Tuesday, July 03, 2007
After dropping two straight to the lowly Rangers, the Red Sox ended their 4 game series with a 7-3 victory.
The game was highlighted by the speed of Jacoby Ellsbury. He reached on an infield single in the 2nd and came around to score. He stole a base in the 4th, distracting the pitcher beforehand, and scored from 2nd on a Wild Pitch.
But other performances were also noteworthy. Kason Gabbard pitched great with the exception of a few pitches in which he allowed a walk, a single, and a 3 run homer. The single was the first hit of the game for the Rangers, coming in the 5th inning.
Kason obviously still needs some more innings in AAA before he can be relied upon as a full-time starter for us. However, he has shown some flashes of good pitching which not only demonstrate his value as a prospect, but his potential immediate value as a reliever in the late season and post-season. I know it's a strange time to be theorizing like this, but I've always felt that the best relievers were starters who didn't have to hold anything back and could throw their entire arsenal in an inning or two. Guys like Kason could prove valuable in our shaky midsection of the bullpen.
Eric Hinske and the bottom third of the lineup spearheaded the offensive effort. Varitek, Hinske, and Ellsbury went a combined 6 for 10 with four runs, 3 RBI, 2 walks, and pretty much all of our offense.
The Sox had difficulty in maximizing their offensive opportunities. They left 10 runners on base, five of whom were in scoring position. Seven runs is good offensive production, but the recent lack of offense has been due mostly to an inability to deliver big hits with runners in scoring position, as well as to have big offensive innings. But the 7 runs was good enough for a win, so let's not dwell on negativity too much.
The Man of the Game is Eric Hinske. He went 2 for 4 with a triple, and 3 RBI.
Kason Gabbard: 5.2 IP, 3 ER
Jacoby Ellsbury: 2/2, 2 runs, 2 BB, SB
Manny Ramirez: 2/4, RBI, Run, 2B, BB