It feels as though we've had almost nothing but marquee pitching matchups for weeks now. Actually, that's probably because we have. Peavy - Hellickson is as low as it's gotten, and frankly that ranks well below its nearest competition in Peavy - Fister. At least in my mind.
Tonight we head back towards the low side of things. And, frankly, it's pretty perfect that it's Joe Kelly in place of Jeremy Hellickson since the two seem so alike. After all, what was Jeremy Hellickson if not the peripheral-dodging wunderkind? ERAs that could contend for the best in the division, peripherals that belonged on a back-end starter. Kelly doesn't have it quite so bad since he's a genuine ground ball sort of guy, but the similarities are still there.
And then there's Jake Peavy. Who even knows? Guy was great in the ALDS, then completely vanished in the ALCS. That'll happen. Good pitchers have very bad games. But the Sox can't afford to have it happen twice in a row.
It's the first game of a five-game series now with St. Louis holding home field advantage. Long story short: this one, like all the rest to come, is a big game indeed.