The Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves all got a lift tonight as the three teams got star players back from the disabled list. All three teams still alive playoff aspirations and even though two of the players did not perform well (rust was evident), it had to be a big lift in the psyche of those teams.
Martin Prado returned for the Braves and he had a heck of a night. He went three for five with three runs scored and two runs batted in. He hit his 30th double of the year. In fairness to the other two players, Prado hasn't been out nearly as long and it doesn't look like he missed a beat.
Dustin Pedroia, on the other hand, has been out a long, long time. Tonight was his first night back after missing two months with a broken foot. Pedroia went hitless in five at bats and made an error in the field, both events being unusual for him. To the Fan's knowledge, he didn't play at all in the minors to get back or if he did, it wasn't very much. Rust has to be evident. But still, Pedroia is a winner and a force on the field and the Red Sox have to be glad he's back.
Chase Utley returned to the Phillies after an extended stay on the disabled list. He too went hitless on a night that the Phillies pounded the Giants. Utley is one of the brightest stars in the league and probably the best second baseman in baseball. The Phillies have to be glad to see him back. Now all they need his Mr. Howard to return and they will be back to full strength.
It's probably not a coincidence that all three teams won their games on Tuesday night. They probably would have even without the trio. But for three teams fighting like heck to get to the playoffs, three returning stars had to be a sight for sore eyes.