Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The consistent Red Sox keep proving they can beat up the bad teams, as they did in their weekend sweep of the White Sox in a series in which they once again avoided the top pitcher on a team’s staff (Chris Sale for Chicago).
But now the big boys come to town for three games starting Monday.
The Detroit Tigers, who very well could be the Red Sox’ playoff foe for the American League pennant, took three out of four against the Red Sox June 20-23. The Red Sox have a chance to atone for that and show they can compete against the team with the toughest pitching, which also features the best player in baseball, Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, and old friend Jose Iglesias, who has improved their defense at shortstop since taking over for Jhonny Peralta, who is serving a 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.
“This is the last quarter of the season and you want to make sure you win some games,” said David Ortiz, who knocked in three runs in a 7-6 win over the White Sox before a sellout crowd at Fenway Park Sunday afternoon. “We’re in it. We’re going to try to keep playing well.
“That’s a team [Detroit] that’s going back and forth with us and hopefully with this series we’ll pull something better out of it,” said Ortiz, who is now two hits shy of 2,000 for his career.
That’s right. Your Red Sox completed a sweep of the middling Chicago White Sox at Fenway yesterday, securing the Boston club’s 29th series win this season. Those 29 series wins are the most in the majors this season.
AL Central-leading Detroit boasts big bats in Cabrera – last year’s Triple Crown winner – and Prince Fielder. The Tigers also have some solid arms in the starting rotation, and the Red Sox are slated to face at least one of the best – Max Scherzer, he of the 19-1 record this season – on Tuesday.
It’s a tall order, but remember: The Red Sox recently took two of three from both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Baltimore Orioles. Neither of those teams are what you’d call slouches.
In other news, the sad saga of Daniel Bard has (maybe) come to an end. The righthander who once was regarded as one of baseball’s best setup men was designated for assignment by the Red Sox Sunday. Bard, who had been banished to the minors to regain some semblance of the stuff he’d lost, never was the same after a failed attempt to reinvent himself as a starting pitcher.
If no team puts a claim in on Bard, he could remain Boston’s property.
The rest of the links:
Globe: Victorino leaves game - McDonald happy to be home - David Ortiz regains stroke in sweep of White Sox - Sox get a win to open a surprisingly big series - ESPN Boston: Koji Uehara ends search for closer - Doubront hits wall in fourth - Victorino (hip), Ellsbury (thumb) dinged up - Berry brings burst of speed off bench - Herald: Sad end to Daniel Bard saga - David Ortiz' slump long gone - WEEI: Peavy reflects on his two trades - McDonald reflects on trade to Red Sox - Victorino, Ellsbury injuries not serious