Monday, May 14, 2012

5/14 Sox Open Short Two Game Series vs. Mariners

The Red Sox (15-19) look to continue their hot streak tonight at Fenway against the Mariners (16-20).  It will be a pair of LHP on the mound as Jon Lester squares off against his hometown team and Jason Vargas takes the mound for the Mariners.  This is a quick two game series for these two teams and the Red Sox have their supposed best two pitchers going.  This will be a test to see if they can turn around their early season struggles.  The 3,4,5 starters pitched well in the Cleveland series and Doubront and Bard have arguably been the teams two best starters.  We need Lester and Beckett to step up.

The Red Sox lineup seems to be clicking and it will be interesting to see what the manager does with the lineup.  The last 3 games were all against righty starters so he'll have interesting decisions to make at Catcher and OF.  I have been saying for two weeks now that if Shoppach is Beckett's catcher than Salty needs to catch the other 4 games instead of a L/R platoon. Salty seems to have really taken charge the last couple of games I bet he's in their tonight with Lester on the mound.  Nava is a switch hitter so I think you'll still see him in LF, Ross stays in RF and I believe that Byrd will play in place of Sweeney.  That leaves the question of who bats leadoff? The options are Pedroia, Nava and Aviles.  Here is my best guess at what the lineup will be.



Nava LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Gonzalez 1B
Middlebrooks 3B
Ross RF
Salty C
Aviles SS
Byrd CF

Lester SP

Here's to hoping that the good times keep on rollin' at Fenway tonight! Who do you think should catch tonight? Who should bat leadoff? Do you wanna see Sweeney play against LHP? Let us know in the comments section.  One more thing...Let's see if Wally the Green Monster can get some revenge tonight.  We owe the Mariner Moose one!!

11 comments:

  1. Brianmacp has posted tonight's Sox lineup already, and surprise surprise Kelly Shoppach is once again in there to face a LHP. I disagree whole-heartedly with this decision. I'm with Barry - we need to figure out what we have with Salty Dog and it's not going to happen if he is in a straight platoon. If Beckett is pitching tomorrow night, then you know there is a good chance that Shoppach will now start two games in a row. This would make sense, you know, if Salty Dig hadn't just ripped 5 RBI on Sunday, and if he wasn't KELLY FREAKING SHOPPACH!

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  2. With tomorrow's day game after a night game there is no reason for Shoppach to catch tomorrow UNLESS Bobby V is finally willing to admit he is Beckett's personal catcher. It should have been Salty tonight, it damn well better be him tomorrow. Unless Kelly Shoppach is celebrating his second birthday of the season.

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  3. Twitter says, "There is an extended period of relatively dry conditions expected behind this shower". Sounds like they are expecting to get the game in tonight. Game on! I think there is big-time pressure on Jon Lester tonight. This team has some momentum rolling now, and he should be able to mow down this mediocre Mariners lineup. He has had great success against the Mariners in the past. I badly want to see a vintage Lester performance tonight to keep Uncle Mo and Auntie Mentum in the Sox' dugout.

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  4. Sox up by 2 after 3.5 innings and the Celts are up by 2 at the half. Lester has looked great so far allowing only one infield single. If Lester continues to pitch well does that mean that Shoppach will have to be his personal catcher too?

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    1. I know you probably meant this as a joke, I think, but Lester specifically gave Shoppach credit in his post-game presser for doing a "great job setting up both sides of the plate for me and getting me into a rhythm". Is that a subtle dig at Salty Dog? Is it a coincidence that Shop caught Lester for the first time this year and he pitches the gem we have all been waiting for? Is Salty Dog just a terrible "receiver" and game caller? I don't know, but it makes one wonder...

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    2. Yea I noticed that too. It seemed like Lester was going out of his way to give Shoppach credit during his on air interview on NESN and during his postgame press conference. I personally think it was just a coincidence that he pitched the type of game we have been waiting for with Shoppach behind the plate. I think it was more of a matchup thing. The Mariners are a free swinging team that played right into Lester's hands. Peter Gammons mentioned this during the NESN pregame show and basically predicted a great start from Lester because of it. However, it is worth keeping an eye on.

      It also seemed that Lester made his first major adjustment of the year by throwing less cut fastballs and more four seem fastballs. Perhaps we should give Bob McClure credit for the first time this year (or maybe we have to give Don Orsillo credit!?). It makes sense because a lot of Lester's pitches have been missing just off the plate and when he uses his cutter so much it ends up moving out of the strike zone. That's when we see him getting pissed about umps not giving him calls on pitches just off the corners. The four seem fastballs seemed to be catching the corners tonight. This helped him keep his pitch count down early in the game and avoid the 30 pitch innings that have plagued him early in the year, which allowed him to pitch the complete game.

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  5. Sox are opening up a can on the Mariners in the bottom of the 4th. Two run homer by Nava and a solo shot by Shoppach. 5-0 after 4 innings.

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    1. Kelly Shoppach! Boy he hits lefties well. I always liked him!

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  6. As recently as maybe two weeks ago, it seemed a very safe bet to say that the wondrous first pitch ever seen the big leagues grand slam hit by Daniel Nava in 2010 would be the only HR hit would ever in the show. But after his surprise return to the Sox last week , he has whacked a 2 run home run tonight. Now his current claim to fame is this: 2 career MLB homers, 1 hit right handed and 1 hit lefty.

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  7. Another thought about home runs at the beginning of big league careers. Is Will Middlebrooks the only player in big league history to have his first four home runs be a grand slam, a three run home run, a 2 run homer, and a solo shot in that order?? And to do it in his first 9 or 10 games. It is such a random act I cannot believe it has happened before. Maybe some big time research entity like Baseball Prospectus or ESPN will come up with the answer.

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  8. Jon Lester comes through with a big time performance tonight. Exactly what we needed from him. I'm almost afraid to say it, but this Sox team is ROLLING right now. They are playing well in all facets of the game. Art was right when he said it the other day - it's all about the starting pitching with them. We know they're going to hit. The bullpen has stabilized. If we get quality starts, we're a tough team to beat. Let's keep it rolling tomorrow afternoon!

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