5 Red Sox going to the All-Star game

Five Boston players have been named to the All-Star game in San Francisco. Congratulations, guys, you all deserve it.

Josh Beckett, SP. The reborn righty has gone 11-2 with a 3.38 ERA this year. He’s tied for second in wins in the AL, and pitched at least five innings in every start except one, which saw him go to the DL right afterwards. e’s held hitters to .234 average, and holds a 1.10 WHIP. Working better with Tek and mixing in that curveball have made all the difference.

David Ortiz, 1B/DH. With Manny Ramirez struggling (for him) behind him, Big Papi has not had much to hit this season. Opposing teams employ a Barry Bonds-type shift against him, which moves the second baseman into shallow right field and effectively gives a fourth outfielder, which makes hitting that much harder. But his intimidating presence in the lineup has still been felt, as he holds a line of .314/.430/.557 for the year. He also has at least three near-home runs which I can think of, so he’s been the victim of some bad luck. Ortiz is boasting the best batting average and OBP of his Red Sox career so far, and is among the league leaders in walks, OBP, SLG and OPS (naturally).

Jonathan Papelbon, CL. Paps has only played two full seasons, and he’s made the All-Star team twice. Not bad. His high 90s fastball, splitter and now curve have hitters quaking in their cleats. I can’t count the number of hitters he’s simply just overpowered. He can’t boast a perfect saves record this year, but he can boast a 1.50 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP and 42 Ks in 30 IP. He’s converted 19 of 20 saves, good for 6th in the AL.

Manny Ramirez, LF. Manny didn’t make the cut with the fans this year, but his peers still voted him in as one of the best hitters in the game. Ramirez’ line so far doesn’t look like it belongs to him: .285/.383/.468 with 11 HR and 43 RBI.

Mike Lowell, 3B. I can’t think of a better guy to receive this kind of honor than Lowell, who is just a stand-up guy and an excellent ballplayer. Those old suspicions of steroid use are all gone, and Lowell has rebounded and carried this team at times with his offense. He’s hitting .297/.350/.513 with 12 HR and leading the Sox with 55 RBI. He’s been a little shaky with the glove this year, but those moments have been pretty rare in the whole scheme of things.

Hideki Okajima, who has dominated in his rookie season since coming over from Japan, also stands an outside shot of making the team, if enough fans support him. Get out and vote, Red Sox Nation!


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