By Andy Lindberg
It seemed as though in the middle of this past week, that Boston reaching .500 was a pipe dream. There was little consistency in the Red Sox efforts this week, even though with a Mother’s Day win, they secured a winning [4-3] record for the week.
The week started out nicely with Boston continuing its recent dominance over the Angels, winning the first two games 9-5 and 7-3, respectively. But then came three consecutive losses, the last two of which were an 11-0 drubbing by the Halos and a 9-2 spanking by the Minnesota Twins. But Boston came back Saturday and Sunday with wins in which the offense looked like it got back on track.
Adrian Gonzalez has been tearing the cover off the ball for the past week and has seemed to notice the large green wall in left field is very easy for him to hit the ball into or over.
Jacoby Ellsbury has a 17-game hitting streak and Carl Crawford is now batting over .200, his average sitting at .211 after Sunday’s contest.
The pitching had it rough with a brutal rain delay in the Angles series, but a few bright lights in the ‘pen are still Matt Albers (1.42 ERA), Daniel Bard (2.55 ERA), and shockingly enough, Jonathan Papelbon (2.70 ERA, 5 saves). The starters were decent for this week minus another horrific effort by John Lackey, who gave up eight earned runs in four innings against the Angles on Thursday.
Right now there is too much inconsistency on the part of the Red Sox and they have yet to put together a string of complete baseball games where the pitching and hitting both shine.
Sunday began the Jose Iglesias era at Fenway, far earlier than most projected it would. In the ninth inning, Iglesias came in as a defensive replacement at shortstop and made the final assist of the game, throwing 5-3 for the final out, which prompted an ear-to-ear grin from the rookie.
Personally, I was extremely stoked to see Iglesias because I love watching defensive monsters at shortstop. I was begging each Twin batter to hit the ball to short in hopes of Iglesias making a diving stop, performing a back flip and throwing the ball behind his back all in one grand effort to get the runner out at first. Now, that didn’t (and won’t) happen, but Fenway got its first glimpse of the possible future at shortstop. With Marco Scutaro now on the 15-day DL, Iglesias’ first at-bat or start is probably not too far off, and might be something to look forward to this coming week.
Ahead, the Red Sox wrap up the Minnesota series on Monday with Josh Beckett taking on Nick Blackburn before Boston heads to Toronto on Tuesday. Jon Lester opens the Toronto series, followed by John Lackey on Wednesday to round out a short, two-game series. On Friday the real test of the week begins with three games at the Hurt Locker in the Bronx.
I feel like Iglesias will rob Derek Jeter of a base hit with a diving snag and fire one toward third base to catch a napping Francisco Cervelli to end one of the games.
Hey, It could happen, right?