There is one reason why the Red Sox have to win tonight:
Tonight, the Red Sox send Jon Lester to the mound with every reason to expect he will dominate the Jays. Tomorrow, they send John Lackey to the mound with every reason to expect the opposite. How bad was he last year against Toronto? So bad that, if you were to remove his games against them, he might even have lived up to expectations with an ERA around 3.90.
So unless we want to find ourselves on another losing streak heading into New York, tonight is kind of important.
We've got the A-team going, if you can call any lineup featuring one of our catchers the "A-team."
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. J.D. Drew, RF
7. Jed Lowrie, SS
8. Carl Crawford, LF
9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
As mentioned, Jon Lester has everything it takes to kill the Jays. He throws deceptive pitches that dive outside the zone, they swing at pitches outside the zone. He induces ground balls, they thrive on homers. He's on a roll, they've scored 22 runs in eight games this month.
|2011 - Jon Lester||4-1||7||7||0||0||0||0||46.1||36||12||12||5||15||46||2.33||1.10|
Kyle Drabek proves just as good a matchup for our hitters. He can't find the zone, throwing just one third of his pitches for strikes (the lowest in the majors) while we've got some of the more patient guys in the business.
|2011 - Kyle Drabek||2-2||7||7||0||0||0||0||38.0||37||20||19||3||25||28||4.50||1.63|
They can win. They should win. But the pressure is on the Sox, and they've never been ones to make the most of these positive matchups.