Wednesday, May 23, 2012

5/23 Can the Red Sox Actually Win a Series vs. the Orioles?

The Red Sox (21-22) and Orioles (28-16) will conclude their three-game series today during a day game at Boog's BBQ...er, I mean Camden Yards.  Daniel Bard (3-5, 4.85 ERA) will take the hill of thrills today for the Red Sox, while the O's will counter with right-hander Jake Arrieta (2-4, 4.72 ERA).  Bard and Arrieta have very similar numbers so far on the season.  Last night's game featured some outstanding pitching.  It will be interesting to see if these two young right-handers can continue that trend.  Here are some story lines for today's game:
- According to an article today by Brian MacPherson, Bard has been working on his mechanics and release point to try to cut down on the number of walks and overall wildness he has shown in recent starts.  Let's hope he can keep the free passes to a minimum today.
- The lineup will once again feature Gonzo in RF, Youk at 1B, Willie Middle at 3B, and Papi at DH.  No matter what Ben Cherington said about this alignment not being an everyday thing, as long as Gonzo doesn't embarrass himself in RF, the Sox are going to want to get all four of those bats in the lineup.  I'm one guy who thinks this arrangement may be more of an everyday thing that they are willing to admit at the present time.
- Will the O's bullpen continue to be lights-out against the Sox, with the exception of Gregg?
- Speaking of Gregg, is there any residual bitterness lurking beneath the surface with the O's and Big Papi that might come to a head today?
- Can the Red Sox climb back to .500 and win a series against the O's for the first time in way too long?
- What will Scott Podsednik bring to the Sox lineup, basepaths, and center field?
- Will the get-away-to-home day game feature lackadaisical play or a low-scoring game?

We'll be keeping an eye on these story lines and more, from the comfort of our desks at work/school today.  Here is today's lineup:

Aviles SS
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Gonzalez RF
Youkilis 1B
Middlebrooks 3B
Nava LF
Podsednik CF
Shoppach C

Bard P

Leave your comments in the section below.  Let's Go Sox!!

15 comments:

  1. One more note...today is Buck Showalter's 56th birthday. I would like to give him two presents: 1. A larger pair of baseball pants. Wow. 2. An Orioles loss. I hope he has a terrible birthday. Nothing personal.

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  2. Sox had the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the 2nd, and Scott Freakin' Podsednik grounded into a double play, followed by a walk and Aviles grounding out to Punto the rally. Sox only get one run, score is 1-1 after 1 1/2.

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    1. Aaaaaaaaaand as I was typing that Nick Johnson homered. Bard looks bad again today. And by "looks", I mean through the live updates on ESPN.com's Gamecast I'm watching from my desk at school, he is giving up a lot of baserunners.

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  3. Willie Middle is 2 for 2 after hitting a big RBI double in the top of the 3rd....and of course Youkilis gets thrown out at the plate by a mile. 2-2 game.

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  4. So much for Bard's work on his mechanics and release point. He has 4 BB's with 0 K's today, and his velocity has been down around 91. Not to mention he gave up a dinger to reclamation project Nick Johnson. Something is wrong here. Very wrong.

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  5. Bard somehow escapes a stretch where he threw only 2 out of 13 pitches for strikes without any runs given up. Perhaps because the muderer's row he was facing was Wilson Betemit, Nick Johnson, Ryan Flaherty, and Luis Exposito. This O's team has the best record in the AL? Really? REALLY!?!!?!?!?!

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  6. Here are the pitching lines thus far in today's game:

    Bard: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 1 K, 4.72 ERA
    Arrieta: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 4.57 ERA

    In other words, both pitchers have been the essence of mediocre. However, we're still knotted up in a 2-2 ballgame. As far as I can tell from ESPN Gamecast, the pitchers have had the benefit of a bunch of weird plays, a la line drive double plays (x2), caught stealing (x2), thrown out at home, etc.

    Sometimes baseball games just don't make sense.

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  7. HOTTER THAN LAVA DANIEL NAVA HOMERS TO RIGHT! 3-2 Sox. Boom.

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  8. Shop Class takes one deep to left! I was wrong about Gregg being the only O's reliever we could score off of! Glory, glory, hallelujah (I just spelled 'hallelujah' correctly on my first try by the way...so proud of myself)!

    By the way, an underrated way to have a good time is to be intently watching the ESPN gamecast when the little ball goes up into the air with the blue streak-tail attached to it....and it keeps going and going, and you're trying to judge if it has enough air or velocity to keep carrying beyond the computer-animated "fence"....and then it stops and morphs into a green circle, and....nothing happens for about five seconds...and then, "KELLY SHOPPACH HOMERS TO LEFT" appears on the screen in all caps. What a moment! You have to believe me, that was really fun. Honest. I jumped up from my desk chairs and let out a little squeak (from my mouth). It was that good. Ok, don't believe me, whatever.

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  9. How'd the Orioles score to make it 5-4?

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  10. Walk, double, sac fly. Now two outs in the bottom of the 8th. Man on second. Central America's most wanted on the bump.

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  11. In the latter part of spring training, which part of the following sentence would have sounded the most incredulous. " Red Sox closer Alfredo Aceves got the save to nail down a hard fought 6-5 win over the first place Baltimore Orioles, with the Red Sox paced by home runs for Kelly Shoppach, Daniel Nava, and Scott Posednik, and a diving ninth inning catch by Che-Hsuan Lin."

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    1. Definitely the second part of that statement!

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    2. And I should added ...catch by Che-Hsuan Lin in as a defensive replacement for right fielder Adrian Gonzalez

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