Tough Loss

The Red Sox have managed to stick around despite today’s brutal loss courtesy of Jonathan Papelbon and despite Kevin Youkilis being done for the year.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve allowed myself to think about the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Jed Lowrie could play an important role on this club.  He has been putting up good at bats and driving the ball (including 2 walks and a HR today).  Of course, the reality is that Lowrie has always been considered a decent prospect and now post-prospect, but he cannot be relied on because of his health.  Let’s talk again in a year if he remains DL-free.

But should the Red Sox let Adrian Beltre walk, perhaps Lowrie could be the fill in, or better yet, maybe he could be the super-utility infielder.

Speaking of utility guys, Bill Hall has also been hot at the plate posting a .914 OPS since the all-star break.

As for the season itself, John Lackey, Josh Beckett have to get better.  These 2 guys make the most on the team and they have both been disappointments, especially Beckett.  Knowing that Beckett is being paid (or will be next year) $17mm a year, does it bother you that since he has been an AL pitcher, he has a 4.22 ERA?  It should bother you.

Plain and simple, I just don’t think Beckett is that good anymore, or at least he hasn’t been since coming to Boston on the whole.  It is his up and down season tendency that is most frustrating as his 2007 was great and his 2009 good to great, but what about 2006, 2008 and so far 2010?  You can’t dismiss those.  I suppose I am being sucked into letting his most recent play weigh most heavily on my opinion making and that perhaps he is an above average pitcher, but to be considered a good to great pitcher, getting paid $17mm a year, you have to be consistent, and he isn’t.

Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and to a lesser extend, Daisuke Matsuzaka (6-2 with a 3.09 ERA since May 22), have been the ones to carry this team.  While Lacky has provided innings, then aren’t filled with much quality.

Fact is, this team has a big challenge ahead and everything has to work out perfectly, including the Yankees and/or Rays stumbling big time but life would be much easier if Lackey and Beckett can turn their seasons around.