Red Sox Recap: Adrian’s Promise, Aviles Ejected and Interleague play

Fenway Park

Fenway Park

14th May – 20th May

The Red Sox opened the week with a visit of the Seattle Mariners for two games. Lester and Beckett both pitched better games and many in the Boston press got excited about Josh Beckett again. You can read what I thought of that and Beckett’s performance in this post – Josh Beckett Spins the Mariners, Media.

The Sox swept aside the Mariners and headed to Tampa feeling pretty good about themselves.

It was a case of ‘Balk this way’ as Buchholz balked in what would be the winning run in the opening game of this two game series. Franklin Morales had an eventful 0.2 innings as he also balked, twice, and later hit Will Rhymes in the arm with a pitch. Rhymes made it to first before fainting into the arms of suave first base coach George Hendrick. The Rays would later say it was the adrenaline spike in the aftermath of the plunking that caused it.

In a postgame interview Adrian Gonzalez was asked where his power stroke had gone after over 100 at bats since his last long ball. Gonzalez, who has recently been showing some of the fire fans want to see, said he would homer in the next game.

Apparently David Price, who lasted just 3 innings against Boston on the night Kelly Shoppach made history, took exception to this and retweeted a fan tweet suggesting Gonzo should be plunked “between the numbers”. Adrian didn’t get his home run (although he didn’t miss it by much) but he did get hit by a Matt Moore pitch. Commenting after the game A-gon said “keep doing it. It didn’t hurt.”

Mike Aviles was tossed for the first time in his career after arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Dan Bellino in the 7th inning.

Cody Ross hit a 2 run homerun in the 8th to give the Sox a lead they would keep and with that the series was split and Boston took to the air for Philadelphia to begin the first interleague series of the season.

Jonathan Papelbon baffled most of us with an interview he gave to Rob Bradford of WEEI before the series started and he, of course, ended up on the mound in the 9th in a save situation. His inning was briefly interrupted as Bobby V came out to argue a call and was subsequently ejected by gum chewing first base Umpire Gary Darling. Darling comically ended up losing control of his gum in the argument and  inadvertently ejected it from his mouth into Bobby V’s eye.  Once the hubbub-bubba was over Pap closed out the inning for a Phil’s victory.

Before the 9th inning Cody Ross had already limped out of the game after fouling a ball off his foot.  While it was originally thought that Ross had avoided any broken bones an MRI has revealed he has a broken navicular bone and will likely land on the DL tomorrow.

It should be noted that Gonzalez got his home run in this game and only a day later than promised.

The following day Joe Blanton did Will Middlebrooks no favours by allowing 4 home runs in 4.1 innings, likely pouring cold water on any rumoured Kevin Youkilis trade. Middlebrooks himself swatted one of the home runs and is certainly giving Ben Cherington something to think about, but unless the Red Sox can trade Youkilis or decide to move some players around the line-up it seems that Middlebrooks is destined to head back to Pawtucket.

In the last game of the series Josh Beckett again beat up on a poor offence but it was nice to see him put together back-to-back solid outings no matter the opponent. Beckett will face the Rays next time out, a team he pitched 8 innings of 1 run ball against in his second start of the season.

So after winning 5 out of 7 in the last week courtesy of some good pitching and hot bats, the Sox will start this week against the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles and will be looking for some revenge after the 3 game sweep that started this 20 game (without an off day) tilt.