So when Adrian Beltre didn’t start in Thursday’s second-half opener against the Rangers, it begged the question: Are the Red Sox simply cursed this year?
That could be the case. Or Beltre being out of the lineup could be for a reason other than voodoo witchcraft.
The Red Sox’ third baseman, who entered Thursday sixth in the AL with a .330 batting average, has an ailing left hamstring, one that has been bothering him since before the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
Beltre came in to play third in the top of the eighth inning for the AL, later striking out in his only-at bat in the ninth inning.
The 31-year-old hardly broke a sweat in the game. There were no ground balls hit his way, and he had only one plate appearance in which he didn’t even put the ball in play.
But with all the injuries the Red Sox have been having, should Beltre even have played in the All-Star Game?
"I just didn't have a really good feeling running him out there," manager Terry Francona told ESPN.com of his decision to sit Beltre for the series opener against the Rangers. "Knowing the way he plays, I don't want him to hurt himself."
That makes sense.
What makes less sense is why Beltre — one of the few Red Sox starters remaining in the everyday lineup — played in a game that doesn’t count in the standings.