Look, let me make something clear so you guys don't ask me the whole time about me hitting sixth. I started hitting third here a little bit after I got here. If you're hitting third, you must be swinging the bat good. The manager moved me to sixth because we got guys swinging the bat good, right? Now, I've got to work my way up, right? That's about it. I'm an employee. I follow orders.Jason Bay:
Ultimately, you only hit in a certain spot in the lineup once and then you're hitting in different situations. I think it's a good idea to just try something different. You're taking the same approach whether you're hitting second or ninth, but sometimes you're just looking for that magical something to turn things around.Francona explained the move:
When we came back from Seattle, because David had sat for three days, I wanted him to get back in there and see if we could get him hot. Then when it didn't look like it was going real well last week, I just didn't think it was in his best interests to do it at home against the Mets -- to me, that's not helping, that's almost placing blame on somebody. ... I wanted to wait until I got on the road.Tito added that he hopes Ortiz "doesn't feel like he's got to carry the team."
Sean McAdam of the Herald writes that the Red Sox
have unwittingly boxed themselves into a corner ... [It's] hard to shake the feeling yesterday that the Sox and Ortiz both moved themselves uncomfortably close to the cliff.But what choice did the team have? They have handled this issue fairly conservatively, treating Ortiz with the respect he has earned since 2003. They kept him in the third spot. They gave him a weekend off. Now he's hitting 6th -- that should stay the same with Mike Lowell in the lineup, with Lowell-Varitek-SS batting 7-8-9.
I'm assuming that "the cliff" McAdam is talking about is cutting ties with Ortiz -- and we are nowhere near that now. If Ortiz keeps hitting under .200, the next step would be playing him only three or four times a week. But with him hitting in the lower half of the lineup, he should have plenty of time to work out his troubles.
A record crowd of 8,903 watched John Smoltz pitch against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats last night. Smoltz (3.1-3-1-0-2, 60):
I was really pleased with my split and my changeup, a little displeased with my slider. That's my No. 1 pitch. We'll work on that this week. Another rung in the ladder.Smoltz will pitch five innings/75 pitches for Greenville (A) on Sunday. And then? Perhaps two starts with Pawtucket and on to the big club.
Amalie Benjamin, Globe:
[Jon] Lester now has allowed at least five earned runs in five of his starts this season, bringing his ERA to 6.07. He gave up that many runs in just four starts over 33 games in all of 2008. ...Lester:
I gave up five runs. What else is there to say about it? Made one pitch. One pitch cost me three runs. ...
I think it's just not executing pitches. Tonight it was a 1-0 fastball in. If he takes it, it ends up being a ball. I don't know what to tell you guys. I don't really have any answers for you. Five days I get the ball again. That's where I go.