23 Aug 2011
The Beatles couldn’t have said it better, the Red Sox line-up needs help, it’s just not what it was.
Ellsbury – out
Youkilis – DL
Ortiz – out
Drew – DL
Drew wasn’t helping from the get go, but the other 3 are major contributors and without them, the line-up just isn’t generating runs. Ellsbury’s injury is the most confounding as he was hit by an 88 mph on the upper right back. Don Baylor felt those like the rest of us feel a greenhead fly (in my case, I drop to the ground and groan for 20-30 seconds all the while looking around to make sure those around me are feeling sufficiently sorry for me, then I pop up and I’m ready to go).
In fact, Baylor never, EVER, reacted to a HBP. I never once saw him grab the spot he was hit and grimace. He’d just take his medicine and take first. Amazing.
Now Baylor was otherworldly. Ellsbury isn’t otherwordly when it comes to injuries. I certainly am not suggesting he is not tough, it’s just that he takes a bit longer, based on visual evidence, to come back from an injury incident. That last part sounded like an insurance disclaimer.
The Red Sox are trotting out Darnell McDonald, Ryan Lavarnway and Jed Lowrie/Marco Scutaro in place of Ellsbury, Ortiz and Youkilis. Lavarnway is holding his own posting a .293/.429/.353 line, not bad for a rookie in his first 5 games, but McDonald has been bad overall this year, but in his defense, had an OPS of .988 in July and .863 in thus far in August. So wait, both Lavarnway and McDonald have been good of late, what about Lowrie/Scutaro? Scutaro has a .787 OPS in August and Lowrie? Ok, he has been bad in August with a .604 OPS. In fact, Lowrie hasn’t been good since April. He’s another guy who gets injured and that’s basically it. He needs to figure out how to stay on the field for a full season.
So why else are the Red Sox not scoring runs?
AGon – .668 OPS
Pedroia – .711 OPS
Saltalamacchia – 643 OPS
Crawford – .770 OPS (ok, but need much, much more except that’s his career OPS!!! Cripes!!!)
Reddick – .639 OPS
Wow, the healthy starters have been terrible. That’s the real reason for the Red Sox offensive woes. Time for the regulars to pick it up and score some runs. Nothing Terry Francona can do here, he just needs his injured core players to get healthy and his healthy core players to start hitting again.