Friday, May 18, 2012

5/18 Interleague Play Begins

The first interleague series' of the year start tonight.  The Red Sox (18-20) are in Philadelphia to take on the Phillies (20-19) for three games.  There are plenty of story lines for this weekends series so let's break 'em down one at a time.


  1. The first matchup against former closer Cinco Ocho (Jonathan Papelbon).  Which one will show up, Papelbon or his alter ego? With some of the interviews that he's done this week it appears that we'll see Cinco Ocho.  Look for some stellar quotes from him this weekend.  I hope at least two of these games come down to the wire so that he can pitch.  I would love to see him blow a couple of saves this weekend against the Sox.  I don't necessarily wish for him to do poorly all year, I just don't want him to get the best of his former team.  
  2. How will Bobby V juggle the lineup without the benefit of the DH?  He has said that each player (Ortiz and Gonzalez) will get at least on game at 1B.  The organizational approach of the past would have each player getting one day off, one day at first base and one day with Ortiz at 1B and Gonzalez in RF.  I would like to see the team be a little more aggressive than that and start both of them in all 3 games.  You could get by with bad defense for at least the first 6 innings of the game.  Then you can pinch run for Ortiz with an outfielder and slide Gonzalez back to 1B later in the game.  If you can get 2-3 at bats out of Ortiz and then make the switch for defense late in the game with a lead it would be ideal. It's certainly going to be interesting to see what they do.  With Hamels on the hill tonight would Nava in LF, Ross in CF and AGon in RF be the worst defensive OF in Red Sox history?
  3. The Red Sox will miss Doc Halladay, but have to face Hamels and Lee.  Tonight's pitching matchup is Daniel Bard (3-4, 4.30) vs. Cole Hamels (5-1, 2.28).  Will Hamels plunk Will Middlebrooks to continue his crusade of vigilanty justice?  
  4. Can the Red Sox continue their winning ways? Let's face it there is a sense of urgency for the Red Sox right now.  If they are going to start climbing the standings they need to continue winning games and series.  Taking 2 out of 3 or sweeping the Phillies would go a long way in the rehabilitation of this team's confidence.  
  5. When is Kevin Youkilis going to come back? He is playing another game in Pawtucket today, but if that goes well will they call him up on Saturday? Middlebrooks has begun to show signs of decline so the timing to make the move is good.  However, the team needs to have as much flexibility as possible playing in a national league ballpark.  Calling up Youk and having him at less than 100% would not be helpful, so I think they wait until Monday to make the move.  Of course Mr. Double Play Mauro Gomez isn't giving them much flexibility either so maybe they call up Youk as soon as he's ready and send Gomez down.  Then platoon Youk and Middlebrooks for a few days before sending Middlebrooks down to play every day at some point next week.  Again, it will be interesting to see what they do with this situation.  
A lot to talk about this weekend.  Feel free to leave comments here and keep checking back here for updates throughout this afternoon.  


12 comments:

  1. I forgot to include my projected lineup. This may be the toughest one of the year. I'll go with what I think they will do not with what I want them to do.

    Aviles SS
    Pedroia 2B
    Gonzalez 1B
    Ross RF
    Middlebrooks 3B
    Nava LF
    Byrd CF
    Shoppach C
    Bard P

    Wow one look at that lineup and I think this is going to be a 2-1 game and it's going to be over in about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

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    1. No David Ortiz in the starting line up tonight...
      Aviles SS
      Pedroia 2B
      Gonzalez 1B
      Ross RF
      Middlebrooks 3B
      Salty C
      Nava LF
      Byrd CF
      Bard P

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  2. According to Ken Rosenthal via this report by boston.com: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/

    Roy Oswalt threw a bullpen session for the Red Sox recently. Do we want/need this guy? Is this coming from Oswalt's people trying to get some interest is in their client? Personally I see no reason why we need Roy Oswalt. He's washed up and he's never pitched anywhere except the national league. The AL East lineups would eat him alive. No thank you.

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    1. I agree there is no reason to bring in Oswalt, I would rather have Aaron Cook pitch for the Sox. Oswalt is too injured,too old, too NL for my taste

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  3. 4-0 Phillies after one inning. Daniel Bard walked the bases loaded and then served up hanging sliders to about four batters in a row. Maybe he just doesn't want to hit and he won't if he doesn't make it through the 2nd inning.

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  4. Heading to the ninth down by 2, hopefully Paplebon will get the same result as he did in the last Red Sox game he pitched in.

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    Replies
    1. I guess I should be careful what I wish for. The game was close and Papelbon pitched, but it didn't work out too well for us.

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  5. Watch The Baseball Show on Comcast Sports Network today and check out the twitter question/comment for Lou Merloni from the redsoxmaineiacs. Look for it at about the 1 hour and 42 minute mark of the show!!

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  6. Red Sox lead 3-0 after 2 innings in game 2 of the series against the Phillies. Salty is back in there after getting hit on the ear last night. You gotta love that toughness and leadership. Interesting comments in game by Ken Rosenthal of Fox about a Red Sox players only team meeting. The meeting took place prior to the recent 5 game winning streak and according to Rosenthal's report it got heated. The hitters supposedly challenged to pitchers to step up. If the report is true it could be a potential turning point for the season because they have certainly been pitching better since then and hence the team has been playing better.

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  7. 5-4 Red Sox after 4 innings. Lester does his usual act after getting a big lead by giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the 4th. Salty and Middlebrooks had gone back to back in the top of the inning to give them a 5-1 lead.

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  8. Papi just went deep with a man on making it 7-4.

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