Crawford piling up the extra-base hits

The Red Sox are 55-57 and have lost 12 of their last 19. It’s like watching a slow-motion train wreck.

So let’s look at some things that aren’t brutal:

• Carl Crawford is 16 of 49 (.327) in his last 12 games with five doubles, two triples and three home runs. He has scored 11 runs and driven in 12. His batting average through 21 games is .284. After a rough first season with the Red Sox, Crawford is finally showing what he is capable of.

“He’s back. He’s the Carl that I played against for a lot of years,” Cody Ross said. “Confidence is the No. 1 key for him. When he’s swinging good, nobody can get him out and he creates havoc on the bases. It would have been nice to have him all year.”


• Will Middlebrooks has 15 home runs in his first 73 major league games. You know who else did that? Ted Williams in 1939. A few other Red Sox players (Walt Dropo, Norm Zauchin and Fred Lynn) did that over multiple seasons. But Middlebrooks and the Splendid Splinter did it in one season.

Middlebrooks has 54 RBIs in those 73 games. Williams had 77 en route to 145 that season. He hit a ridiculous .327/.436/.609 at the age of 20 with 44 doubles, 11 triples and 31 homers.

• Bobby Valentine was asked before the game if he considered a “pre-emptive strike” at umpire Paul Nauert before Dustin Pedroia was ejected on Tuesday night.

Pedroia struck out on a check swing that was called a strike by Nauert from first base. Pedroia argued the call on the field and continued his yelling from the dugout. He was eventually ejected after going out to play the field in the top of the ninth inning.

Pedroia was ejected before Valentine stepped on the field. Valentine then argued vociferously with Nauert but was not thrown out despite his best efforts.

Valentine was incredulous at the idea that he could have done something to prevent Pedroia being ejected.

“You living in a fantasy world? Were you watching the game?” Valentine asked. “That’s not even worth answering.”


When word of the exchange reached the clubhouse, Pedroia called Valentine over to his locker and shook his hand. Pedroia later said he thought Valentine handled the situation well.

• Adrian Gonzalez (3 for 5, three doubles) has hit safely in all eight games this month at 15 of 31 with six doubles and 10 RBIs. He is up to .310 on the season with an OPS of .818.

• Baseball America named Ryan Lavarnway as the best defensive catcher in the International League based on a poll of managers. It was a significant honor for Lavarnway, who has worked hard at his defensive skills.

Until being called up on Aug. 1, Lavarnway was the starting catcher for Pawtucket.

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First baseman Lars Anderson (since traded to Cleveland), second baseman Pedro Ciriaco and shortstop Jose Iglesias were also named the best at their respective positions.

Jackie Bradley Jr., who has since been promoted to Double A, was cited for being the best hitting prospect, baserunner, defensive outfielder and most exciting player in the Carolina League.

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