Jason Bay has been the MVP of the AL so far this season… at least in my eyes. He is leading the league in RBIs with 69, has 19 round trippers on the season which is third in the league, has been a solid defensive presence for the Red Sox all season long, and has the left field starting position for the 2009 All Star Game in St. Louis locked. This guy is unbelievable. He is surely going to be in the running for the MVP at the end of the season for all these reasons. He has just been on a tear all season long, slumping very rarely. But lately, Bay hasn’t been succeeding the way he has so far this season. Today was a perfect example of his rapid decline in production. As I sat on my couch watching the Red Sox take on the Orioles only a day after the O’s came back from nine down, I witnessed Jason Bay have his worst game at the plate all season. He stepped up five times and every single time, he walked back to the dugout with another strikeout on his back. He went 0-5 with five strikeouts. He looked absolutely dreadful. He wasn’t even close on some pitches. On one pitch, he just waved at a fastball over the middle-outside part of the plate. It was hittable but it was like he didn’t want to hit it and just waved his bat over the general area. It was extremely strange.
Now, despite Bay’s slump of late, the Red Sox have still continued to win. They have gotten production from other guys that have filled in for Bay’s non-production. Jacoby Ellsbury has heated up after being moved down in the lineup. David Ortiz has been slowly getting his swing back. Dustin Pedroia and JD Drew have both continued to hit well. The emergence of Nick Green has also been huge as he has started to get it done at the plate as well as in the field. Now, Bay made a nice catch two days ago to end the game in Baltimore. He made a sliding grab that filled the highlight reels for the next day. So, his defense is still there, but his bat has been silented. The Sox would like to get his bat back to assure the team’s success but right now, his bat is the least of their worries. Bay is a STELLAR professional and will get out of this slump which is his first major slump since joining the Sox. And saying this is a major slump isn’t much since it has pretty much only been four or five games since he has been successful. He’ll do fine. He will get out of it soon and he will continue to be in the running for the MVP and will continue to help the Sox. I hope he doesn’t help them that much so that the Yanks can gain some ground on the Sox but I do like this guy and hope he does well.