Last night's 5-1 Red Sox win in Seattle was different from most other wins in a season that had more downs than ups. It was won exclusively by young players (and 26-year-old veteran Jon Lester, who earned his 17th win and struck out 12 in a dominant eight-inning outing). Right fielder Josh Reddick (who started for ailing J.D. Drew), left fielder Daniel Nava, first baseman Lars Anderson and center fielder Ryan Kalish drove in all the runs of off Seattle starter Doug Fister.
Of these, the star of the show was Kalish, who hit a two-run bomb (his 4th of 2010) off of Fister to make Boston's 3-1 lead more comfortable at 5-1. He has now driven in 12 RBI on the month and already knocked in 20 runs on the season, all in 37 games. He's not the most patient of hitters, but the kid has more pop than people realize, having hit two grand slams already this season, something that a Red Sox rookie hadn't done since the early 1990s. His fielding was suspect and even costly in the Red Sox-White Sox series from a couple of weekends back, but has steadily improved over time. Get ready to see more of him next year.
The same applies to Jed Lowrie, who has been a godsend filling in for the Iron Man of the Sox Marco Scutaro at shortstop when needed, or starting at second in place of injured MVP and All-Star Dustin Pedroia. Neither he nor Kalish have batting averages much above .250 right now, but Lowrie's OBP is an impressive .351.
The Sox know that he, Kalish and perhaps Anderson have a chance to play a big part of the Red Sox future for some time to come. For the rest of this month, look for these two, along with Lars Anderson (instead of a sore and under-performing Mike Lowell) to get plenty of time on the field as the Sox wind down its first non-playoff-bound season since 2006. Everybody remembers what happened the next season, right?
Photo credit: Boston Herald