Not a ton of time for a full preview today, so let's lay out the basics and get onto the pitching matchups.
The Jays don't get on base often, but when they do, they hit the ball pretty hard. They also don't take their time. In fact, tonight's game is a matchup between the most and least patient offenses in the league. So far that's worked out just fine for the Sox, as the Jays are the only A.L. East team they seem to be able to beat with any real consistency.
So let's hope they keep it up--dare I say even pile it on? To do so, though, they'll have to win some less-than-advantageous matchups.
Matsuzaka vs. Romero
|2010 - Daisuke Matsuzaka||8-3||16||16||0||0||0||0||97.2||83||45||43||7||46||80||3.96||1.32|
|2010 - Ricky Romero||9-7||22||22||3||1||0||0||147.0||131||62||55||9||53||128||3.37||1.25|
We start with an imperfect pairing: the Red Sox' number five versus one of the top pitchers on the Blue Jays' staff. Then again, Daisuke has been pitching like an ace since June. Romero, too, is on a tear, having just gone the distance against the Yankees, allowing only two runs. In fact, over the last four games, Romero ha allowed only seven runs in over thirty innings. The last game before that? A start against the Red Sox where he allowed nine runs (five earned) before being pulled in the third.
Buchholz vs. Marcum
|2010 - Clay Buchholz||12-5||19||19||1||1||0||0||118.1||99||42||35||7||46||82||2.66||1.23|
|2010 - Shaun Marcum||10-5||21||21||0||0||0||0||131.0||126||54||50||13||29||112||3.44||1.18|
Marcum has been having a dominant season--more so than even Romero peripherals wise. But then again, Buchholz hasn't exactly been hittable of late. Perhaps most interestingly, both pitchers have done especially well against the other's team, with Marcum having thrown 14 innings allowing only the lone run in two games, and Buchholz responding with eight dominant frames of his own. If history holds, we're in for a deul.
|2010 - John Lackey||10-7||24||23||0||0||0||0||146.2||168||79||75||11||58||95||4.60||1.54|
|2010 - Brett Cecil||9-5||19||19||0||0||0||0||119.1||102||50||48||10||38||88||3.62||1.17|
It was kind of too good to be true when it came to Lackey. Three straight strong outings? How could I possibly have gotten my hopes up? Since finishing July strong, Lackey has come out and gotten bashed by the Yankees and, pathetically, the Indians. Maybe their free-swinging ways will make the Jays miss some when Lackey misses his spots, but he's gonna have to hope for a lot of help from them given the way that Brett Cecil has pitched the last month. He's looked like a Cy Young candidate since the break.
Or they could be facing Brad Mills, who is far less impressive both overall and recently, and doesn't even stand out in Triple-A. Of course, given how the Sox do against such pitchers this year, it's hard to say whether or not this is a good thing.
|2010 - Brad Mills||1-0||2||2||0||0||0||0||11.0||7||5||5||0||7||6||4.09||1.27|
Far from perfect, but maybe doable if Daisuke is on. The Sox go in with a winning record against the Jays, but they might be lucky to leave with a winning series.