June 24, 2012
Up Next: Blue Jays at Red Sox
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
— 3B Will Middlebrooks is hitting .326 on the season and in his past six games he has gone 10-for-16 with three homers and 10 RBIs.
— OF Daniel Nava is 23-for-63 (.365) in his past 17 games while he has gone 12-for-23 with six RBIs in his past six.
— LHP Felix Doubront is 6-2 with a 3.83 ERA with 53 strikeouts in his past eight starts.
— DH David Ortiz is on an 0-for-11 skid and is 3-for-19 on the current homestand. Two of his hits, though, have been home runs.
— Recently promoted CF Ryan Kalish is 3-for-17 on the current homestand.
— Newly acquired SP Zach Stewart has given up 12 earned runs in his 12 innings.
MONDAY 7:10 p.m.RHP Henderson AlvarezLHP Felix Doubront
TUESDAY 7:10 p.m. LHP Aaron LaffeyRHP Daisuke Matsuzaka
WEDNESDAY 1:35 p.m.LHP Ricky RomeroLHP Jon Lester
The Jays can’t seem to win when Henderson Alvarez is on the mound. The right-hander is 0-4 in his past seven starts. Aaron Laffey, meanwhile, has pitched okay coming out of the bullpen but we don’t like the matchup. The Red Sox can’t seem to avoid the injury bug as they get Dice-K back and now have lost Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz.
It doesn’t look as if either team has the right stuff.
The Jays moved Alvarez back a day, believing his sinking action will fare better against the Red Sox. Laffey also gets his first start of the season. Boston is playing better of late and, with the unsettled nature of the Jays rotation, we like Boston to win two of three.
Kevin Youkilis has hit the end of the line with the Boston Red Sox and it wasn’t a pretty development to watch.
On Sunday, the 33-year-old 3B/1B/DH was acquired by the Chicago White Sox.
YOUKLILIS CHANGES HIS SOX
Having lost his job and playing time to rookie Will Middlebrooks, Youkilis became the most recent version of Sideshow Bob in the soap opera that has become the Red Sox season.
He had been a beloved figure for the rabid Red Sox fans over the past nine seasons but, in the final weeks, he became a sad and pricey ($13 million) figure on a team that has suffered a whole pile of injuries and can’t seem to find its footing.
Leading up to Sunday’s trade, the Dodgers and Indians were teams that also showed interest in acquiring Youkilis.
In Boston, it isn’t the case that Youkilis was washed up and totally unproductive. It’s simply that when given the chance to play, Middlebrooks has shone bright and his time just isn’t in the future but is right now.
In his years with Boston, Youkilis had been a guts-and-glory type of player and one of the leaders on the team.
In Sunday’s game against Atlanta — Youkilis’ final one in a Boston uniform — he played third base, while the rookie Middlebrooks was the DH.
The Fenway faithful understood what’s going and knew there wasn’t much time left for Youkilis in Boston. When he stepped into the batter’s box, he received a standing ovation and in return the crowd received a tip of the cap.
“They make the decisions with that,” Youkilis said on Saturday. “When you’re a paid employee and the boss tells you to do something, you do it.”
He has never had a warm relationship with new manager Bobby Valentine and turned to playing the pity party card as he awaited the news of a trade.
“There was no conversation, and I’ll leave it at that,” Youkilis said about his reduced playing time, “I don’t want to start up anything, I just ... there was no conversation. That was it.”
On Saturday, when he wasn’t in the lineup he showed that still had a sense of humour.
“I’m not playing today, but I’m still here,” he said. “I’m not dead.”
In Boston, it’s his career that is.