It's Jackie Robinson Day today in the majors. The one downside to Jackie Robinson Day is that the man gets only that, a day. That and if you haven't learned everyone's number yet, today isn't the game where you'll learn them.
The Red Sox aren't messing around against Matt Moore today, sitting Ryan Sweeney and Jarrod Saltalamacchia against the lefty, while keeping known lefty-mashers Mike Aviles, Cody Ross, Kelly Shoppach, and Darnell McDonald all in the lineup. Whether that results in a dozen or so runs again is unknown, but it's about as prepared as you can be against a southpaw like Moore. Mike Aviles' career numbers look much more the part of leadoff hitter while facing a lefty, too, so there's that.
|BOSTON RED SOX||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Mike Aviles - SS||Desmond Jennings - CF|
|Dustin Pedroia - 2B||Carlos Pena - 1B|
|Adrian Gonzalez - 1B||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Kevin Youkilis - 3B||Jeff Keppinger - 2B|
|David Ortiz - DH||Ben Zobrist - RF|
|Cody Ross - RF||Luke Scott - DH|
|Darnell McDonald - LF||Sean Rodriguez - SS|
|Kelly Shoppach - C||Matt Joyce - LF|
|Jason Repko - CF||Chris Gimenez - C|
Moore has all of 16 major-league innings under his belt if you ignore the playoffs, and he's impressed in that stretch with 10.7 strikeouts per nine, a 2.4 K/BB, and a 2.81 ERA. It's 16 innings, though, and as Jeremy Hellickson reminded us yesterday, sometimes it's best we wait to see if a top pitching prospect can handle the AL East before we just give them all of the credit.
Moore allowed more walks than strikeouts in his last content. If the Sox can keep up their patient approach from the last two games, it would certainly help them against a hurler with dominating stuff.
Felix Doubront looks to continue the quality work he started against the Blue Jays in his previous start. Look to see how efficient he can be with his four-seamer -- if he's getting a lot of foul balls and not throwing enough strikes with it, we might see him out of the game after five again, even if he's doing well.
A win today would mean the Red Sox would win the series, their first of the season, and the first in what seems like forever against the Rays. Go Sox!