Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (pictured) was on his way to his second strong performance in a row when he grabbed at his side and exited Sunday's game with a right oblique strain. That's very bad news for a team that already has called on four Triple-A starters to fill in the fifth slot in the rotation and replace injured Miguel Gonzalez. It was a tough week already, after so-so outings by Jason Hammel, Freddy Garcia and Steve Johnson, and that was reflected in the combined numbers. The rotation posted a 2-2 record with a 6.03 ERA and averaged just five innings per start. Even though the team managed to go 4-2 in those games, this is starting to get scary.
Grade: D (Hannah Foslien / Getty Images /May 12, 2013)
They call the right-field foul pole at Fenway Park the “Pesky Pole” after Red Sox great Johnny Pesky, who was honored after the game with a ballpark memorial service that drew about a thousand admirers and featured several dozen former Red Sox players, including Roger Clemens, Jim Rice and Carlton Fisk.
So, it’s worth mentioning that the shallow corner in right field that is presided over by that foul pole played a very large part in the 2-1 Red Sox victory earlier in the day that averted a three-game sweep by the Orioles that would have elevated them into a first-place tie in the American League East.
In the first inning, Red Sox right fielder Cody Ross reached into the crowd right behind the foul pole to rob Adam Jones of an opposite-field home run that would have give the O’s an early lead. And in the ninth inning, the waist-high fence in the same area came into play when pinch hitter Jim Thome lined a ball into the stands on one hop for a ground-rule double that would have scored Mark Reynolds with the tying run if the ball had remained in play.
Of course, you could point to the left-field corner and make the same case, since the Red Sox took the lead on a high fly ball by Ross that caromed off the fence for a double but probably would have been caught anywhere else.