Sunday, July 18, 2010

All hail Kevin Youkilis!

Kevin Youkilis is an amazingly effective ballplayer. He has impressive stats, year after year, and yet he's criminally overlooked. Last night Youkilis almost singlehandedly won the game for the Red Sox, driving in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth off of Cliff Lee, and then driving in the winning run in the bottom of the eleventh with a sacrifice fly to deep center field.

Of all the games in this series, last night's was the one I was ready to concede: Cliff Lee is anything but easy to beat, and he had the added motivation of wanting to win his first start in a Rangers uniform. Lee came all too close, getting one out away from a complete game victory when he was thwarted by Youkilis.

Youk often comes through in the clutch, but he's so consistently good that no one seems to notice when he's great. Famously snubbed for this year's All-Star Game, Youkilis shrugged it off, though Red Sox Nation was ready to back him up if indignation was the path he chose; causing a stir has never been his style.

Fiercely competitive (though quieter about it than some of his teammates), Youkilis just wants the Red Sox to win games, and he does everything he can to make sure that happens as often as possible. Every at-bat is a battle, just as every defensive chance is life-or-death, and more often than not, Youkilis comes through.

Here's hoping the dramatic win from last night spurs the Sox to even greater heights (a win streak would be nice) so they can stay alive until some reinforcements arrive.

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