With the Boston Red Sox crushing the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, Will Middlebrooks helped highlight a thought many already held: Perhaps the Toronto Blue Jays should not have invested so much in a 38-year-old knuckleball pitcher.
R.A. Dickey, the reigning National League Cy Young winner, made his second start for the Toronto Blue Jays. He got pounded, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on 10 hits in just 4.2 innings of work.
No one did as much damage as Will Middlebrooks. He blasted a two-run shot to right in the first inning, and then found the second deck off Dickey in the fifth for a solo shot.
Proving he could crush more than the knuckler, Middlebrooks continued his spectacular day by taking Dave Bush deep to left in the seventh.
He almost added another in the eighth, but that one only had warning-track power behind it. While this left him a few feet shy of a historic four-homer day, I don't think he will be lamenting what could have been. He finished the day 4-for-5 with four RBI and three homers.
Middlebrooks wasn't the only Boston hitter to go deep. In all, the Sox went yard six times, as Mike Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava all joined the home-run party.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays dropped to 2-4 on the season, and they have to be concerned about Dickey's performance.
This start actually made Dickey's debut as a Blue Jay look good—he allowed four runs in six innings in that one.
In this game, Dickey allowed five runs before he even recorded an out, and hitter after hitter was making solid contact. This all amounted to his shortest start in almost a year, and the five runs he allowed in the first inning equals his first-inning runs allowed total for the entire 2012 season.
Regardless of his struggles, however, the real focus today was on Middlebrooks, and deservedly so. Boston's fans have to be thrilled with such a showing.
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