Red Sox Week in Review
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 15:04
Ten games into the season and the Red Sox find themselves in the basement of the AL East with only four wins. And after just a few games there’s already a lot happening in Red Sox nation -- some for the better and some for the worst. Regardless, fasten your seatbelts because it’s going to be a long ride.
Rough start: The Red Sox were looking forward to starting a new season and erasing some bad memories from last season. Instead, they started the year on the wrong foot as they were swept by the Detroit Tigers in their first three games of the season. Detroit outscored Boston, 26-14, including a 10-0 shutout on Saturday in which Josh Beckett gave up seven runs in 4.2 innings of work. The Sox started last season 0-3, and we all know how that ended.
First one is the sweetest: Boston was on the verge of starting the season 0-4, again, but a ninth inning rally against Toronto led the Sox to their first win of the season on Monday. The victory marked Bobby Valentine’s first major league win since 2002, and obviously his first as Red Sox skipper. Of course, the win also marked Ben Cherington’s first as general manager. Alfredo Aceves, Jonathan Papelbon’s replacement as closer, recorded his first save of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. And heck, even Dustin Pedroia got on the board in the Sox victory over the Blue Jays as he hit his first homerun of the season.
Down goes Ellsbury: Although the Red Sox beat the Rays, 12-2, in the Fenway Park home-opener, Boston ultimately lost on Friday as CF Jacoby Ellsbury suffered a right shoulder injury. After further evaluation an MRI revealed that Ellsbury had a subluxed shoulder, and the Sox placed him on the 15-day disabled list. Boston has called up Che-Hsuan Lin, Jason Repko and Nate Spears from Pawtucket to accommodate accordingly. In the seven games that Ellsbury played, he was batting .192 with only five hits in 26 at-bats. But regardless of the stats, with Ellsbury and Carl Crawford both injured, the Red Sox have a huge void to fill in the outfield.
Bobby V causing drama: From chicken and beer to commitment and criticism, the Red Sox seem to keep finding ways to create negative vibes in the media. This time it was Bobby Valentine stirring up controversy as he questioned Kevin Youkilis’ commitment, saying, “I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason.”
After hearing Valentine’s comments and being kept out of the lineup on Monday, Youkilis spoke to the media saying that he was surprised and confused about what Valentine said. “Everyone here knows I go out and play with emotion,” Youkilis told reporters on Monday morning. “The only time there has ever been a question is because I've been too emotional.”
But not only did Youkilis speak up, Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia also had something to say about Valentine’s comments.
“I really don’t know what Bobby is trying to do,” said Pedroia. “That’s not the way we go about our stuff around here. He’ll figure that out. The whole team is behind Youk. We have each other’s backs here.”
“Maybe that works in Japan," he added.
I don’t think this will be an ongoing issue for team chemistry, but it’s certainly discouraging for Youk to hear those comments, as it was certainly unnecessary for Valentine -- and Pedroia -- to say that to the media instead of directly speaking to one another.
What’s next?: The Sox will play two games at Fenway against the Texas Rangers before hosting the rival New York Yankees for the first time this season. Boston and New York will play a three-game series over the weekend in which the Red Sox will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.