No Yearning for Youk

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No Yearning for Youk

Life hasn't been easy for Will Middlebrooks in the days since Kevin Youkilis was sent packing.

First, there was the slump: 1-for-15 with two RBI in four games after the trade.

He had a mini-breakout on Friday in Seattle going 2-4 with a home run but then injured himself stealing second on Sunday. He's now day-to-day with a hamstring injury, and while it remains to be seen whether he'll make a trip to the DL, odds are that he won't be in the lineup today, or tomorrow.

In other words, the Red Sox don't have a third baseman, which leads to the natural question:

Did they make a mistake by trading Youk?

After all, this is essentially their worst-case scenario.

1. Trade
2. Slump
3. Injury
4. Nick Punto.

Goo.

But when it comes to Youk, I'm not ready to bite.

He needed to go, and should still be gone.

Can you imagine if we were still stuck in that every day back and forth? The he saidhe said between Youk and Bobby V? The unbelievable tension that surrounded every aspect of that story? It would be torture. Honestly, I don't care if it turns out that Middlebrooks is secretly working for Al-Qaeda. There are no circumstances under which I'd consider that trade a mistake.

Not to mention, just because Youkilis is a "third baseman," doesn't mean you necessarily want him playing third base. I mean, this isn't 2008 MVP candidate Youk we're talking about. Since the start of last season, Youkilis has played in 169 games and is hitting only .250 (151-603). When he was traded to the White Sox on June 24, everyone was like: "Uh oh. Get ready for Youk to blow up now that he's playing every day!"

So far in Chicago, he's batting .231 (6-for-26) with one double, zero homers and four RBI.

I'll take a week of Nick Punto, a healthy Will Middlebrooks and no more drama, please.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com.

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notes, quotes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays:

QUOTES:

* "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully, the tests come back clean.'' -Andrew Benintendi, on the uncertainty surrounding his knee injury.

* "Sometimes, I like that, sometimes I don't because I'd kind of take a couple of quick outs in place of those to get a couple of more innings out there.'' -Drew Pomeranz on his career high 11 strikeouts.

* "That's probably the spot that looms the largest. Jackie's become more aggressive early in the count, but at the same time, that aggressiveness can work against you.'' -Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging at the first pitch following a walk with the bases loaded.

NOTES:

* Drew Pomeranz recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts

 * Since moving to the leadoff spot, Dustin Pedroia has a slash line of .397/.418/.460 in 16 games.

* Pomeranz has yielded two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.

* On the just-completed road trip, the Red Sox led in all but one game.

* Thursday's loss was the fourth this season in which the Sox allowed two runs or fewer.

 * The past 18 Red Sox losses have come by a combined 37 runs.

* Until Thursday, the Red Sox had won 20 of their past 31 day games.

* The bottom third of the makeshift Red Sox lineup combined to go 2-for-12.

* The Sox missed out on a chance to have an eight-win road trip, which would have been their first since 2011.

STARS:

1) Jake Odorizzi

The Rays started, facing a depleted Red Sox lineup, limited the Sox to a single run over seven innings, allowing just five hits and getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam by allowing just one run.

2) Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook was 0-for-34 when facing Drew Pomeranz in the seventh inning, but that didn't stop him from doubling home Steven Souza Jr with what proved to be the winning run.

3) Dustin Pedroia

The Sox couldn't generate much of anything at all offensively, but don't blame Pedroia. The leadoff hitter had three hits and a walk and was on base four times for the Sox.

Benintendi's MRI inconclusive; will undergo more tests Friday in Boston

Benintendi's MRI inconclusive; will undergo more tests Friday in Boston

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Andrew Benintendi saga will continue for at least one more day, as an MRI taken here Thursday morning was, in the words of John Farrell, "inconclusive" and the rookie left fielder will undergo more tests Friday in Boston.

"Our doctors want to get him back to a full exam with (team orthopedist) Dr. [Peter] Asnis," Farrell said after the 2-1 loss to the Rays, which concluded the team's 11-game road trip. "Hopefully, when I speak to you all [Friday] afternoon (at Fenway Park, prior to the team's game against Royals), there will be a little more information on this."

Farrell said Friday's tests "will include some other imaging".

The Sox placed Benintendi on the 15-day disabled list after he injured his left night while running the bases Wednesday night. 

"We're going to do some more tests tomorrow and take it day-by-day," he said. "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully the tests come back clean.''
 
Benintendi found one sliver of hope:
 
"The more I walk on it, the better it feels. I'm going to stay as positive as I can.''