Thursday, June 21, 2012

Middlebrooks 'Wills' Self Invincible, Sox Win 6-5

Winslow Townson/Getty Images
Only four rookies in Red Sox history have had three or more 4-RBI games before the end of June. Will Middlebrooks is one of them. The others? Ted Williams, Walt Dropo and Mike Greenwell. Tonight, Middlebrooks got his third such game, clubbing a game-tying 2-run HR, along with two RBI singles. In addition, Middlebrooks did the "little things" that don't show up in the box score: like breaking up a double play that kept an inning alive for an eventual 2-2 tie and making a savvy play on a tough in-between hop grounder to make a key out. The kid is just poised. Period. He belongs in the lineup everyday. Daniel Nava capped the 6-5 comeback with an RBI single in the eighth (after fellow Kiddie Corps member Ryan Kalish dashed from first to thrid on a groundout). Daisuke Matsuzaka was again his maddening self—giving up three runs in the first on 30+ pitches. Then, typically, he settled down to go 5 1/3 and give the team a chance to come back. The win (fifth in a row) moves the Sox to just 5.5 games off the pace in the AL East.