The Red Sox co-leader in home runs also is second in the league in onbase slugging percentage, behind former Red Sox Eric Hinske. Kevin Youkilis is among the leaders in runs, hits, RBI, on base percentage, batting average, and slugging percentage. He is also the reigning Gold Glove first baseman.
Youkilis has tended to be a "hands hitter" versus a guy who drives the ball. What we're seeing is Youk with the more classic power stroke with more arm extension recently and the front leg extension producing that leverage and power that conventional sluggers manifest.
Josh Beckett has now rounded into form as the staff ace, and lowered his ERA to just over 3.70. His eight strikeouts and no walks tonight exemplify effective pitching...low WHIP, his K/BB ratio, and the few baserunners reducing scoring opportunities. Beckett also has slowed his change to the mid-80s, making it more effective.
Alex Cora and Sean Casey rehab at Pawtucket. Additionally Craig Hansen looked very effective in his one inning of relief. He has been touched up in the second inning of his prior games.
Manny Ramirez got a day off tonight but looked quite into the game.
Among his better qualities is his sustained confidence in his players. Despite Julio Lugo's struggles at short, Franona ran him out there are Lugo got the job done. Alex Cora should be able to spell Lugo if he needs either physical rest or a mental health break. Many observers feel taht Jed Lowrie has the skill to play shortstop in the majors. We haven't seen enough of him to judge his range.