Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Mass Invasion: Red Sox/Blue Jays Preview

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It’s a position that the Boston Red Sox are not very familiar with; being out of a playoff spot. As the Blue Jays and Red Sox get ready to tangle for a crucial three game series at the Rogers Centre, the Bosox will hope to gain some ground in the Wild Card race while the Jays will once again look to play spoilers.

Just like the Blue Jays, the Red Sox have tumbled from the top of the standings and at one point earlier this year sat 21 games over .500. Now while a 66-51 record is nothing to scoff at, 15 games above .500 isn’t even enough to hold down the American League Wild Card. Two straight series losses to the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees really put the Red Sox on the bubble and they’ve been struggling to gain ground ever since.

Tuesday: Josh Beckett (14-4, 3.10 ERA) vs. Ricky Romero (10-5, 3.70 ERA)

Ricky Romero has lost some steam in his campaign for AL Rookie of the Year. Romero is 3-2 with a 5.45 ERA since the All-Star Break, whereas Beckett is 3-2 with a 2.25 ERA in the second half so far.

Wednesday: Clay Buchholz (1-3, 4.75 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (13-5, 2.65 ERA)

Prior to his last start against the Rays, Roy Halladay had not posted back to back wins since early June. Doc will hope for the continued run support as he’ll go for his third straight win on Wednesday against Clay Buchholz.

Thursday: Jon Lester (9-7, 3.71 ERA) vs. Brett Cecil (5-1, 4.35 ERA)

In his last start against the Boston Red Sox, Cecil gave up a season high eight runs in what was his only loss of the season. That start sticks out of course because Cecil was the unofficial slump buster for David Ortiz to come out of his home run drought of 35 games.

This will be Cecil’s first start since suffering a knee injury on August 8th against the Baltimore Orioles. Cecil will have a tall order when he faces off against the Red Sox strikeout machine, Jon Lester. He is 2-1 against the Blue Jays this year with a 2.33 ERA.

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