Sunday, May 23, 2010

Five Swings: Surprise, Surprise

The Sox took two of three from the Phillies and have clearly played better baseball lately.

1. Yooook. The Sox fans traveling down the coast got rewarded seeing one of the best hitters in MLB today, no not Chase Utley, but Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis slammed a homer off Phils ace Roy Halladay, whom the Sox have handled about as well as anyone. Youkilis' production brought his OPS to 1.071 and has an other-worldly on-base-percentage of .459.

2. Wake up call. Tim Wakefield left his angst in the clubhouse and delivered eight innings of shutout baseball. Wakefield, who has pitched for the Sox since God's dog was eating Puppy Chow, lowered his ERA to 4.44 and got his first victory of the season.

3. Avatar. Mike Cameron will be bringing his major-league avatar back to the Sox any day now, after a three-hit, walk off homer game today. Darnell McDonald did a very serviceable job in Cameron's injury-absence, although Terry Francona must be feeling better about getting his starters back.

4. Brotherly Love. J.D. Drew absorbed his usual quota of boos from the "bull" Penns, but finished with a pair of hits today, as well as a run scored and RBI. His substitute, Darnell got a cameo before he rides off into the sunset. With the Sox injury situation, he'll likely be back.

5. Next! With Matsuzaka and Wakefield back-to-back, the Sox should be getting Buchholz, Lester, and Lackey against the division-leading Tampans. The Sox have crawled back into the wild-card race thanks to some struggles from the Bronx Bombers. The key? The Sox need to keep the speedy Rays off the bases, and get more runners of their own on. The Sox are fourth in the AL in runs scored, and just flipped the plus-minus switch into the positive column.

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