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It's a good time to be a Red Sox fan when Kevin Youkilis hits .318 in the last six games he plays in and his team is talking about trading him.
Now we all love Youk to death and he has been an integral part of the clubhouse for years now, but…Will Middlebrooks looks good, and our pitching is sucking. Middlebrooks is also young, and this equation makes Youk to be trade bait. No matter how inconsistent our pitching is – to the point where we are considering trading a team leader like Youk to add more depth - we are only three games out of first place behind the Tampa Bay Rays after losing eight of the first nine games in May.
That is certainly a commendable feat, especially from a team that analysts were counting out of the race as early as mid-May. Things have turned around, and as our team makes some key trades coming towards the deadline and gets some of our oft-injured players back, we’re certainly going to compete after going 5-2 on the week against the competitive Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays.
Here are this week’s player awards, things are starting to come back to normal... kind of.
Best Hitter: Big Papi David Ortiz has finally picked up the pace again, hitting .417 on the week with three more home runs to bring his total to 13 on the year.
Best Pitcher: Felix Doubront! Yes, the Venezuelan southpaw went 2-0 on the week, and he often looks like the most stable part of our rotation.
Biggest Surprise: Journeyman Scott Podsednik is still looking good as our, like, 100th replacement outfielder, going 6-15 on the week with two stolen bases.
Biggest Disappointment: Mike Aviles is looking more and more human day by day after going 6-28 on the week. He’s definitely a streaky one – but at least he’s strong defensively.
Unsung Hero: Through thick and thin, Kevin Youkilis continues to play ball. Even when analysts say trade him and the team is actually trying to trade him, he still comes out and sets an example for all the young up and comers out there. I’ll seriously miss this guy if we trade him.
Injuries: Luckily, our MVP second baseman Dustin Pedroia is said to possibly come back Tuesday. We’re persevering without him, but we still miss his cojones.
Biggest Bum: This might have to go to Daniel Bard, who on Sunday looked as pathetic as ever not being able to get to the second inning. When is Bobby V just going to throw him back in the bullpen?
Coming Up: Our team’s got a well-deserved day off on Monday before two three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles and NL East-leading Washington Nationals. This is certainly going to be a fun week, as it’s the first time the phenomenal talent Bryce Harper has player in Fenway Park professionally. Either way, if we play good enough in only three games out of the AL East, we could somehow end up at #1, but maybe I shouldn’t get too optimistic.
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