Trouble in River City, as the Sox go on the road.
1. Fab Four. It's a long season, and the Sox will need contributions from Varitek, Ortiz, Wakefield, and Lowell (VOWLs). After all, you can't spell victory, success, or championship without vowels. So far, Varitek has to get the Ponce de Leon Award, although the sustainability remains unclear.
2. Tick, tick. David Ortiz's slow start, in the CONTEXT of a Red Sox sub .500 start, has earned him platoon status. It's hard to impossible not to see it that way. Unfortunately for Ortiz, it will be harder for him to regain his stroke from the bench.
3. Rotation. Josh Beckett may be the 'ace' but it was more paste than ace tonight as the Sox lead 13-9 in the sixth and Beckett is long gone. Wakefield steams while only John Lackey has produced anything approaches consistency and quality starts are rarer than hen's teeth.
4. Turnaround Tuesday? The Sox now have a couple of hitters over .300 with Pedroia and Youkilis crawling over the line with multihit efforts north of the border.
5. Cuban invasion? Major League Baseball has benefited from so many Latino stars, ranging from H of F'er Juan Marichal, to the Sox' Luis Tiant, and the Sox have a pair of Cubans in the minors now, 20 year-old shortstop Jose Iglesias and now catcher Adalberto Ibarra. Ibarra ads to the Sox minor league debate, from Mark Wagner, to Luis Exposito, Ryan Lavarnaway, and Tim Federowicz.