The Red Sox return home tonight to start a 3 game series with the Oakland A's. With a win tonight they will finish the month of April at an even .500 with an 11-11 record. What is that? That doesn't sound like a good record? If we could rewind to April 1st I would agree. I would be disappointed with that record for the month of April. However, given their 4-10 record after the first 14 games, I'll take 11-11 (I'll take 10-12 for that matter). With a 6-1 road trip the next challenge becomes can we win at home? The first four home games vs. Tampa were good, but the next four were as disastrous as April games can be. Hopefully the team will be able to get over that hurdle and win at home. The schedule remains soft so they need to continue their winning ways. In my mind a 5-1 or at worst 4-2 homestand would be acceptable. Keep an eye on how the crowd responds to the team and the manager. When they last left town Bobby V was getting booed every time his cap popped up over the edge of the dugout. It will be interesting to see if he still gets booed.
Clay Buchholz takes the hill tonight against Tommy Millone LHP for the Athletics. Kevin Youkilis is back in the lineup tonight, further cementing the fact that he took a day off yesterday. Shoppach is back behind the plate tonight, further cementing the fact that Saltalamacchia should have caught yesterday, and Beckett is a baby. Aren't I supposed to be optimistic after a 6-1 road trip? Okay, here is some good news. Last year's #1 draft pick Matt Barnes was promoted to high Single A Salem. He forced the team's hand by giving up one run in 26.2 innings with 42 K's. His next promotion would most likely be to the Portland Sea Dogs and it there is a good chance it could come by the end of this year. Look for Barnes to come to Portland sometime soon along with Xander Bogaerts.
Here is tonight's lineup:
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