That theme would continue in a 10-5 dismantling of the Los Angeles Angels that saw Saltalamacchia continue to set the tone. He crushed a solo shot in the sixth and added a three-run blast in the seventh, both of which were struck to dead center, to record his fourth career multihomer game. Manager John Farrell said Saltalamacchia is seeing the fruits of his labor, which has involved a commitment to try to stay up the middle.
“There’s going to be some swing-and-miss in there at times, but with the approach he’s locked in with right now, you’re looking at a guy in the 6-, 7-hole with that kind of power threat,” Farrell said. “I think it kind of speaks to what our lineup has and the ability to put up runs quickly.”
Before Saltalamacchia’s first homer, the Sox were nursing a 5-3 lead. When he was done one inning later it was 10-3. Those runs came quickly, as have the impressive numbers.
Since May 6, Saltalamacchia is 28-for-88 (.318) with five home runs in 26 games. He has hit in each of the past seven games he has started, batting .367 (11-for-30) with a powerful eight extra-base hits (three homers, five doubles). The surge has boosted his slugging percentage to .515. Saltalamacchia’s previous high in that category was .454 in 2012.
ESPNBoston | Saltalamacchia gets into groove
I've never been the biggest fan of Salty. I spend more time yelling "TAKE A PITCH" at the TV during his at bats than anyone else. Well, maybe Middlebrooks. Actually, Carl Crawford was the king of that. Thank God he's gone. Man, I hated that guy. But I digress.
His power of course isn't in question, the question is consistency. He's put streaks like this together before, and then he'll go in the tank for six weeks. He needs to show some patience more frequently, and he also needs to put together more good at bats more often. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I'd rather have someone like JD Drew (just as an example), who puts in 90% good at bats, than somebody like Salty, who ends up with 25 homers but half the time strikes out or gets out in a pitch or two.
Every conversation about Salty eventually leads to his future, and in particular his future in Boston. What's he worth on the open market? Does anyone care about his questionable defensive abilities? Can he continue to grow late in his career, as catchers often do? Do his intangibles and clubhouse likability play a role? Is it fair to judge a catcher offensively by the same measurements as players from other positions?
It will be very interesting to see how teams treat him. And it will be very interesting to see at what price the Red Sox decide to walk away and finally begin the Ryan Lavarnway Era.
On page 2, our ace may be sidelined for a while.
Buchholz, the American League’s leader in ERA (1.71) and wins (nine), left Saturday night’s game against the Angels in the seventh inning. He still felt sore when he arrived at the park yesterday, though he said his neck loosened as the day wore on.
He’s not scheduled to start again until next weekend in Baltimore, but he’s not going to rush back if it means risking further injury.
“I think it’s more a day -by-day thing right now,” he said after the Red Sox’ 10-5 victory over the Angels yesterday at Fenway Park. “We’ll see how I feel the next couple of days in Tampa and then go from there. It’s going to be completely better whenever I come back. That’s my sole purpose right now, to come back without this happening again.”
Herald | Clay Buchholz still isn't ready
My worry all year with Buchholz, and more specifically John Farrell, is that Buchholz might be pitching a little too much. I'm definitely on board with him staying out until 100%. Sure, maybe it's pampering. But he's giving us Cy Young-caliber innings and doesn't exactly have the resume of a workhorse. He's thrown more than 93 innings just twice in his career.
Take your time, Clay.
ESPNBoston | David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia power Red Sox past Angels | Buchholz's status up in the air | Fenway fan catches pair of home runs | Victorino takes 'planned day off' | Dempster not spectacular, but steady | CSNNE | Red Sox slug Angels in finale, 10-5 | Saltalamacchia's offense gives Sox a boost | Herald | Red Sox take 3rd straight series | Stats on Jose Iglesias' side | Borges: Consistent winning key for Red Sox | Globe | Jarrod Saltalamacchia staying centered | Saltalamacchia hits 2 homers as Sox handle Angels | Farrell provides updates on Buchholz, Middlebrooks and Victorino | Initial exams offer no update on Clay Buchholz injury | Image