Jul 24, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rubby De La Rosa hands over the ball to manager John Farrell after being relieved in the fifth inning after giving up seven run to Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Series preview: Red Sox at Cardinals

After a day off, the Red Sox hit the road to take on the St. Louis Cardinals. Boston’s season has been a disappointing one so far. There was a faint glimmer of hope after the All-Star game, but it was crushed by a five-game losing streak. Since then the Sox have had 13 division games in a row, of which they’ve won three. Boston was busy on trade deadline day, making a handful of moves designed to improve the team next year. Sitting in last place in the AL East isn’t where the 2013 World Series champs imagined they’d be in August, but it’s where they are and are likely to stay for the remainder of the season.

The St. Louis Cardinals, on the other hand, are finding themselves in a very different situation. If the playoffs started today, the Cardinals would take on the San Francisco Giants in a one-game Wild Card match. They’re in the middle of a fierce battle for the NL Central division as they’re only one game behind Milwaukee and a half game ahead of Pittsburgh. They just acquired John Lackey at the trade deadline. In other words, they’re playing to win and they have everything to gain.

Game one – Rubby De La Rosa (3-4, 3.64 ERA) goes against Lance Lynn (11-8, 2.98 ERA). De La Rosa has earned the loss in his last two starts by giving up a combined 18 hits and 10 runs. It’s hard to imagine that he’ll be able to keep the Cards from scoring.

Game two – Joe Kelly (2-2, 4.37 ERA) takes on Shelby Miller (8-8, 4.14 ERA). Joe Kelly is new to the Red Sox, having been added during the whirlwind trade deadline day. How will he fare going against his former team? At least we know that he’s familiar with Busch Stadium.

Game three – Brandon Workman (1-4, 4.08 ERA) versus Adam Wainwright (13-6, 2.26 ERA). Workman hasn’t earned a win since June 10th. It seems highly unlikely that the Red Sox offense will score enough runs off of Wainwright to give Workman any room to maneuver.

After this series, the Red Sox continue to head west to take on the Los Angeles Angels, another team in the midst of a playoff hunt. It could be a long summer for Boston fans.

Tags: Boston Red Sox

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