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Boston Red Sox Fire & Ice: Daniel Nava Hot, Will Middlebrooks Cold

August 18th, 2014 at 1:28 PM
By Sean Penney

The Boston Red Sox went 4-2 over the past week after a strong finish to their road trip and a four game split with the Houston Astros back at Fenway over the weekend. However, their run differential for the week was only +1 following a blowout loss on Sunday. Boston remains in last place in the AL East, 14.5 games back of the Baltimore Orioles.

Here are the players who have been hot and cold this week.

One Fire

Daniel Nava
Past 7 Days: .500/.526/.778, 5 Doubles, 4 RBI

Nava has been scorching lately, as injuries to Shane Victorino and Allen Craig have opened consistent playing time for him in right field. He's been the team's best hitter since the All-Star break, hitting .329 to raise his season average nearly 30 points to .266. Nava's struggles early in the season forced the team to demote him to Pawtucket for about a month, but since his return we've seen him look a lot more like the Nava we saw last year. He also showed off his arm by gunning down a runner at the plate in Thursday's game for his 5th outfield assist of the season, which ties him for the 7th most among AL right fielders.

Clay Buchholz
Past 7 Days: 7.0 Innings, 2.57 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 9 strikeouts

Most of the rotation pitched poorly last week, but Buchholz was the exception. Hey, it's not often we've been able to say that this season! The team's longest tenured starter held the Astros to two runs in a no-decision Friday night. His 9 strikeouts in that start were the most he's had since he struck out a career high 12 batters against that same Astros team last month.

Ice Cold

Will Middlebrooks
Past 7 Days: .188/.235/.188, 2 strikeouts

After missing over two months due to injury, it was expected to take Middlebrooks a little time to get his swing back. It's been over two weeks and he hasn't found it yet. The Red Sox don't have a lot of power in their lineup and were counting on the return of Middlebrooks to help in that department. That hasn't happened yet, as he hasn't hit a home run since his return from the DL and only has two doubles.

Rubby De La Rosa
Past 7 Days: 4.0 Innings, 8.10 ERA, 3.25 WHIP, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts

De La Rosa was knocked around for 6 runs in his last start against Houston. The Red Sox would rally to win the game, but De La Rosa didn't last long enough to get credited for the victory. It was a discouraging outing considering how impressive he was on the last road trip, where he started to separate himself as the best of the young pitchers in this rotation.

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