doused with cold water (or is it tea?) in Boston. Rios had only 2 hits in the 4 games, and they each came in game 2. Wasn’t much better for Adam Dunn, who had only 1 hit, and that coincidentally came in game 2.
Let’s just remove game 2 from the equation. Messers Pierzynski, De Aza, Viciedo, Ramirez and Beckham went a combined 9-49 in the other 3 games. Gulp!
At least Paul Konerko looks to be coming out of his slump. The Captain went 5-12, but doesn’t have any power as 4 of those hits were singles.
Konerko is beat up right now, but the Sox can ill afford to sit him down, and he wouldn’t even if they wanted to. He looks a little like the guy last year, the one after he took a pitch off his calf against Boston’s Andrew Miller.
Too bad, because the Sox pitching was good enough to win 3 of the 4 games. Evidently Dylan Axelrod needs to pitch in front of the biggest audiences. Case in point, in road games against the Yankees and Red Sox, Axlerod has pitched 13.2 innings, and only gave up 3 earned runs.
That’s a 2.04 ERA. In his other 3 starts against Milwaukee, Texas and Toronto he has thrown 14 innings and given up 16 earned runs. That’s an ERA of 10.28. These stats are configured from June 23rd till now. His next start, which will be at the Cell, someone needs to tell him to picture a Green Monster or The Monuments.
Nice to see the good Phil Humber back.
Though I didn’t think he would make it out of the 1st inning on Tuesday. Humber gave up 3 hits and 2 runs in the opening stanza, and 3 hits the rest of his outing covering 6 innings. If the Sox are gonna hold off the Tigers they need more of this Humber.
Let’s see…Southpaw Chris Sale–Success! South Paw Hector Santiago–Success! Southpaw Joe Quintana–Success! I think the Sox went to the left-handed well one time to many. Southpaw Pedro Hernandez–crash and burn. The poor kid, making his MLB debut had to have quite a case of the butterflies, and it showed. 12 hits and 8 earned runs given up by the kid in 4 innings.
He was sent to Charlotte right after the game, and that flight couldn’t have been easy. That had to be tough making a debut against the Red Sox in Fenway. No pressure there.
Jose Quintana handled the pressure without a glitch. Quintana had the Sox tied in knots in the finale.
8 innings of masterful pitching, which included pitching out of a bases loaded jam in the 7th inning. Youkilis replacement at 3rd, Will Middlebrooks bouncing into the inning ending double play.
I wonder what the Sox scouting report says about Cody Ross. Ross beat the Sox all by himself in the final 2 games. 3 home runs and 9 RBI, including the game winner on Thursday. Some guys don’t put up those stats in a month. Ross is used to playing on the big stage, as he was one of the big reasons the Giants won the World Series a couple seasons ago.
Maybe when these 2 meet again in the playoffs the Sox will have a better idea how to get the guy out.
Yes, I said it..PLAYOFFS!
To reach that goal, the Sox need to send a statement to the Tigers this weekend. Jake Peavy gets the ball on Friday, followed by Sale on Saturday. I said the Sox need to win 5 on this 10 game trip, right now they have won 3.
I realize it’s not even August, but they have to find a way to cool off the Tigers right now.