May 29, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Former Philadelphia Phillies and current Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino (18) receives a standing ovation as he is honored during the fourth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Series Six Pack: "Two years ago I was throwing dirt on his grave."

Oh, look.  We finally managed to slap a six pack together.

We’ve got Steve Peterson of BoSox Injection here today, and he’s going to explain all the reasons this is basically a series win for the Phillies.

Has there ever been a player more blatantly attached to his former team than Shane Victorino? I mean, does he ever shut up about us? He doesn’t, I bet. Don’t say he doesn’t.

May 29, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino (18) watches from the dugout during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Red Sox 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Some guys are just wired not only to a team but a city. Look at Justin Verlander in Detroit, David Ortiz in Boston or Clayton Kershaw in Los Angeles. It’s hard to imagine them in any other uniform in any other city. With that being said, when Victorino hasn’t been injured, which hasn’t been that often this year, he’s been good for Boston.

He plays very hard – in part that’s what put him on the DL after successive crashes in into the right field fence and in Fenway and Tampa Bay. It’s a shame he isn’t in the lineup against the Phillies because it would make such great press. You may pick up more of his comment in the Philadelphia press than we do in Boston.

I know some people who will be thrilled to see Jackie Bradley, Jr. back in the Majors for this series particularly. Actually, it’s just one guy. Is there a palpable sense of joy in Red Sox Nation to see him again?

It would be palpable if he’d done anything in his first few games with the Sox during the beginning of the season before he got sent down.

After a torrid spring, the expectations were very high for the budding star. In his first cup of coffee in the bigs, he didn’t pan out, which is OK because by sending him back to the minors for at least 20 games Boston ensured they retained his services for another year through 2019. They can afford the be patient with him this year.

He’s a dynamic player with super plate discipline for his age. He’s got speed. He’s durable and has a decent arm. If Ellsbury exits after 2013, Bradley will be waiting in the wings.

David Ortiz recently credited himself for Ryan Howard’s two hits the other night. How likely is it that all it takes are the secret words of David Ortiz to fix a hitter forever?

May 29, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston Red Sox pinch hitter David Ortiz (34) reacts to flying out during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Red Sox 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

We learned in Boston to never say never when it comes to Ortiz. Two years ago I was throwing dirt on his grave and advocating for his release. After 24 months of wiping egg off my face I’d never bet that Papi can’t work any situation to his or another player’s advantage.

This, after all, a guy who was given the green light by the FCC after dropping the F word live in front of all the fans at Fenway and millions more watching in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Give Papi his props. He’s earned it.

Victorino and Will Middlebrooks have both been absent from the Sox lineup for significant time. Have the Red Sox and their surprisingly winning season been an indication of how little these two are necessary?

Daniel Nava is one of the most underrated ball players in the bigs. He has quietly filled Victorino’s spot with a decent little slash line of .289/.392./.461/.853.

He doesn’t hurt you in the field and he doesn’t make mental mistakes. With that being said, I still think Boston is better with a healthy Victorino in right field, which gives Nava the opportunity to slide over to left field where he’s equally comfortable and keeps a switch hitter in the lineup. Middlebrooks flat out has been bad this year. A .201/.234/.408/.642 slash line does not strike fear in the hearts of the opposition.

The only aspect of his injury that hurts is that Boston is so thin at third base that players like Pedro Ciriaco (SS/2B) and Jose Iglesias (SS) have been forced to play out of their natural positions to fill the gap. With that being said, Middlebrooks hasn’t been missed much since he went on the DL.

It was recently revealed Dustin Pedroia has been playing through a thumb injury all year. Ryan Howard is also playing through constant pain; Roy Halladay was shoulder some issues quietly as well. My question for you that I might involuntarily shout is WHAT THE HELL POINT ARE THESE GUYS TRYING TO PROVE BY PLAYING HURT AND WHY DO THEY THINK IT IS EASY FOR US TO WATCH THEM SUFFER sorry for screaming.

Dustin Pedroia is the ultimate “dirt dog” an affectionate term used in Boston for a throwback type gamer who plays hard, gets dirty and will do anything to win no matter what. You have to remember that Pedroia bought a place that overlooks Fenway Park and paces the house on game day looking for the batting cages to be rolled out. Once he sees this happen he’s gone.

He’s the first to come and the last to leave. Pedroia will be taken out of the lineup when he ca’t go anymore. That’s simply they way the guy is wired and we love him for it.

May 29, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58) reacts to recording the last out in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Red Sox 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll phrase this last question in the form of a guy’s name with a question mark at the end:  Jonathan Papelbon?

…should have been offered a long-term contract by the Red Sox at the end of the 2011 season. Papelbon is Boston’s most successful closer, with 30 or more saves in six straight seasons and 219 saves in all. Since then Boston has suffered through Alfred Aceves, Andrew Bailey, Bobby Jenks and Joel Hanrahan, all of which have been ineffective and/or injured.

Tags: Boston Red Sox Philadelphia Phillies Series Six-pack Shane Victorino

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