I'm sorry guys, I don't feel like talking now. Just put down, "Papi stinks."At the plate:
1st: K, man on second, 2nd outIt was Ortiz's worst day in a Red Sox uniform. One hard-hit ball in seven trips to the plate, 12 men left on base (tying a franchise record for futility), an inning-ending out in each of his last five at-bats. When the Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the 12th, I wished we could skip Flo's spot in the order and have Bay bat after Pedroia. I never thought I'd say that, but he looked defeated even before he stepped into the batters box.
3rd: L9, man on second, 1st out
4th: K, bases loaded, 3rd out
6th: K, man on second, 3rd out
8th: F7, men on first/third, 3rd out
10th: 3U, man on second, 3rd out
12th: 2-3, bases loaded, 3rd out
Ortiz (.208/.318/.300) will get the night off as Boston plays in Seattle; his only other day off this year was on May 7. But then what? In addition to any troubles with his swing or pitch recognition, Ortiz's emotional state is also shot. Even if the Red Sox decide to DL him -- he did get hit on the wrist the other day -- that is simply another pause button to postpone dealing with this problem.
Ortiz showed some signs of live in a nine-game stretch in late April, when he hit .316 (but with zero walks). And while he is walking more in May, his batting and slugging averages are worse this month than in April. No matter how much regular playing time the Red Sox decide to give him to get back on track, he cannot continue to hit #3.
Say the Red Sox move him to #5 in the order (where he spent most of his time in 2003), and nothing changes for another month? I cannot see them releasing or trading him. Do they go with a platoon at DH, giving Youkilis, Drew, Kotsay, Lowell, etc. an occasional day-off -- and use a roster spot for a part-time, DH-only player? Do they give some DH time to Carter and Bailey? Do they look for a bat outside the organization?
The best solution would be if Ortiz can start hitting again -- even a repeat of 2008 would be welcome -- but judging from both his performance and body language over the past few days, he's got a long way to go.
I guess we'll take this one game at a time. And David Ortiz will watch tonight's contest from the bench.