Note: There will be no Dead Red column during All-Star week
The Red Sox lost last night 6-5 at the Trop to Tampa Bay and as a result, its place atop the AL Wild Card standings and now sit in second in that playoff chase. Worse, the BoSox now sit in third place in the AL East for the first time since June 26, when they were percentage points behind the Rays for second place, and have fallen to two-and-a-half games back of AL East-leading New York.
The fact that it took this long for the Sox to show signs of wear and tear is simply amazing. With Clay Buchholz, Manny Delcarmen and Jason Varitek joining Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia, Jeremy Hermida, Jacoby Ellsbury, Victor Martinez and Josh Beckett on the disabled list last week, that gives Boston nine players out of action until at least the All-Star break. That’s an amount that could field almost an entire other team’s starting lineup.
You’d be hard–pressed to find another major league team missing that much talent and still find itself at or near the top of two playoff races for as long as Boston has been. Last night, the injuries finally began to take its toll on Boston - second baseman Bill Hall and shortstop Marco Scutaro failed to convert a key double play that surely the main combo of Scutaro and Dustin Pedroia would have taking care of if not for the latter's broken foot – as it began its final two series before the All-Star break against divisional foes Tampa Bay and Toronto.
Now, here’s more of my take and highlights of last week’s happenings in Red Sox Nation.
If The Devil Is Six, Then God (And Youkilis) Is Seven
Forgive my play on a Pixies lyric for a minute and vent along with me that two possible MVP candidates, Boston’s Kevin Youkilis and Cincinnati’s Joey Votto, did not get selected by fans, the AL and NL league managers and peers to next week’s All-Star game in Anaheim. True, the Sox already have six all-stars and Youk would be number a league-leading seventh all-star, but even with the stupid one all-star player per team rule, there is no excuse for his or Votto’s absence.