Coming into this West Coast trip, my goal for the team was simple: just break even. Really, it seems sometimes like there's no place worse for the Sox to be playing on any given day than Oakland, Seattle, or LA. So with six games between two of these venues, and four of them against one of the hottest teams in the game, 3-3 seemed a reasonable goal.
And yet, here we sit at 4-1, and suddenly the trip has proven itself to be more of an opportunity than an obstacle.
Can the Sox close out the sweep and come within a win of .500? Or will their win streak meet its end at the hands of a Journeyman and one of our least reliable starters?
First, the lineup the Sox will throw out, including a sore lack of Lowrie for "matchup purposes" (which we have been misled about).
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Mike Cameron, RF
7. Carl Crawford, LF
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
9. Marco Scutaro, SS
The fact that J.D. Drew is out for Mike Cameron is scary to me, because it makes me think that Terry Francona actually believes an 11 plate appearance sample size (in which Palmer is better against lefties) is more valid than his entire career (in which he is significantly worse--to the tune of a .391 OBP against).
Oh well. Moving on I suppose.
The Red Sox have received some ridiculous starting pitching in their last eight games. Now, they need to get bast the road bump that could be John Lackey before getting back to what should be their main trio of Buchholz - Beckett - Lester, assuming, of course, that Buchholz can find his way back.
#41 / Pitcher / Boston Red Sox
Oct 23, 1978
|2011 - John Lackey||1-2||3||3||0||0||0||0||14.2||21||16||16||3||5||8||9.82||1.77|
The Angels counter with journeyman Matt Palmer, who is not better against lefties than righties. I cannot emphasize this enough.
#32 / Pitcher / Los Angeles Angels
Mar 21, 1979
|2011 - Matt Palmer||1-0||2||2||0||0||0||0||10.2||13||6||5||0||2||5||4.22||1.41|
But what the hell do I know about matchups? I'm not the visionary who has kept the earthly remains of Hideki Okajima in the bullpen for the last week.