Red Sox vs. Royals matchups, 4/9
|04.09.10 at 1:39 pm ET|
Now that the craziness of Opening Night and the long games (which Joe West is clearly not a fan of) with the Yankees are over, it’s time for the Red Sox to get rolling along with the 2010 season. The Sox embark on their first road trip of the season, starting in Kansas City against a young Royals team.
The Red Sox will not be sending a young starter to the mound on Friday night (8:10 start). Tim Wakefield, 43, gets the ball for the first time in 2010, and he is out to prove that his back is healthy and able to withstand a full season after offseason back surgery. Wakefield is 11-6 with a 3.90 ERA in 26 games (19 starts) in his career against the Royals. Last year, Wakefield had a disappointing September start against the Royals when he went five innings and gave up five runs (four earned) and was very wild, issuing seven walks in a 12-9 loss on Sept. 20 while trying to pitch through both his back injury and the rain.
Wakefield’s start actually represents something of a milestone. At 43 years, 250 days, he becomes the oldest pitcher ever to start a game for the Sox, surpassing David Wells, who was 43 years, 98 days in his final start for the Sox in 2006.
The Royals don’t come in with a lot of experience against the much experienced Wakefield. The well-traveled Jose Guillen has the most plate appearances vs. Wakefield (17), but he has only mustered a .214 average, while the free swinger has struck out seven times. Scott Podsednik comes in blazing, hitting .455, but he too has struggled hitting the knuckleball, only hitting a paltry .143.
Unfamiliarity is the theme of this game. Royals starter Kyle Davies has not faced three of Boston’s top four hitters in Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. Victor Martinez has seen Davies the most, 13 times, and he has been successful, batting .333 while belting one home run off the starter.
Davies has only faced the Red Sox once in his career, that being a 2005 start when he was with the Atlanta Braves. He did pitch well, shutting out the Red Sox over five innings, striking out six and scattering four hits in a 7-5 Atlanta win. But only David Ortiz, Jason Varitek and Youkilis (who did not register an at-bat) remain from that Red Sox squad.
Davies went 8-9 with a 5.71 ERA in 22 games for the Royals last year, and batters hit 18 home runs off of him. Red Sox fans might remember Davies for giving up Alex Rodriguez’ 500th home run in 2007.
There are a lot of unknowns in this game as the Red Sox look to improve on their 5-3 record vs. the Royals last season.
ROYALS VS. TIM WAKEFIELD
Jose Guillen (17 plate appearances): .214 average/.353 OBP/.214 slugging percentage, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Yunieski Betancourt (13): .385/.385/.692, 1 homer
Jason Kendall (11): .300/.364/.300, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
David DeJesus (9): .111/.111/.111, 1 strikeout
Billy Butler (8): .286/.375/.429, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Scott Podsednik (7): .143/.143/.143
Willie Bloomquist (6): .667/.833/1.000, 3 walks
Mitch Maier (5): .000/.200/.000, 1 walk
Rick Ankiel: 2-for-4
Mike Aviles: 0-for-3
Alberto Callaspo: 0-for-3
Chris Getz: 2-for-3
Never faced: Brayan Pena
RED SOX VS. KYLE DAVIES
Victor Martinez (13 plate appearances): .333 average/.385 OBP/.750 slugging percentage, 1 homer, 1 walk
Marco Scutaro (9): .625/.667/1.375, 2 homers, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Mike Cameron (6): .400/.500/1.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Adrian Beltre (5) .200/.200/.200, 1 strikeout
Bill Hall (5): .333/.600/1.267, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
Jeremy Hermida (5): .250/.200/1.000, 1 homer, 1 strikeout
Mike Lowell (5): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
David Ortiz: 1-for-3
Jason Varitek: 0-for-2
Never faced: Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, J.D Drew
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