Friday, April 27, 2012
Someday Soon, Philip Humber Will Be A Great Trivia Answer
Boston (8-10, 5-5 away) opened the four-game series with a convincing 10-3 win at U.S. Cellular Field against the White Sox (10-9, 3-5 home).
The Red Sox won their fourth straight game (a tidy 4-0 road trip so far) with a blueprint for what they need to do to pile up victories this season: hit early and often. Eight of nine players in the lineup recorded hits and Boston used three home runs to overpower Philip Humber (1-1), who randomly threw a perfect game last Saturday.
With a rotation that looks shaky, the Red Sox will likely need to count on their many quality hitters to carry them through long portions of this season.
Humber looked nothing like the untouchable pitcher he was against Seattle (that might be a clue). In five innings, he allowed nine earned runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
Kevin Youkilis (3 hits, 2 runs) hit a grand slam while Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2 home runs, 3 RBIs) continued to heat up.
The best part is that Boston only needed to use two pitchers to get the job done which is a half or a third of what it usually takes to get through nine innings for this group. Felix Doubront (1-0) picked up his first win of the season with six solid innings. He allowed three earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts and three walks.
Junichi Tazawa pitched three scoreless innings in relief, punctuated by four strikeouts. He only allowed two hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
Adrian Gonzalez's RBI double and David Ortiz's RBI single in the first gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. Providence native Paul Konerko stroked an RBI double in Chicago's first at bats but Boston posted five more runs in the third inning. Youk (2nd of the season) hit the grand slam to right and Saltalamacchia (3rd of the season) went back-to-back with a solo shot to right.
A.J. Pierzynski had an RBI single in the third and Dayan Viciedo (2 hits) added a solo homer in the fourth that cut it to 7-3 Red Sox.
Saltalamacchia crushed a two-run homer to left center in the fifth and Ryan Sweeney (2 hits) provided the final run with an RBI single in the ninth that scored Mike Aviles (2 runs).
Daniel Bard (1-2) is back in as a starter (boo!) tomorrow night as he takes on John Danks (2-2) at 8:10 p.m. on NESN. Obviously, I want Bard to do well in whatever role he has but at this point, everybody can see that he would be most valuable to the Red Sox bullpen.
The only bad news of the day is that Carl Crawford's elbow problem could keep him out for up to three months. Not what the Red Sox needed to hear with both him and Ellsbury out for extended periods of the 2012 season.