Game 2 at the Trop
What has happened to the mighty Red Sox offense?
For starters, David Ortiz hasn’t swung a bat in anger since May 31, and the same thing always seems to happen when a superstar goes down with an injury. The team holds its own for a while, and then begins to feel the impact of such a big cog missing.
Jacoby Ellsbury is struggling mightily and you wonder if, as hitting coach Dave Magadan suggested, the center fielder will start dropping down some bunts and utilizing his speed. Magadan’s point was proven when Ellsbury just reached base on a swinging bunt and Dioner Navarro’s throw sailed down the RF line, allowing Ellsbury to reach third on score on a sac fly to left by Drew.
Jason Varitek is also not hitting. Not even a little. The captain has just three hits in his last 42 at-bats and Magadan cited some mechanical adjustments that Varitek is still getting used to from the left side.
Here’s an interesting stat uncovered by Sox PR maven John Blake. By losing their last three games by a run, it marks the first time the Sox have lost three consecutive one-run games since July 9-11, 1998.
There’s just no way Ortiz’s loss wasn’t going to be felt. Speaking of Ortiz, he did advance to hitting against soft toss today after earlier being reduced to tee work.
J.D. Drew has cooled off in the three-spot. Though he hit a homer Monday night — his 12th and last of June — the right fielder entered the night with just three hits in his last 26 at-bats.
Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia are the three guys who have hit on this trip. Other than that, there’s been a lot of outs.
Jonathan Papelbon hasn’t pitched since Friday, so look for the closer to get out there one way or the other tonight.
Random thought: When was the last time the Red Sox had a series in Tropicana Field and Tim Wakefield didn’t pitch?