When in god’s name did the city of Boston become so freaking cool? It’s seems as though every year, four new movies are set in Boston. The market is officially flooded for Boston in popular culture. You have the smartest people, your sports teams kick butt, you have unique (some may say annoying) accents and now every movie that wants to get an Oscar nod throws a script together and shoots the film in Beantown…ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. But I digress, here are your 2011 Boston Red Sox.
Left field: Carl Crawford. 2010 splits: .307 average, 19 home runs, 90 RBI, .851 OPS. Brief: A great signing for the Red Sox no doubt. Although don’t give the front office too much credit considering only three to four teams in the league could afford to pay for his services. Nonetheless, Crawford is simply a freak who possesses more tools than the Jersey Shore house (sappy joke I know, I’ll pick it up).
Center field: Jacoby Ellsbury. 2010 splits: .192 average, 0 home runs, 5 RBI, .485 OPS. Brief: Go ahead and chalk the 2010 season for Ellsbury, who was injury-riddled since jump street. When healthy, he provides another speed demon to go along with Crawford and another bat that should flirt if not cruise past the .300 plateau.
Right field: J.D. Drew. 2010 splits: .255 average, 22 home runs, 68 RBI, .793 OPS. Brief: If I’m not mistaken, Drew is a player that occasionally makes Sox fans want to scratch out their retinas. With new acquisitions Drew should be able to fall into a more comfortable role which will allow him to do his thing without catching as much flak: produce at an above average rate.
Third base: Kevin Youkilis. 2010 splits: .307 average, 19 home runs, 62 RBIs, .975 OPS. Brief: What a great, consistent hitter Youkilis is. He was a steading force in a 2010 lineup that was up and down for a majority of the season.
Also, what an attractive batting stance. (Which one of these sentences was sarcastic?). How will Youkilis handle the move to third base? Does he have the mobility? Does he have the quickness? Will his Civil War beard block his visibility on sharp grounders to the hot corner? Only time will tell.
Shortstop: Marco Scutaro. 2010 splits: .275 average, 11 home runs, 56 RBI, .721 OPS. Brief: Everytime I see a Scutaro highlight I sing “Su-su-sudio” by Phil Collins in my head, but that’s neither here nor there. Scutaro seems to be a great fit in this powerful Boston lineup. A nice bat that can consistently put the ball in play and good range at shortstop. The dude just needs to find a way to stay healthy this season.
Second base: Dustin Pedroia. 2010 splits: .288 average, 12 home runs, 41 RBI, .860 OPS. Brief: Hard to match his MVP season in 2009 and this year, with the potent lineup, he won’t have to. He’s coming off of foot surgery so it should be interesting to see what kind of start he gets off to. Still, the little man is one of the best in the business.
First base: Adrian Gonzalez. 2010 splits: .298 average, 31 home runs, 101 RBI, .904 OPS. Brief: Another newly minted superstar acquisition for the BoSox. They desperately needed another power hitter and the Red Sox got one in Gonzalez. The question all the blow hard baseball writers will ask is how will he do coming to the American League? I think this is an overrated statistic. Then again, I could have no idea what I’m talking about.
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz. 2010 splits: .270 average, 32 Home runs, 102 RBI, .899 OPS. Brief: Remember at the beginning of last year during Big Papi’s struggles when ESPN and the like made us feel like the sky was falling and that Ortiz couldn’t make contact playing tee-ball? Please, people don’t overreact, the baseball season is a marathon. One day you’ll wake up in the middle of July with a broken air conditioner and sweat soaked sheets that make you feel like you wet the bed and you’ll turn on the TV and see Ortiz is yet again putting up monster numbers…and you can run tell ‘dat homeboy.
Catcher: Jared Saltalamacchia. 2010 splits: .167 average, 0 home runs, 2 RBI, .625. Brief: I have a special place in my heart for Salt. I read a story last year that the only reason he was stuck in the minor leagues is because he struggled mightily throwing back to the pitcher. Now this conjures up memories of Rube Baker repeating Playboy articles to himself in Major League II. But, as a former high school catcher and neurotic head case, I can tell you that, that mental block is real and it can be one of the loneliest feelings on earth. Can I have a hug please?
Ok, we’ll be back next week for a report on starting and relief pitchers. PEACE.
June 8, 1918 at League Park
Indians 3, Red Sox 1 (28-19)
The Red Sox fell from first place after taking their third loss in four games against the Indians. Carl Mays had a tough time finding the plate and he finished with six walks to go with the three runs and six hits he gave up.
Unfortunately, the offense was off as well. Babe Ruth had a nice day with a double, a single and he scored the lone run. Dave Shean was the only Red Sox with two hits with his pair of singles.
June 7, 1918 at League Park
Indians 14, Red Sox 7 (28-18)
Red Sox pitchers gave up more runs in this one then in any other game in the 1918 season as the Indians retook the lead in their four game series with the Red Sox. Even worse, the loss came with the Red Sox scoring four runs in the first inning. Dutch Leonard didn’t even make it through the third, which was the Indians first six run inning. In all, the Red Sox used six pitchers in this one, including starters Joe Bush and Sam Jones.
Babe Ruth had a pair of hits and he scored a run. Harry Hooper doubled, tripled and scored a run.
June 6, 1918 at League Park
Red Sox 1, Indians 0 (28-17)
The Red Sox turned the tables and this time it was they who walked away with a ten inning victory over the Indians. Sad Sam Jones did it again with an outstanding outing as he led the Indians to just five hits over ten shutout innings.
Harry Hooper scored the lone run for either side in the tenth inning. He drew a walk and then scored when the ball was thrown away on a bunt attempt.
June 5, 1918 at League Park
Indians 5, Red Sox 4 (27-17)
Babe Ruth homered in his fourth straight game but it wasn’t enough as the Red Sox lost their series opener to the Indians. Ruth’s three run blast gave the team a 3-1 lead but that was short lived as the Indians scored single runs in the sixth and seventh. Both teams scored in the ninth to send the game into extra frames and then Joe Bush took the loss when he gave up a tenth inning run.
Harry Hooper and Dave Shean both had a pair of hits. Both of Shean’s hits were doubles.
June 4, 1918 at Navin Field
Red Sox 7, Tigers 6 (27-16)
The Red Sox salvaged a split with the Tigers in their four game series in a tight game that saw the Sox score three runs in the top of the ninth. Harry Hooper had yet another great game hitting leadoff with a pair of hits and two runs. George Whiteman had a double, two singles and a run and Babe Ruth hit a homerun in his third straight game.
Carl Mays didn’t have his best stuff but it was good enough for the win with all of the offense. He gave up six runs on ten hits and three walks.
June 3, 1918 at Navin Field
Red Sox 5, Tigers 0 (26-16)
Dutch Leonard threw his second career no hitter as he put the Red Sox on his back and carried them to victory. The only Tiger to reach base came on a walk in the first inning.
Babe Ruth got the start in centerfield and he belted his second homer in as many games. Harry Hooper tripled and he scored a run.
June 2, 1918 at Navin Field
Tigers 4, Red Sox 3 (25-16)
Babe Ruth really struggled in his first start in a couple of weeks and he took the loss as the Red Sox lost their third straight. He gave up four runs on nine hits and three walks with two strikeouts but two of those walks came with the bases loaded.
Ruth did get it done at the plate though. He belted a solo homer in the sixth inning to put the Red Sox on the board. Stuffy McInnis was the only Red Sox with more then one hit with a pair of singles.
June 1, 1918 at Navin Field
Tigers 4, Red Sox 3 (25-15)
The Red Sox and Tigers played thirteen innings in a game that saw Harry Heilman double home the winning run in the bottom half of the inning off of Carl Mays. Joe Bush got into trouble in the first inning and gave up three runs but then he threw eight straight shutout innings. Mays held the Tigers scoreless in his first three innings of relief but then he finally relented in that thirteenth inning.
Dave Shean and Harry Hooper each had a team high three hits in the loss. Hooper came around and scored two of the Red Sox three runs.
May 30, 1918 at Fenway Park
Red Sox 9, Senators 1 (25-13)
The Red Sox made it four straight wins as they blew out the Senators in their second straight doubleheader. There were plenty of hitting stars in this one as Stuff McInnis and Fred Thomas both had a pair of hits and three runs each. Everett Scott doubled three times and he scored once.
Lost in all of the offense was a nice start by Dutch Leonard. He gave up one run on nine hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
May 30, 1918 at Fenway Park
Senators 4, Red Sox 0 (25-14)
The Red Sox four game winning streak came to an end as the Senators salvaged the fourth and final game of the series. THe team managed just six hits and couldn’t push a single baserunner across in the Red Sox fourth shutout loss of the season. Dave Shean was the only Red Sox with a pair of hits in this one.
Dick McCabe took the loss in his first and only start of the season. He gave up four runs on eleven hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
The game ended a three week homestand that saw the Red Sox go 13-5. Now they’d hit the road for nearly three weeks and you’d hope they’d keep the wins rolling.
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