||5.4 (14th)||19.1 (10th)||BOS|
||-13.2 (26th)||14.3 (4th)||BOS|
Boston is a really good team at everything but fielding.
I know we lost the series to the Yanks, but we did not lose badly, and really, as long as do not get swept by Boston, I am declaring this road trip a success. 4-5 against the three best teams in baseball, on the road? That is fine. Anything else is gravy.
Of course, the first game gives us that best chance, with Felix on the bump. I am not that afraid of Brad Penny, but I am afraid of Garrett Olson against the Red Sox offense. Ditto Morrow, and facing Lester is not a great situation either. Lose tonight and I will get worried about a sweep. Win tonight and there is nothing left but a ride on the Good Times slip'n'slide of grooviness.
Game 1: Felix Hernandez vs. Tim Wakefield
Game 2: Garrett Olson* vs. Brad Penny
Game 3: Brandon Morrow vs. Jon Lester*
Watching this team hit against Wakefield should hopefully be a spectacle of some nature. Speaking of, what is there to say about him? Interestingly, while his tRA has remained stable, his 2009 is a major outlier in terms of pitch results. Always around the 35% mark in ball% and a shade under 9% in missed bats, Wakefield is at 38% and 6% this season. As you would guess, the strikeouts are down and the walks are up. In fact, the only thing keeping his tRA low is a flukey low home run rate.
Brad Penny is having some moderate success this year, despite me thinking that he has been terrible. His fastball velocity has rebounded to pre-injury levels and some of his control has returned, though his swinging strike rate remains mediocre. Penny is a fastball-curveball guy almost exclusively.
Jon Lester has been really good this year, his fastball velocity is up over a mile per hour and his swinging strike rate eclipsing 10% for the first time. He has also maintained his strong ground ball rates. A poor home run rate and .336 BABIP is making him look more human than he has pitched.
THIS SERIES BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
Pushing the Envelope Extreme
Willimantic Brewing Company. Willimantic, CT
"An India Pale ale brewed with 755 lbs of malt and aggressively hopped with Centennial, Chinook, Simcoe and Columbus." That is how you make an imperial IPA, by amping up the malts and the hops.