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Red Sox acquire LaRoche, Duncan, Fall Two Games Behind Yankees

Posted by Gene Morris on July 23, 2009

On the day the Red Sox lost their fifth straight game, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Texas Rangers, the Sox looked to add some depth to a lineup that hasn’t scored more than three runs in a game during the five game skid.

Getting rid of Julio Lugo, who along with being useless behind Jed Lowrie has a terrible contract, was a good move.  Adding Duncan’s bat to the bench will surely help as well.  Adam LaRoche will be a good insurance policy in case Boston needs to move Kevin Youkilis to third base if Mike Lowell can’t stay healthy.  But without a healthy Lowell and a revitalized David Ortiz the Sox lineup just doesn’t compare to the Yankees.

Jason Bay is a very good player, and the numbers he put up early this season made people forget about Manny.  After hitting .324 in April, he’s seen his average drop to .264, .230, and .180 in the months of May-July.

Youkilis, who is a damn fine ball player, hit .366 in April and May.  In June and July?  Just .248.

David Ortiz hit seven home runs in June, but has just five the rest of the season.

Daisuke has been horrible, John Smoltz has gotten off to a slow start, and Brad Penny was almost dumped from the rotation a few weeks ago.

Of course the bullpen has been stellar.  Papelbon has been one of the best.  The supporting cast of Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez, Manny Delcarmen, Takashi Saito, and Daniel Bard has been great as well.

But now that the Yankees have moved Phil Hughes into a full time role out of the pen, and Alfredo Aceves has settled into a relieving role, can you say the Sox pen is that much better than the Yankees?

In 15 games a reliever, Hughes has thrown 21.1 innings, striking out 27, allowing only 11 hits, while pitching to a 0.84 ERA.  That’s dominate stuff.

It’s obvious that neither of these teams need to make a pitch for Roy Halladay, it seems to me the flaws in the Red Sox are starting to show through, while the Yankees keep rolling.

The Sox visit the Bronx on August 6 for a four game set, and it will be very interesting to see how the teams stack up in the division at that point.  The fact that the Yankees are 0-8 against Boston but still lead the division by two games is incredible.  A few wins down the stretch may be enough to put the Yankees ahead for good.

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One Response to “Red Sox acquire LaRoche, Duncan, Fall Two Games Behind Yankees”

  1. […] a chance of scenery to go from a 15-20 home run guy to a perennial 40 home run guy, has been in a terrible slump this season, is hitting only .224 with 13 home […]

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