By Andy Lindberg
While the Boston Red Sox finished the week with a 4-2 record, retaining the best record in the American League, the injury bug has crept up on the team yet again, knocking out Carl Crawford with a hamstring strain and Jed Lowrie with an ailing shoulder. The Sox also placed Clay Buchholz on the 15-Day DL prior to Sunday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. While neither injury to the hitters are as crushing as the Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia injuries of 2010, Crawford had been batting .291 since the beginning of May. The month of May saw Crawford hit .304 after a dismal .155 start to his season. While Crawford was not yet in full swing with his hitting or his base stealing (he only had eight when he went down) he was beginning to come together. Buchholz isn’t too significant a loss at this point, as his scheduled start had already been pushed back and this is more along the lines of a precautionary move before Buchholz’s back gets too bad.
Part of the reason for Boston’s offensive success in lieu of Crawford and JD Drew’s offensive struggles was the calamity Adrian Gonzalez has been causing every time he steps into the batter’s box. Gonzalez knocked his 1000th career hit on Sunday, a triple into the triangle at Fenway.
Josh Beckett remained exceptional, hurling a 1-hit shutout at Tampa Bay the very night the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup. Beckett has been unbelievable this season, already matching his win total from last year’s injury-plagued campaign.
Tim Wakefield picked up another win on his quest to 200 wins, and to unseat Roger Clemens and Cy Young as the Red Sox’ all time wins leaders. Wakefield sits now nine wins away from Clemens and Young and a mere three wins away from 200 career wins. As Matsuzaka is done for the year, there is no reason to take Wakefield out of the rotation, as he has been quite effective to this point. This next week sees Boston play three games at Fenway as the San Diego Padres come to town, and three against the surprisingly decent Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh.
As a side note, from now on each highlighted player in one of my articles or recaps will take you to that player’s statistical page for your reference. I will do the same for teams when highlighted as well so you may view the team in reference to the year I am describing.