The Red Sox are really, really bad. No pitching, no hitting, no defense. Just losses. Who would have thought just a week ago that the Sox would go into last night’s game 4-9. 4-9!
How bad is it? Look at this from the Boston Globe Extra Bases. Sox batting with men on base.
0 for 7: Jeremy Hermida
0 for 5: Adrian Beltre, Marco Scutaro
0 for 3: Victor Martinez, Kevin Youkilis
0 for 2: Bill Hall, David Ortiz
0 for 1: Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek
That’s everybody on the roster, except for Jacoby Ellsbury and he hasn’t played since April 11. The last player to get a hit with a runner in scoring position was Hermida, who had a three-run double against the Twins on April 14.
As a team this season, the Red Sox are 16 for 99 (.162) with runners in scoring position including 1 for 8 with the bases loaded. Of the 15 home runs the Sox have hit, eight have come with the bases empty.
So what to do? Put Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron on the DL and bring up Josh Reddick and Darnell McDonald. Reddick we know about, but who is McDonald? We will soon find out. Amalie Benjamin writes in the Globe
McDonald, who began the day not on the team’s 40-man roster and the game on the bench, did what the Red Sox have failed to do so often this season. With Jason Varitek having doubled his way ahead of McDonald, the pinch hitter slammed a 2-2 pitch into the seats above the Green Monster, pulling the Red Sox even with the Rangers at 6, inciting that crowd, and helping erase the memory of the nine stolen bases the Sox had given up earlier in the game
And those fans certainly knew his name by the time he came to bat in the ninth, with the bases loaded and two outs. They stood for him then, hoping and praying he could halt Boston’s five-game losing streak, and six-game skid at home. He did. McDonald’s high drive scraped the wall, sending Kevin Youkilis home for a much-needed 7-6 win
Peter Abraham writes in his wrap up in the Globe
There are 100 reasons we all love baseball. Guys like Darnell McDonald and nights like tonight are right up there, aren’t they?McDonald was in a hotel in Boston this afternoon, waiting for a call he wasn’t sure was going to come. But when Jacoby Ellsbury had a painful round of batting practice, he was put on the disabled list and McDonald was summoned.
He joked before the game about being in an undisclosed location and that he had saved his receipts to bill the Red Sox for the snacks he had while waiting.
McDonald came off the bench in the eighth inning to pinch hit for Josh Reddick and cracked a two-run homer to tie the score. Then in the ninth, he delivered a two-out RBI single off the wall with the bases loaded. How cool is that?
His excited teammates — some who barely knew his name — chased him out to left field in their celebration.
McDonald is 31 and the Red Sox are his seventh organization since 2004. A former first-round pick of the Orioles in 1997, he has been kicking around pro ball for 13 years. The Sox invited him to spring training as a minor-league free agent. McDonald pulled an oblique muscle and ended up with only 17 at-bats.
It is just like the movies. Veteran minor leaguer gets his chance and comes through. Maybe he’s broken the evil spell on the Sox.
So let’s end this happy story with a this interesting factoid
* The Sox have won 100 of the 123 games Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon have both appeared in.
The realist in me says one win does not a season make. Can they win again tonight? And who will Dice-K play replace when he arrives from rehab?
Oh, yeah. the Celtics also won last night to take a 2-1 lead in their playoff series.