Red Sox midseason report
The 7-3 loss to the Yankees Sunday night marked the end of a disappointing first half of the season for the Red Sox. Their 43-43 record places them in a tie for last place in the AL East, trailing first place New York by 9.5 games.
The Red Sox have endured a number of injuries to star players including Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Andrew Bailey, Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett, among others.
Despite the number of injuries to players expected to play major roles, manager Bobby Valentine still isn’t satisfied with the .500 record.
“No, I am not happy about it at all,” Valentine said prior to a game last weekend. “There are a lot of games that we have let slip away. … I wish we were better.”
Boston will get its injured players back in the coming weeks, which increases its chances of making a run at the Wild Card and possibly the division. Time will tell on that front.
Here is a look at the best, and most disappointing individual player performances during the first half of the season.
Biggest Flop – Jon Lester
This could go to any of the veteran pitchers in the Red Sox rotation (Josh Beckett or Clay Buchholz), but Lester has been the most disappointing. The so-called “ace” of the Red Sox staff, has been anything but an ace this season, instead he’s been rather mediocre.
The left-hander is 5-6 with a 4.49 ERA. He has only two wins in his last eight starts.
Although Buchholz is 8-2, he has not pitched as well as his record would show. His ERA of 5.53 is the highest among Red Sox starters.
Best Player - David Ortiz
Despite the drama off the field regarding his contract, the designated hitter has still put up impressive numbers on the field. The Red Sox lone All-Star representative is hitting .312 with 22 home runs.
The 36-year-old is second in both SLG and OPS in the American League. He is also sixth in home runs and ninth in RBIs.
The Surprise – Will Middlebrooks
Most thought 2013 would be the year for the 23-year-old third baseman.
But Middlebrooks made the most of his opportunity after being called up in early May. He recorded hits in eight of his first 10 games and is hitting .298 with 10 homers in 2012.