Okay, so Big Papi ain't exactly what we Red Sox fans wished he would be this season. But what better place for him to get hit bat going than the Bronx. The right field bleachers have been a magnet for dingers this season. Big Papi has to settle down and get going. Hitting a mere .222 this season, Ortiz has no homeruns to his credit yet. He had a nice game against the Yanks on Monday night…. 2 for 3 (both doubles) with an RBI and 2 walks.
It would be nice to see him get his game back. We all know that his injury is affecting him to a greater extent than we once thought, but the fact is that Ortiz can still be a true impact player. Maybe Kevin Youkilis is the new feared power-hitter in the lineup, but if Papi can get his bat going he could do some damage.
I just hope that the new Yankee Stadium is as nice to Ortiz as it's been to so many other big hitters this season. 26 games without a homerun for Big Papi? Yes it sounds weird, but we did expect some trouble. As previously stated, many times… at least health has generally been on our side this season. We have to make sure the conditioning continues and hope that Mike Lowell keeps raking in the RBIs.
What do I hope continues or better for the Sox this season (within reason – of course I want a World Series)? I hope that heath stays on our side. I really can't say that enough. I hope that Jon Lester can get back on track as he seems to be doing and that him and Beckett can lower their ERAs in their next few starts (nice start for Lester on Monday night in NYC). I hope that Time Wakefield keeps it up, but that he doesn't end up leading the rotation in stats by season's end. What would that say about our top dogs? And yes, I hope that Big Papi could get his flow back… at least a portion of his flow. He won't get 90 HRs, but it would be enjoyable for MLB as a whole to see Ortiz hit a few out of the park – especially in the Bronx.
We have to take a look at the bullpen while we're at it. Papelbon is doing his job. So far, it he gets the ball and the opportunity to save the game, he'll get the save. Nobody's perfect though. Both Manny Delcarmen and Ramon Ramirez (if they had a love child – we'd have a Manny Ramirez around the organization… so let's hope that it doesn't happen) now have an ERA above 0.00 – 0.59 and 0.63 respectively. The bullpen didn't look strong against the Rays after a strong start by Brad Penny. Carl Crawford's six stolen bases didn't help either. It's less the fact that Delcarmen allowed a run, because Major League pitchers will ultimately let in runs, but it's the fact that he let in a key run that ultimately made Penny's outing useless.
Let us simply hope that we continue in the right direction and take it to Tampa Bay when they visit Fenway for a weekend series.
Until then, godspeed. And GO SOX!
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Written by Jarred Coxford