The Red Sox season took perhaps the worst hit of all yesterday, when Kevin Youkilis saw a hand specialist in Cleveland and was told he needs surgery on his thumb and that will finish his 2010 season.
Now it is up to Theo Epstein to add another bat to the Red Sox lineup, possibly another first baseman who would share time with Mike Lowell, or perhaps another outfielder if Lowell shares first with Victor Martinez (when he's not catching).
This has been quite a gritty Red Sox team, with all the devastating injuries they've had to face. It has been one of Terry Francona's best managing jobs, keeping the Red Sox in the race for as long as he has. The bullpen has been a big problem all year, but as we go into tonight's game, the Red Sox are 6 1/2 behind Tampa Bay for the Wild Card and 7 back of New York for first in the East.
The Red Sox won last night, 6-2, behind a very good start from Daisuke Matsuzaka and a grand slam from Adrian Beltre. They managed to get a split with the Indians, which was rather dissatisfying considering the Sox were home and playing one of the AL's also-rans.
Now, a really important 10-game road swing begins tonight in the Bronx. A split here would be fine. The Red Sox really need a 5-5 trip at the least, with stops in Toronto and Texas to follow.
It's Clay Buchholz vs. Javier Vazquez tonight.