In short time, Will Middlebrooks leaving powerful impression
|08.14.13 at 3:37 am ET|
TORONTO — It’s only been three games, but when it comes to the return of Will Middlebrooks ... so far, so good.
After going 2-for-5 with a run in the Red Sox‘ 4-2, 11-inning win over the Blue Jays Tuesday night at Rogers Centre, Middlebrooks is now hitting .417 (5-for-12). And, perhaps most important, the Red Sox have won two of the three games, improving the 24-year-old’s career win-loss mark to 75-56.
‘He looks more relaxed, a little more confident,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell regarding Middlebrooks. “Makes a handful of good plays down at third base. I thought the first at-bat, the first time he’s probably faced [Toronto starter Todd] Redmond, who could be tough on some right-handers, but then he gets the double down the right-field line. A key basehit in that one inning, breaks up a double play. He played a solid game for us tonight.”
When told of Farrell’s analysis, Middlebrooks said, “Yeah, I guess. I’m not fighting my body anymore. I can just go out and play, and I don’t have to worry about making things worse or me not being able to make certain movements because I’m hurting. I don’t have to worry about that anymore. That’s probably the biggest thing.”
Middlebrooks identified the Mother’s Day collision with David Ross — in which the third baseman injured his ribs — as a time his fortunes took a turn for the worse. It was an uphill battle that only got steeper when his back ailment flared up.
“I’m in a much better place,” he said. “Like I said, I just don’t have to worry about, ‘Am I going to blow out here and be done?’ I can just go out and play free. I’ve got more fluid motion back and just was able to play my game.”
Besides pushing his physical issues aside, Middlebrooks also seems to have reentered the Red Sox clubhouse with a greater peace of mind.
“I mean, with this core group of veterans we have here, it’s pretty easy,” he said. “Granted, this is only my second year in the big leagues, but I’ve never been around a group of guys who come in and want to win this bad. I mean, we had three guys on an off-day here yesterday watching the game. How often is it you’re going to see that?”
Latest from Bleacher Report
- MLB Reportedly 'Looking Into' Ortiz's Comments for Tampering
- Red Sox Pay Heavy, but Necessary Price to Go for It with Pomeranz
- Moncada Primed to Make Phenom-Loaded Red Sox Even Richer
- Craig Kimbrel Injury Updates on Recovery from Knee Surgery
- Latest on Brad Ziegler to Red Sox
- Brewers Trade INF Aaron Hill to Red Sox
- Bradley, Betts, and Bogaerts Give MLB a New-Age 'Killer B's'
- Scouting Scratch: Henry Owens
- Cup of Coffee: Chris Marrero, pitching help PawSox clip Red Wings
- Cup of Coffee: Sermo homers three times; Basabe keeps streaking
- Scouting Scratch: Luis Alexander Basabe and Michael Chavis
- Cup of Coffee: Procyshen homers, Benintendi triples in victories
- Podcast Ep. #103: Yes Devers loves me, the homers tell me so
- Weekly notes: Benintendi moves to left field
- Cup of Coffee: Dubon collects four hits, Kemp blasts two homers
- Cup of Coffee: Marrero and Devers homer, Dalbec debuts
- Cup of Coffee: Benintendi debuts in left, Basabe stays hot