In his 1st game back from rehab in Pawtucket, in his 1st AB, and the 1st pitch he saw, no less, he smashed a 2 run home run which was all the offense the Sox would need today. Mike Lowell has been stuck between a rock and a hard place ever since the Sox acquired Adrian Beltre. Although Beltre's defense has been less than stellar, which was supposed to be his strong point, his bat has been a welcome addition to the Sox line up in 2010. With David Ortiz off to another slow start this year, the plan of Lowell platooning at DH was hatched. That came to a halt as Ortiz did an abrupt 180 u-turn and started hitting almost everything in sight, including winning the All Star Game Home Run Derby. He handled his warm seat on the bench with as much class as possible, that is Mike Lowell. He started taking grounders at 1B to enhance his availability, but he still had Youkilis, Martinez, and Ortiz ahead of him at that position as well. Nobody likes to win a spot on the roster by a team mate suffering an injury, especially a rock solid team mate like Kevin Youkilis, but that is precisely what has happened. Youk left yesterday's game in the 2nd inning with a torn muscle in his thumb and has been placed on the 15 day DL, with the possibility of the rest of his 2010 season being scratched. Theo may have just dodged a bullet by holding onto Lowell this long. A few years back, Jason Varitek went down with a knee injury just after the trading deadline, which started a downward spiral in the standings that year. With 'Tek unavailable to play back up to Victor Martinez for a few more weeks, Martinez will most likely be handling the catching duties until 'Tek returns.
But getting back to today's game...
Josh Beckett was pitching a gem of a game on his way to reclaiming his title as ace of the staff. In 8 innings he allowed 3 hits and 1 run, while striking out 8 Indians. There was this little matter of him hitting 2 of his opponents in the 1st and 3rd innings. I didn't watch the game, but I would have a hard time believing he would be intentionally targeting them so early in his comeback, especially when you see that the Indians are this year's doormat of the AL Central division. In the 3rd inning, he was nursing a slim 1 run lead with a team that was without the likes of Youkilis and Ellsbury in the line-up. The Indians took it personally and retaliated by throwing behind Ortiz in the 5th inning and throwing behind Beltre in the 8th inning. The benches cleared, there was some pushing and shoving, and when play resumed, Indian's reliever Lewis and 3B coach Smith, and Beckett had all been ejected. Video of the dust up can be seen by clicking the previously highlighted link. Beckett appeared to have some serious issues with Shelley Duncan, who he had hit in the 1st. I can only imagine that Duncan had fired up the Indians by claiming Beckett had intenionally hit him. Shelley Duncan, if you recall, was with the New York Yankees in 2007 when he signed a 10 year old Red Sox fan's autograph book "Red Sox Suck!"
There is not much to write about offensively. Mike Lowell hit a HR on his 1st pitch back and Ryan Kalish continues to tear it up, going 2/3 and drawing a walk.
Sox 3 Indians 1 BOX SCORE
Fenway West 08.03.10