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Game 3: Orioles at Red Sox. Will there be pitching today?

Nine times? Nine times.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images

The first two games of the season featured similar action: the Red Sox sent an ace to the mound, the ace struggled, and the batters had to dig out of a large hole, scoring nine runs each game. Once it wasn’t enough, but the second time it lead to a walkoff win.

Today, the Sox send much less battle tested Tanner Houck against the Baltimore Orioles. Houck somewhat famously lost his rotation spot to Garrett Whitlock last season but had another solid year in the bullpen nonetheless. With a career ERA just a tick over 3, a strikeout rate of 27.5%, and a walk rate of 8.7%, there’s no reason to believe Houck will be worse then Kluber or Sale and every reason to think he can have a tremendous 2023 debut. Unless the first two games are a taste of the Orioles becoming a powerhouse (unlikely).

The scouting report for the rest of the league, like the Texas Rangers who will face the O’s tomorrow, is that the Birds are running. A lot. With 10 steals as a team they’re leading all of baseball by six. Are they leaning into the new rules and larger bases or just testing Reese McGuire? We might get a little knowledge today with Connor Wong behind the plate.

Triston Casas gets the day off against the lefty Cole Irvin with Justin Turner manning first base and Masataka Yoshida filling in at DH.

With his seventh-inning home run yesterday, Kiké Hernández sits at 98 for his career and the watch for the century mark is on!

With the high offense, the Sox haven’t yet had one of the fast pitch clock games, with each of the first two running just over 3 hours. There have been 10 games at 3 hours or more over the season’s first two days and the Sox have played in 2 of them.

Game 3: Orioles at Red Sox

Lineup spot Orioles Red Sox
Lineup spot Orioles Red Sox
1 Cedric Mullins, CF Rob Refsnyder, LF
2 Adley Rutchman, C Rafael Devers, 3B
3 Anthony Santander, DH Justin Turner, 1B
4 Ryan Mountcastle, 1B Masataka Yoshida, DH
5 Gunnar Henderson, SS Adam Duvall, CF
6 Terrain Vavra, LF Alex Verdugo, RF
7 Austin Hays, RF Christian Arroyo, 2B
8 Adam Frazier, 2B Kiké Hernández, SS
9 Ramón Urías, 3B Connor Wong, C
SP Cole Irvin, LHP Tanner Houck, RHP

The action starts at 1:35 PM ET on NESN and WEEI