For Youk to charge the mound – like Coco Crisp did in June of 2008 when he went after James Shields - was stupid and selfish, and he knows it. It’s too late now because the Sox missed his crucial bat in its lineup the next five games, of which they only won two without him. Crisp got suspended for seven games for his part in last year’s brawl but with Youk throwing his helmet at Porcello in addition to charging the mound, he’s lucky it didn’t cost him more than the five he got.
As for Porcello, Tigers fans have every right to be pissed that Porcello got the same punishment as Youk. MLB disciplinarian Bob Watson ruled that he intentionally tried to hit Victor Martinez and Youkilis. Keep in mind that the ump issued no warnings to either team before Youk got hit, Porcello had a 3-0 lead at the time he hit him and that he never actually hit V-Mart. But hey, Red Sox players have gotten unfair punishment from Watson in recent history so Detroit, welcome to the club. Fans on either side can argue about the fight and suspensions all day and night but it’s over now and both players are expected to play their first post-suspension games tonight.
The only good fortune to come out of this situation last Tuesday was the resurgent power of Mike Lowell, who hit two homers off the bench and along with Jason Bay’s three-run bomb, led the Sox to a 7-5 victory. To begin with, Lowell was quietly frustrated with his reduced playing time since V-Mart came to town, but has handled the situation professionally and has done an admirable job at third and at the plate for the most part. His two homers off reliever and former Boston College pitcher Chris Lambert was the first time multiple homers were hit by a Boston player off the bench since Joe Foy (who?) in 1967.
The Sox split the final two games of the series, with Tigers ace Justin Verlander giving Sox hitters no chance and allowing no runs over eight innings of work on Thursday. He blew away Sox sluggers right to the very end of his outing with 100 mph fastballs en route to his 13th win of ’09 in a 2-0 win. Clay Buchholz held his own, giving up just one earned run in seven innings. The Sox finished its season series versus the Tigers with a commendable 6-1 record.