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Boston Red Sox Fire & Ice: David Ortiz Hot, Koji Uehara Cold

June 23rd, 2014 at 3:43 PM
By Sean Penney

The Boston Red Sox went 4-3 over the past week, but averaged only about 2.5 runs per game during that stretch. The pitching has been good, but the offense is still sputtering. Boston now ranks 23rd in the majors in both runs scored (291) and batting average (.242). Yesterday's 7-run explosion was the first time since June 7th that the Sox had scored more than 3 runs in a game.

Keith Allison / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Fire

David Ortiz
Past 7 Days: .240/.296/.480, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs

Ortiz hasn't been hitting much lately, but a couple of his hits this week had a huge impact. His home run in the bottom of the 10th inning against Minnesota last Wednesday tied the game, paving the way for Mike Napoli's walk-off homer to win it. He then salvaged the series in Oakland after the bullpen coughed up the lead by hitting the game winning HR in the top of the 10th inning. His batting average is on the decline, but he still leads the team in home runs and RBIs and his 17 HRs is tied for 6th most in the AL. Even in a down season, Big Papi is still one of the league's most feared hitters in the clutch. This week he reminded us all of why that is.

Rubby De La Rosa
Past 7 Days: 14.0 IP, 0.64 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 10 Ks

De La Rosa pitched 7 innings in each of his two starts this week and gave up a total of 1 run between them. Unfortunately, a lack of run support meant he only walked away with 1 win for his efforts (yet another example of how overrated pitcher wins can be). With Felix Doubront and Clay Buchholz rejoining the team, Boston will have some difficult decisions to make regarding who will stick in the rotation. With two straight impressive starts, De La Rosa is doing about all he can to make a case for himself. He may end up being the most likely candidate to be sent down to Pawtucket, due to his youth and remaining options, but that's no indication that he's not among the top 5 starting pitchers available to this team.

Ice Cold

A.J. Pierzynski

Last 7 Days: .125/.167/.125, 1 RBI

The veteran catcher is 2 for his last 16 at the plate and has been limited to only a pair of singles. He also failed to draw a walk all week (no surprise there), but he did boost his OBP by getting hit by a pitch. So… there's that at least. In Pierzynski's favor is that backup catcher David Ross hasn't hit well either. The Red Sox have two quality catching prospects in their system, but defensive wizard Christian Vazquez needs more time to develop his bat and Blake Swihart is still in Double-A. That means the Sox have little choice but to keep rolling with Pierzynski for a while.

Koji Uehara
Past 7 Days: 4.0 IP, 6.75 ERA, 3 HR

Did you ever expect to see Uehara listed in this section? Not after last year's incredible run, where he set a franchise record for retiring 37 straight batters and had a 30.1 inning scoreless streak. Not after he has once again been the best closer in baseball this season. Yet here we are, after a week where Uehara blew his first save of the season. He had only given up 2 home runs all season before giving up 3 this week. He's now given up the long ball as many times as he did all of last season and we're not even at the All-Star break yet. Uehara spoiled John Lackey's masterful 9 shutout inning performance by surrendering a HR in the 10th inning of a scoreless game, only to get credited with the win after Ortiz and Napoli went back-to-back in the bottom of the inning to walk off with a win. Uehara gave up 2 HRs to blow the save in Oakland yesterday, only to have Ortiz bail him out again with a game winning HR in extra innings. That's about as bad a week as you can have out of the bullpen for a guy that "earned" two wins.

Tags: A.J. Pierzynski, Baseball, Boston, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz, Koji Uehara, MLB, Rubby De La Rosa

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