The Red Sox are winners of 4-out-of-5 after a tight 2-1 victory over the Mariners Thursday night. Now they'll try to get a fifth in against J.A. Happ and get back to .500 before they have to face the tall task of Felix Hernandez on Saturday.
|BOSTON RED SOX (17-18)||SEATTLE MARINERS (15-19)|
|Mookie Betts - CF||Seth Smith - LF|
|Dustin Pedroia - 2B||Brad Miller - SS|
|David Ortiz - DH||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|Hanley Ramirez - LF||Nelson Cruz - RF|
|Mike Napoli - 1B||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Shane Victorino - RF||Justin Ruggiano - CF|
|Pablo Sandoval - 3B||Logan Morrison - 1B|
|Xander Bogaerts - SS||Rickie Weeks - DH|
|Sandy Leon - C||Mike Zunino - C|
|Clay Buchholz - RHP||J.A. Happ - LHP|
While Happ is obviously not Hernandez, he's pitching better to start 2015 than he has in any year before. Through six games, Happ holds a 3.29 ERA, nearly a full run below his career average of 4.20. He's allowed more than two runs in an outing just once, two starts ago in Houston. Since then he's managed a solid-if-short performance against Oakland, so the Red Sox--who have done a terrible job at hitting lefties thus far this season--won't even have the benefit of facing him while he's off-balance.
The same might be said about Clay Buchholz, but even if his last performance was the best he's had in weeks, it was nothing to write home about. It's been a long while since we've seen anything from Buchholz that ventured into the realm of truly encouraging. A legitimately good outing would be a welcome sight indeed,;a sight worth hoping for, if not one we can reasonably expect.
First pitch is at 10:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.