That's right. The number 4 hitter. Our clean up guy. The most consistent hitter. The "soul" to Pedroia's "heart" of the team--Kevin Youkilis--is on the 15 day disabled list with a torn thumb muscle and may need surgery. The team is seeking a second medical opinion, but if surgery happens, he is done for the year.
There are not words in the English language to capture the angst produced by the sheer volume of injuries experienced in 2010. Incredu-ludi-crous? Someone in Pelham or Patterson or Port St. Lucie has Red Sox voodoo dolls and knows exactly how to use them. There is no other reasonable explanation for the coincidental circumstances here. Two players on the same team have major thumb injuries in the same season? Two players had rib injuries? Two players have had major foot injuries? There are nagging back injuries and obliques and even mononucleosis!
There are mystical, secretive forces at play. Dare I say, evil forces? Yes. Someone has voodoo dolls with knife-sharp pins. Someone... Anyone with information on the location of these dolls should contact the Massachusetts State Police or Joey McIntyre [If you have not seen the brilliant Masshole spoof of Mad Men, you are missing out].
But don't tell that to Mike Lowell. Lowell is the beneficiary of Youkilis' bad-finger fortune and will get the call to play first base. Last night, Lowell hit the first pitch in the Monster seats while he was getting a standing ovation. It was a great moment, and as Remy said on the NESN broadcast, probably the best moment of the year for the team.
Lowell is a fan favorite, and hell, I love the man's history with this team, but I'm not going to say he should have been playing the whole year. I'm not going to jump on that BS bandwagon that forgot how hard it was for him to run down the first baseline last year or the countless game inning double plays he hit last year. His hip injury was severe and the newly discovered thumb injury in early 2010 was enough to keep GMs across baseball away. He was supposed to go to the Rangers. Now, he's playing first base until Youk can make it back. Go get 'em, Mikey!
In the meantime, keep your (no pun intended) fingers crossed for Youk. We will need him down the stretch.
Lowell, a classy guy, had this to say about taking over for the injured Youk:
One last note, Josh Beckett has been pitching well.
I think this is not a day for us to be happy. Our best hitter has a serious injury. I don't think that's ever a good thing. I don't get any joy out of getting playing time when someone gets hurt. With Youkilis out of the lineup, you're not a better team. He has been our most consistent hitter and over the last three years he has arguably been one of the best hitters in the league.
Yes, he hit a few batters last night, but his pitching was solid overall. He gave up only 3 hits, struck out 8 and went 8 innings before he was thrown out in a bench clearing situation for running on the field after Cleveland threw behind Adrian Beltre. I honestly do not think Beckett thre at anyone intentionally last night. That may sound bias, but I am not afraid to call a guy like Beckett out when I see it.
Beckett is coming back to form.