Painful flashback: Youkilis sparks memories of Lowell

535124.jpg

Painful flashback: Youkilis sparks memories of Lowell

By Art Martone
CSNNE.com

So why do I think that, any day now, the Red Sox are going to announce that Kevin Youkilis has been shut down for the season?

Because we've seen this act before.

Youkilis is (admirably) attempting to play throw both bursitis in his hip and a sports hernia, though he's not doing it very successfully; he's only 6-for-40 (.150) since coming off the disabled list at the beginning of the month. Plus his range in the field is greatly diminished, as anyone who's seen him attempt to play third base these last few weeks can attest.

So when the Sox announced after Thursday night's loss that Youk is being given Friday night off -- even though they're locked in a life-and-death playoff struggle with the Rays, even though every game is beyond important -- two words leapt to mind.

Mike Lowell.

Lowell also attempted to keep on keeping on in September 2008, even though a hip injury that would eventually require surgery -- and, really, end his days as an everyday player -- had hobbled him to the point that he could barely move. The Sox tried to make it work, but eventually they succumbed to the obvious. He left the lineup on Sept. 16 (kismet!), made one more attempt to come back (playing three innings on Sept. 26), then sat out the rest of the way.

Sound familiar?

The two differences: Youkilis' injuries may not be quite as debilitating (though you couldn't tell by the way he's been playing) and the '08 Sox had options the '11 Sox don't. In '08, they moved a then-healthy Youkilis to third base and played Mark Kotsay and Sean Casey at first. Now, with Jed Lowrie also hurting, the Sox will be forced to go with Mike Aviles at third in some of the biggest games of the year.

Still, after hearing Terry Francona last night -- "He's sore . . . We'll watch him. He's nowhere near pulling the plug onthe season, or anything like that. But it's pretty obvious he'sstruggling out there." -- it just brought back memories of '08.

And led us to contemplate a stretch run with a utility guy from Kansas City in the starting lineup.

Art Martone can be reached at amartone@comcastsportsnet.com.

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

red_sox_david_ortiz_082416.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:

QUOTES:

"It's one of those freak things. You don't plan on it happening, but it's one of those things. So we'll just see what the results say and move on from there.'' - Andrew Benintendi on his knee injury.

"That's kind of a routine 3-1 play. Unfortunately, it comes at a time when you've got two outs and a guy on the move. But that's a routine play.'' - John Farrell on the deciding play in which Heath Hembree couldn't hold onto the ball at first.

"I felt good. I felt strong.I felt good out there the whole game.'' - Rick Porcello, asked how he felt going back out for the eighth inning.

"I think everybody in the ballpark knew that that ball was leaving.'' - Porcello, on the hanging curveball to Evan Longoria.

 

NOTES:

* The loss snapped a five-game winning streak against the Rays for the Red Sox.

* Three of the four Red Sox walk-off losses this season have occurred because of errors.

* The homer by Evan Longoria was his first off Rick Porcello in 40 career at-bats.

* Rick Porcello has now pitched seven innings or more in six straight starts, the longest run for a Red Sox starter since John Lackey did it in 2013.

* David Ortiz is now the oldest player to ever hit 30 homers in a season

* Ortiz has now reached the 30-homer, 100-RBI level 10 times with the Red Sox, including the last four years in a row.

* The loss was the first of Heath Hembree's career, in his 67th major league appearance.

* Dustin Pedroia tied a career high with two stolen bases, the 12th time he's swiped two bases in the same game.

 

STARS:

1) Evan Longoria

The Rays were down to their final five outs when Longoria struck, hitting a game-tying homer off Rick Porcello.

2) Brad Miller

Miller's two-run double in the third enabled the Rays to stay close until Longoria's homer tied things up five innings later.

3) Rick Porcello

Porcello gave the Sox length and was brilliant in getting out of some early jams before settling in through the middle innings.

 

Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Dan Shaughnessy joins Sports Tonight to discuss Rick Porcello giving up a game-tying homerun in the 8th, and explains why John Farrell has been very unlucky with any decision he makes.