Who Will Step Up in June?

April wasn’t the best month for the Boston Red Sox.  We can all do ourselves a favor and forget about it.  We were too busy paying attention to the Celtics and the Bruins anyways.  It also helps that pennants aren’t won in April.  However, it is fair to say, there was nervous tension throughout April as many fans questioned the approach of pitching and defense.  David Ortiz and JD Drew had sub .200 batting averages and there was panic, although no one was paying attention.

May came.  And with it the emergence of Big Papi, JD Drew, and Adrian Beltre.  Papi showed that slow starts happen and he was a man possessed in May, hitting 11 home runs with 27 RBI’s and hitting over .360.  Screw the shift!  JD Drew who has the prettiest swing in all of sports actually used it to hit the ball and not just look pretty.  He upped his average from sub.200 to .280.  Beltre has quietly produced all season long hitting over .340.  Not bad for an acquisition that was used purely for defensive purposes.  Jason Varitek has made the Sox faithful happy he came back for one more year.

Also in May the starting pitching has come up big.  Jon Lester showed why he is the true ace of the Sox and possibly the best left handed pitcher in baseball.  Clay Buchholz has been a stud, tied for first in the American League in wins.  Dice-K has even shown glimpses of what he is capable of.  Because of this the Sox are 5 back of the Rays in the toughest division in baseball and 2 back of the Yankees for the wild card.

Now it is on to June.  Who will step for the team this month?  John Lackey has 5 wins coming into June but an ERA north of 4.50.  Josh Beckett hasn’t shown why he was worth his contract extension as he has struggled prior to going on the disabled list.  These are the two prime candidates to turn things around from the pitching staff and help shoulder the load that Lester and Buchholz have managed thus far.

Victor Martinez is having a 5 for 5 night at the time of this writing and is showing signs of heating up along with the weather.  Dustin Pedroia is in the middle of his annual slump but history has told us he will catch fire and tear up the league at any given point.  Jacoby Ellsbury will never be confused with Trot Nixon.  But whenever he decides to play through his nagging ribs injury he will help out the team greatly by just being in the lineup, allowing Marco Scutaro to go to the nine spot.

The June schedule is a soft one, one in which the Sox can make up significant ground in the Pennant Race.  Someone is bound to step up just like Ortiz and Lester did in May.  The Sox will be in the thick of things come September which is dangerous for Major League Baseball.  I hate to use the cliché but this team is built for the playoffs and we have seen what a solid rotation and timely hitting has done before.  Twice actually.

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2 Responses

  1. Although they have performed without him, I believe that Ellsbury is the catalyst to the Red Sox’s success. Scutaro has been (pardon my French) fucking horrendous moving into the leadoff spot. Sadly, Tito can’t do anything about it. Pedroia never fairs well leading off, J.D. is on a tear right now so you don’t want to move him around, the same goes for Beltre, and Cameron…well that’s not happening. So, the Sox are stuck with Scutaro up top, killing any sort of offensive rally that they start, and consistently starting off games with one out. When Ellsbury returns, hopefully at %100 health, I can only imagine the spark that he will bring to this offense. But, until then I still worry about the offense and out hopes continue to lie upon the success of our starting rotation (TIME TO STEP UP LACKMASTER!).

  2. You mean John Lack-luster.

    And dont discount Scutaro he is doing alright for a make shift lead off hitter. He is working deep counts and getting quality at bats. His on base percentage I believe is better than Ellsbury has ever put up to this point in his career actually.

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