New Guys Save the Day for the Red Sox

The Red Sox finally win a home game and snap a 5 game losing streak in dramatic fashion.  And it was the new guys who provided the sparks.  Jeremy Hermida (HR in the 4th), Josh Reddick (2 RBI) and Superhero Darnell McDonald up from the minors for his first Red Sox appearance.  McDonald hit a 2 run homer in the 8th to tie the game and drove in the game winning run in the 9th.

For every bit of good news, there’s always some bad.  And for David Ortiz and J.D. the bad news seems to get worse every night.  Both struggled again last night.  Both struck out twice.  Drew is now batting a dismal .133; Ortiz .146.  Big Papi has been a Big Disappointment so far.  He can’t get around on a fastball and when he makes contact, he hits a grounder to first.  The only pop in his bat came after he popped up in the 6th and broke his bat over his leg, as if it were a pencil.  Papi struggled early last year too and finally picked it up in the second half of the season, but I don’t think Francona has the patience to wait until July for Papi to heat up.  We saw some of that last night when Francona pinch hit Mike Lowell for Ortiz in the 7th.  Ortiz was none to happy – Francona called him “prideful”.  He did high five Lowell when he came back in from the bases at the end of the inning, but I didn’t see him rush the field when McDonald hit the game winner.  And he was unavailable for comment after the game.

Red Sox Off to Mediocre Start

The Red Sox are 4-7, in 4th place currently in the AL east.  They’ve scored an average of 4 runs a game, allowing 5.  They’ve only won 1 game at home out of 5, winning 3 on the road.  Lefty power hitters JD Drew .139 and David Ortiz .177 are in a funk.  They’ve both struck out 15 times – Drew in 36  at bats, big Papi in 35.  The two have accounted for only 6 of the team’s 47 total runs.   I know it’s early in the season, but it may be time to platoon Mike Lowell and Ortiz at DH.  Drew is one of the least durable players in the league and may be ailing again, so I’d put him on the DL and work Cameron, Hermida and Hall into the outfield until Ellsbury returns.

The Sox have gotten serviceable starting pitching, but the bullpen has been a little shaky, particularly Ramon Ramirez, Manny Delcarmen and Scott Schoeneweis.  It’s too early to panic, but the team shouldn’t go with these guys for too long if they can’t get the job done.  When Dice-K comes back, I’d recommend sending Wake to the bullpen and pitch him before or after Bard.  That’d mess up hitters’ timing, wouldn’t it?  And why not bring Julian Tavarez back?  He’s not on a major league roster anywhere as best I can tell.

An interesting tidbit to reveal:  the cerebral Red Sox have 5 players whose last names are names of colleges:  Bard College, Drew College, Wakefield College (in the UK) , UMASS Lowell, and Seton Hall.