After every series, we'll take stock of how each individual and group performance affects their overall value.
Jacoby Ellsbury: Four hits and a couple walks, plus an amazing catch last night in center. Ells is starting to come around.
Carl Crawford: Carl's in the middle of a five-game hitting streak, and clubbed a homer last night, so maybe I'm being harsh on him. But he still has among the worst at bats I've ever seen. At least once a game he shows a Wily Mo-esque understanding of the strike zone.
Dustin Pedroia: We need more out of Dustin is we're going to turn this thing around. Hitting .265 with a .319 OBP isn't cutting it. I know his stats are held down by a rough start, but we need him to go on one of his power streaks where he goes 12 for 20 with five homers. That's always fun. Maybe Bobby should hit him clean-up to get him started, he always seems to love that.
Adrian Gonzalez: Keep crushing it, Adrian. He's even starting to walk a bit, as he has walks in each of the past two games after going an amazing 29 games without one.
Cody Ross: Got a couple of hits off a rightly last night (a bigger deal than it should be), but Cody is in a power funk right now.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia: Three hits on the series, but he's still a strikeout machine, with five against the Tigers. Even Rick Porcello struck him out twice, and Porcello isn't exactly Justin Verlander.
Will Middlebrooks: Will's got a nine-game hitting streak going. His power seems to have topped off a bit, and he's not showing much plate discipline (.300 AVG, .329 OBP), but that might come with age.
Pedro Ciriaco: What's not to love about Pedro? Six-game hitting streak, seems to have a penchant for coming through in the clutch, good energy. He's the best part of this team this year.
The Bench: Losing Nava and Sweeney is a tough blow to the bench. Still gotta give Kelly Shoppach credit for being a steady player, though.
Clay Buchholz was good again, but with Beckett's injury and Aaron Cook falling back to being Aaron Cook, it's hard to be excited about the starters. I'm hopeful that Morales can be a good part of it. And we were fortunate that Beckett's injury didn't tax the bullpen thanks both to the shortened game and K-ton Mortensen's emergency call-up.
Props again to Mortensen, and Craig Breslow was good in his first appearance last night. The bullpen remains one of the strong points of the team.
I'm tired of even thinking about Bobby V. He's gone at the end of the year anyway. The team isn't failing because of him, but he's not the solution either.
Two out of three against the Tigers is a good sign. Still plenty of faults, but things are looking up. Of course, it will all come down to starting pitching, and you notice the red arrow there. They've gotta get the rotation straightened out.