Series Preview: Red Sox host Blue Jays
Jul 20, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcherJon Lester
(31) throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the eighth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
A week after losing three out of four games to the Blue Jays in Toronto, the Red Sox will play host for three games at the start of a six-game home stand.
It’s tough to say that any series is “must win” at this point in the Sox season. Since they’re sitting in last place in the division, 10.5 games out of first, and nine games under .500, it would really take a miracle to get them back into playoff contention. But winning this series versus the Jays would go a long way towards giving the fans something to enjoy watching and take some of the stink off this season.
No one (or at least not most fans) just assumed that the Sox would repeat as World Series champions this year. But we all did assume that they’d at least be in the running. Only Texas, Houston, and Minnesota have worse records in the AL than the Sox right now. Ouch. That being said, it is only July and the season is far from over. But if the Sox are going to do anything they had better start getting in gear ASAP.
On Monday night, R.A. Dickey (8-10, 4.04 ERA) goes against Clay Buchholz (5-6, 5.50 ERA) in the series opener. It would be great to start the series off with a win. Clay lost this battle last week, mostly because he gave up four earned runs, as his opponents are batting .297 off of him. The Sox need him to settle down and give them a little room to win.
Tuesday brings the battle of the rookies when Marcus Stroman (6-2, 3.21 ERA) takes the mound against Rubby De La Rosa (3-3, 3.54 ERA).
Wednesday night Mark Buehrle (10-7, 3.19 ERA) is pitted against Jon Lester (10-7, 2.52 ERA). Last time, Lester’s strong performance was ruined by a bullpen melt down. Let’s hope Lester repeats his act and the bullpen cleans up theirs.