To play the role of spoiler, or to keep hoping for improved draft position? It's something of a win-win for Red Sox fans, especially the more schadenfreude-y ones, but that's the kind of thing we have to concern ourselves with at this late stage, this far out of the race. Win to spite the opposition, or keep on losing in order to increase the chances that the future improves? Decisions, decisions!
Personally, I'm voting for better draft position. The Yankees don't bother me as much as the Rays and Orioles do at this point. O's for their ridiculous celebration post game-162 last year, and the Rays because, for some reason, they continue to be treated as if they are new to the show, that every success they have is the Newest And Smartest thing, even when it's stuff the Rays have been doing for years. You know, like winning. The Rays are good, everyone! Treat them as such! Then they can't be all "money D-: " when things don't go well, because we know they know what's up.
Mark Teixeira is out, so we won't get any Vicente Padilla drama this week. I can't tell if that's a shame or not.
Game 1: Hiroki Kuroda (189-1/3 IP, 3.3 K/BB, 133 ERA+) vs. Jon Lester (175 IP, 2.6 K/BB, 88 ERA+)
Game 2: David Phelps (78-2/3 IP, 2.7 K/BB, 118 ERA+) vs. Aaron Cook (76-2/3 IP, 1.1 K/BB, 85 ERA+)
Game 3: Philip Hughes (167-2/3 IP, 3.6 K/BB, 101 ERA+) vs. Felix Doubront (134-2/3 IP, 2.3 K/BB, 84 ERA+)
Okay, so maybe the Red Sox don't have much of a choice in this matter, given that the Yankees are throwing three starters who have done well this year against them. Lester gives the Red Sox a chance, even against Kuroda. Well, at least the version of Lester that's shown up since his awful beating at the hands of the Jays. Otherwise, though, it's the Jekyll and Hyde routine of Aaron Cook and the fatigued Felix Doubront trying to wrap up games two and three.
Boston will once again be without a lineup that can do much, given that David Ortiz isn't around, and Ryan Lavarnway hasn't started to hit like we hope Ryan Lavarnway will. This could very well be painful. But, at the same time, at least losses mean better draft position. There's your mantra for when things don't go well.