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Tuesday MLB Mailbag: More Early Surprises

What’s the deal with my Red Sox? Can they turn it around this season? -Mike in Kansas City

Pitching, pitching, and more pitching, Mike. Boston is second in the American League in batting average (.276) and runs (194) yet their team ERA of 4.89 is 13th and is the reason the Red Sox are dead last in the AL East.The last three games have shown us they can turn it around, though. They gave up one run in each outing, all Boston victories. I wouldn’t count on Josh Beckett to bounce back, though. His average fastball is just 91.5 mph, the slowest of his career, and he’s given up at least three runs in four of his six starts.

If the Nationals are in first place on Sept. 1, do they stick with their plan of shutting down Stephen Strasburg early? -Dan in Overland Park

Great question. The last thing you’d want as a GM or owner is have the face of your franchise go down with another significant arm injury. And Strasburg is signed through 2016 so it seems like sitting him down when he reaches his innings limit (rumored to be around 160) is the smart thing to do. The core of the Nationals is young and will have at least three or four more years together. Of course, this discussion becomes a lot more interesting on Sept. 1 if the Nats are hovering around first place. It’s easy for Washington to say they’re sticking to a limit in May.

Did you see Phillies manager Charlie Manuel’s ejection last night? How awesome was that? -Rob in Lawrence

Not until you mentioned it, Rob. But I must say, it’s the best ejection highlight I’ve seen all year. Manuel had a legitimate reason to gripe.

Biggest surprise on May 15th? -Craig in Olathe

In any order: The Orioles in first place, the Angels in last place, Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter hitting .367, Derek Lowe and Lance Lynn tied for the Major League lead with six wins.

 

That’s All I’ve got for today. Send me your questions for next week HERE or find me on Twitter.

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