3 Up, 3 Down: Middlebrooks much improved

3 Up, 3 Down: Middlebrooks much improved
August 21, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Trenni Kusnierek takes you through the best and the worst of the Red Sox in recent times. 

First, the positive news.

As Kunierek notes, call-up Will Middlebrooks is shining in his return to the Red Sox, adding a key bat to the lineup.

"He's hit safely in nine of 10 games and is hitting .452 since his return, but what might be most impressive of all is his improved plate discipline," Kusnierek said. "In those 10 games, he has seven strikeouts and six walks." 

Some pitchers have also produced some performances of note as of late. Jon Lester has just north of a 2.50 ERA in his last six starts and put together a truly dominant performance against the (albeit offensively challenged) San Francisco Giants. 

Koji Uehara has also displayed his best stuff in recent times, highlighted by this pair of incredible stats:

"The Sox closer has now thrown 21 2/3 straight scoreless innings, he hasn't allowed a run since June 30." 

Not everything is peachy for the Sox, though. 

Another reliever, Drake Britton, has been as mediocre as Uehara's been brilliant. 

The left-hander had given up runs like crazy in August and has cost the Sox in the later innings.

"He's allied six runs in his last five appearances, including two blown saves," Kusnierek said. "As a team, the Red Sox have blown 20 saves, which is the sixth most in all of baseball." 

Mike Napoli is aboard the disappointment train as well. The first baseman is barely clearing .150 in the batting average category in the month of August and is loading up his 2013 resume with strikeouts. 

Worst of all, though, has to be Ryan Dempster. 

Kusnierek puts Dempster's rotten month rather succinctly.

"He allowed seven runs in Sunday's loss to the Yankees. In the process he earned a five-game suspension for beaning Alex Rodriguez," Kusnierek said. "Dempster has a 7.40 ERA in August." 

Any objection to these choices? Is there anybody who should be added to the list? Go to the comments with your answers.