At the beginning of the week, some dumbass said effectively "Sure, the Red Sox just got swept by Texas, but who cares, especially with the lowly Twins coming to town?" Because we can't have nice things, the Sox dropped three of four to those Twins, and now sit percentage points behind the inexplicable Yankees in the AL East. Last night, though, saw Jon Lester put together a brilliant performance against Toronto to save the bullpen and restore our hopes a bit. Let's look at what else happened this week.
The week started, entertainingly, with another round of the entertaining party game "What's On Clay's Forearm?" Turns out, if Jeff Passan's story is to be believed, that it's a mix of sunscreen and rosin designed to aid a pitcher's grip. Pretty much the exact opposite of a spitball. So that was a fun week of yelling.
Boston's bullpen, which virtually everyone agreed was the definite strength of the team heading into the season, took a big hit this week, as theoretical closer Joel Hanrahan left Monday's game with a forearm strain. He's now making a visit to Dr. James Andrews, and we all know what that means. The Sox clearly aren't too confident about the results of his exam, as they've already placed Hanrahan on the 60-day DL. Junichi Tazawa will take the reins at closer, at least until Andrew Bailey is back from his DL stint.
Fortunately, despite the bullpen's injury issues, the starting rotation has still been strong, with the notable exception of Felix Doubront. With Doubront struggling, and top prospect Allen Webster doing quite well in the minors, we speculated around these parts that it might be time for a switch. The Sox apparently agreed with us, calling up Webster and giving him the start with Doubront working out of the pen. It didn't quite go as planned, with Webster giving up eight runs and leaving in the second inning. Bryan examined one rumor regarding a way to strengthen the rotation further: an in-division trade for Rays ace David Price. Unlikely, of course, but Price is the sort of talent it's always worth keeping an eye on.
Boston nearly suffered a serious loss on Tuesday (beyond the game itself, which they did lose) when David Ross and Will Middlebrooks collided in foul territory. Medical tests showed both players to be fine, but the potential loss of those two revealed a startling lack of depth in the minors at both third base and catcher. No more collisions, fellas.
Matt Kory gave us a look at how things have changed for the Red Sox in May, while Ben looked beyond Boston to wonder what the hell is going on with umpiring these days. Depressingly, Ben wrote that even before the horrible non-HR call in Cleveland on Wednesday, or the Thursday game in Houston in which the umpires forgot a basic rule of the game. Seriously, what the hell is with umps lately?
We finish the week as we did so often last year, by addressing lousy writing. You've all read the piece by now, or seen at least one of us fuming about it on Twitter. Dan Shaughnessy emerged from under his bridge this week to accuse David Ortiz of taking PEDs. His evidence? Ortiz is 37 years old, and no one that old can hit well. I'd elaborate on his argument, but as Marc pointed out this week, that was actually the whole argument. Well, that and a fun dose of racism. Ah well. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, Dan gotta keep being a cheap hack.
Clay Buchholz takes the hill this afternoon against Toronto. Enjoy the weekend.