It feels like we've done this before. Same day, different polka.
For the third time in just over twenty-four hours, the Red Sox take on the Rays. This time, they meet up for the rubber match. We've already seen a pitching duel yesterday when Jon Lester overcame a rough start and Jacoby Ellsbury sent a James Shields curveball over the bullpen to give the Sox a victory, and a disappointing night game when the Sox offense just couldn't solve Jeff Niemann. (I do have to admit that the Jed Lowrie-Dustin Pedroia-Adrian Gonzalez triple play and the home runs by Jacoby Ellsbury and Jason Varitek were sweet highlights in otherwise frustrating night.)
What will we see today? Well, first the Sox offense will have to do battle against lefty David Price, who is one of the best young lefties in the game (I hate having to type that!).
#14 / Pitcher / Tampa Bay Rays
Aug 26, 1985
|2011 - David Price||10-10||25||25||0||0||0||0||167.2||150||71||70||18||40||158||3.76||1.13|
The Sox's mound-climber today will be none other than John Lackey, who has somehow managed to notch six straight victories with a sub-4.00 ERA during that span (I can't believe I'm able to type that without saying "yeah, right" or "Just kidding!" afterwards!):
#41 / Pitcher / Boston Red Sox
Oct 23, 1978
|2011 - John Lackey||11-8||20||20||0||0||0||0||116.0||147||81||79||15||34||79||6.13||1.56|
(Side note to SBN: Could you have found a picture where Lackey doesn't have his chewing gum showing? It's rather glaringly obvious on my cinema display. Yuck.)
Okay, back to the game preview. So we know that David Ortiz will be day-to-day because of bursitis in his heel (Ouch!). Unfortunately, today is not one of those good days. So that means another juggling of the lineup. This time it's Gonzo who gets to be the DH, with Youk shifting over to first and Lowrie getting another start at third:
Why Crawford is in left instead of McDonald, with Reddick manning RF, is beyond me. Aargh.
On the plus side, after this afternoon's game, the Sox head on the road to start a four-game series in Kansas City. The downside is, that nobody will be left to comment on that road trip, as we'll all be dead after having overdosed on Sox baseball. (Has there been this much Sox baseball in so short a span since the ALCS in 2004?)