Jason Varitek is one of three Red Sox regulars to have no hits through three games of the American League Championship Series. Jacoby Ellsbury has been replaced in center field for Game 4 by Coco Crisp, and Ortiz either is fighting a wrist injury or is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
Varitek, though, has scuffled all season; he hit .183 in September and now is 3-for-24 (.125) since the postseason began. One has to wonder if the 36-year-old catcher's bat ever will be the same again.
"Everybody in that clubhouse, they want to do so much to help us win, and he's at the top of the list," manager Terry Francona said during his pregame media availability. "You have to fight through it, and he's a fighter."
Scattered boos even rained down on Varitek after he popped to first to end the fourth inning on Monday. Francona, though, said he neither heard nor would have been bothered by that reaction.
"I didn't pay for the ticket," he said. "When you buy a ticket, you have the right, basically, to voice your opinion as long as you don't go over the line. That wouldn't be my personal style, but if people pay for the ticket, they can do whatever they want."