Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Carl Clinches

What a difference a week makes, eh? In April, Carl Crawford was a disgrace. He couldn’t hit worth a lick. He was the highest paid number eight hitter in baseball history. He couldn’t seem to figure out how to play in Boston. Now? He has two walk-off hits on the homestand. He’s hit in every game this month. He’s smacking the ball around with authority. He’s looking an awful lot like the player who had Sox fans jumping for joy last winter. Now it’s time to reward him.

Get him out of the eighth spot for crying out loud. It’s time to restore the order to what it should be. Now, I do admit to having one small problem with moving him up in the order. I don’t know how far. The logical move would be to simply flip him with a slumping Dustin Pedroia. But, oddly, Franconia has said he’ll be leaving Pedroia in his usual spot. It was an odd explanation in that he’s doing this because he knows Pedroia will come around eventually. Does that imply that he didn’t know that Crawford would? Kind of a slap in the face, isn’t it? I was pretty certain that Carl Crawford wasn’t going to finish the year hitting .195. Was Francona not as sure?

But, it’s the second spot that I still think is made for Crawford. With Ellsbury leading off, and Crawford hitting second the Sox would have speed at the top unlike we’ve ever seen. Current slump aside, the three spot might make sense for Pedroia. Is there a better spot to hit in baseball than after Ells/Crawford but before Gonzalez/Youkilis? Just might get something to hit, and I bet it will be a fastball. Come to think of it, it might be just the thing to get him going again. The rest of the order simply falls into place, just like we all had it put together in March. I can’t wait.

Speaking of things that we all knew in March, raise your hand if you knew Josh Beckett would come out blazing like this. He has been exactly what this team needed. He doesn’t just give the team a chance to win every time out. He pitches games that the Sox should win. It’s the Beckett the Sox always hoped they’d have. It’s been a lot of fun.

Adrian Gonzalez has been fun lately as well. He’s been peppering that wall just like we imagined he could. He just looks comfortable at the plate right now. Like he knows good things are going to happen whenever he swings the bat.

The Sox are resting comfortably at 3.5 games back in the division. The struggles of the early going are behind them. It’s just Red Sox baseball from here on out.

Oh, by the way. Crawford’s double last night, in extra innings, extended his hitting streak.

Now the Sox need to go out and win the road trip

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