With ejections and swears flying late in Tuesday night’s contest against the Oakland Athletics, the Sox saw a close game slip away in the bottom of the 10th inning. After Coco Crissssssp was ejected and restrained after a questionable strikeout, home plate umpire Bob Davidson decided to call a balk on Ramon Ramirez, which lit a fire inside the usually calm John Farrell. After a questionable check-swing, Farrell lost it and was promptly ejected. The Sox brought on Michael Bowden in a tight spot and his first test resulted in a fail and a Sox walk-off loss, 5-4. A tough way to end the game, but there is a bright spot on the horizon for Wednesday.
The Sox get 2 important pieces back on their roster Wednesday. Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie return from their DL stints and will most likely both have a fairly quick impact on the club. Buchholz will have an immediate impact because he will start Wednesday night in game 3 of the series and will hopefully jump right back into the All-Star form we have seen all year from him. Lowrie on the other hand, returns after a long stint on the 60-day DL after being diagnosed with mononucleosis in Spring Training. We know the impact Buchholz can have on the Sox, but what about Lowrie?
Lowrie is a guy that I have been rooting for since he emerged in the bigs. He is a switch-hitting infielder who can play shortstop and second base and can add a ton to the Sox lineup if he can get his bat going. After having a wrist injury and missing most of last season, his career has been derailed by injury and we haven’t been able to see him reach anywhere near his true potential. It will be extremely valuable to have a solid back-up middle-infielder on the roster, because although Bill Hall has done an okay job filling in at second, it is certainly not natural for him.
If Lowrie can continue his hot bat from the minors, he could be the Sox starting second baseman until Dustin Pedroia returns and then after that point, be a spot starter and pinch hitter. Lowrie hit a combined .367 with the Lowell Spinners and Pawtucket Red Sox in his 10-game rehab stint with 1 home run and 9 rbis and an OPS of 1.047. He provides a ton of flexibility because he can switch hit and before Tuesday night’s game, was taking ground balls at first base as well. I sincerely hope that the next few months are the resurgence of Lowrie career and that his spark can push this team in the right direction.
No matter how you cut it, having players return from the DL adds a boost to a ball club, regardless of their roles. Buchholz and Lowrie begin the return train to Boston, as Jeremy Hermida will likely be activated on Thursday and Josh Beckett on Friday, with a potential return from Victor Martinez on this road trip and then Dustin Pedroia shortly after the trip. This is music to the ears of Sox fans and management, let’s just hope the team can come together in time to make a run at the playoffs.
Tags: Bill Hall Bob Davidson Boston Red Sox Clay Buchholz Coco Crisp Dustin Pedroia Injuries Jed Lowrie Jeremy Hermida John Farrell Lowell Spinners Michael Bowden Oakland Athletics Pawtucket Red Sox Ramon Ramirez Victor Martinez