|Red Sox-Tigers series preview||08.07.15 at 9:21 am ET|
It was another series loss for the Red Sox on Thursday night when they dropped their second of three to their rival Yankees in New York. Despite Eduardo Rodriguez managing to hold his opponents to two runs, Boston couldn’t get more than one runner in, which was pretty much the story of the series.
But with Friday comes a new series for the Sox as they head to Detroit to face the Tigers, who are sort of floating in limbo right now. Though they’re 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Royals for the division, they’re four games out of a wild card spot. They’re closer to a slot than the Sox, but it’s not entirely clear just how close.
The Red Sox scored just six runs total over the three games with New York, and while the Yankees also had a pair of games with three total runs, they began the set with a 13-3 rout over Boston. They are tied for seventh in the league for the month of August in runs scored with 30 in five games compared to the Sox’ 20 in five as well.
“Yeah, six runs in the series is difficult,” manager John Farrell said following Thursday’s loss. “We had opportunities — fifth, eighth, ninth with runners in scoring position. CC [Sabathia] threw the ball well for them, but we had plenty of opportunities to cash in there. We’ve got to find a way to generate some more runs. You’d think that would be the case with the guys in our lineup.”
Detroit isn’t necessarily doing a whole lot better, scoring 19 runs so far this month with a team batting average of .231 while the Sox bat .246, but the Tigers are 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Red Sox are 4-6, and while it’s not a stark difference, Detroit enters the series coming off a walkoff win against the Royals. The Tigers aren’t currently in a playoff position and were sellers at the deadline, dealing David Price and Yoenis Cespedes to the Blue Jays and Mets respectively, but they haven’t throw in the towel yet. The possibility to make a run is still there.
“We’re still looking for that elusive roll we haven’t had since the first two weeks of the season,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said after Thursday’s win. “And if you can get on a roll, you just don’t know what can happen, with the way the wild card is set up, so many teams bunched together.”
The Tigers hadn’t won a series since the week prior to the All-Star break, dropping or tying each of their six sets since then, including a slate with the Red Sox from July 24-26. From returning to the break onward, Detroit has posted a bottom-third team batting average of .249 with a middle-of-the-pack 83 runs scored. The Red Sox are batting .251 with 76 runs in that same time, to put things in perspective. With seven triples in the second half, tied for fourth in the majors, and 23 home runs, which is ninth, the Tigers also have an 11th-best 61 extra-base hits.
|Why Rangers offer hope to Red Sox||10.25.12 at 10:39 pm ET|
In the middle of the 2007 season, the Texas Rangers were drifting. A few years earlier, the team went 89-73 in 2004, falling short of the wild card but nonetheless displaying a young nucleus of infielders — players like Mark Teixeira and Michael Young — that seemed like it would allow the team to compete on a perennial basis in the AL West. But three years later, that wasn’t happening.
And so, the Rangers made a decisive move. They elected to rebuild, to move on from that core of power-hitting players to take the club in a new direction. And the most significant move proved extraordinary, laying the groundwork for the Rangers’ emergence as a force, a team that reached the playoffs in each of the last three years while getting to the World Series in both 2010 and 2011.
On July 31, 2007, the Rangers dealt Teixeira (along with reliever Ron Mahay) to the Braves for five prospects: Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Beau Jones. Andrus became an All-Star shortstop, Felix an All-Star closer, Harrison an All-Star starter and Saltalamacchia (after changing organizations) merited consideration as an All-Star catcher this year with a tremendous first half for the Red Sox.
Yet the significance of that deal extended beyond just the players who went to Texas. It was also reflected in the freedom that GM Jon Daniels and the Rangers organization had moving forward from that deal.
The memory of that franchise-altering deal came to Daniels when he saw the Red Sox complete their blockbuster deal with the Dodgers, sending Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to Los Angeles in exchange for first baseman James Loney and prospects Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Jerry Sands and Ivan De Jesus Jr.
“I do see some similarities there,” Daniels said of the two deals on WEEI’s Red Sox Hot Stove show on Thursday. “[The similarities were] not necessarily in the exact construction of the deal. Ours was kind of a more traditional buyer/seller scenario, trading the established big leaguer for prospects. In Boston’s deal, it was really unique. You don’t see that many like it. Read the rest of this entry »
|Saturday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: Erik Bedard vs. Colby Lewis||09.03.11 at 6:55 am ET|
The Red Sox and Rangers will square off in the second game of their three-game series Saturday afternoon at Fenway. Erik Bedard will take another shot at his first win in a Boston uniform, while Colby Lewis will take the mound for the AL West-leading Rangers.
Despite being unable to pick up a win in five starts for the Red Sox, Bedard (0-2, 3.46) has not pitched poorly in his stint in Boston. The lefty has a 3.46 ERA with the Red Sox, and he has walked just nine batters in 26 innings. Poor run support has prevented Bedard from notching his first victory with his new team. Out of all the Boston starters, Bedard has gotten the worst run support since Aug. 1, which is when he joined the team.
Even mother nature seems to be working against Bedard, as a rain delay in his last start against Oakland may have stopped him from picking up a win. Bedard had pitched four scoreless innings in that game but was yanked after a long delay in the top of the fifth. Boston went on to win the game 4-0.
Bedard did struggle a bit down in Texas last week, when he allowed four runs in six innings in Boston’s lone loss of that series. The Rangers are hitting .226 in 169 combined plate appearances against Bedard in his career. Second baseman Ian Kinsler has had the most success against the Boston pitcher, batting .333 in 29 plate appearances. Catcher Mike Napoli has hit two home runs and driven in five against Bedard.
Lewis (11-9, 4.19 ERA) was pounded in his last two starts for the Rangers, allowing 12 runs in 12 innings of work. One of those starts was against the Red Sox on Aug. 23, when Lewis gave up seven earned runs in six innings. Over the last two seasons, Lewis has a 5.34 ERA in five starts against Boston. But Lewis has been excellent on the road this season, with a record of 7-4 and a 2.71 ERA away from Rangers Ballpark.
David Ortiz will be one player trying to put a halt to Lewis’ road success. The Red Sox slugger is hitting .286 with three home runs and five RBIs in 15 plate appearances against Lewis. Adrian Gonzalez has also roughed up Lewis, hitting two home runs and three RBIs against the Rangers starter in Lewis’ loss to Boston last week.
|Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: John Lackey vs. Colby Lewis||08.23.11 at 4:37 am ET|
The Red Sox will take on the Rangers in the second game of a four-game series in Texas Tuesday night. Each team will send an 11-game winner to the mound. John Lackey (11-9 6.02) will get the ball for the Red Sox and be opposed by Colby Lewis (11-8, 3.83).
Lackey enters the game winning six of his last seven decisions, but suffered the loss in his last outing last Wednesday against the Rays. Despite the the loss Lackey pitched fairly well. He went 6 2/3 innings allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and struck out seven.
After his worst outing of the season on July 4 Lackey’s ERA was 7.47. He has seen his ERA drop 1.45 since, as now it sits at 6.02. Also since the July 4 start, he has allowed four runs or fewer in all of his starts except for one. That came on Aug. 1 when he allowed five against the Indians.
Tuesday marks Lackey’s 35th career start against the Rangers, which is the most against any opponent. Lifetime he is 11-13 with a 6.07 ERA. He has faced the Rangers once this season, which came in his first start of the year back on April 2. The right-hander struggled, allowing nine runs on ten hits in just 3 2/3 innings. The Red Sox lost the game 12-5.
Lewis comes into the game pitching quite well. In his last start on Aug. 18 he pitched seven shutout innings, striking out seven in the Rangers’ 2-1 loss to the Angels. Lewis got a no decision. The start before that on Aug. 13 against the Athletics Lewis went 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out eight in the Rangers’ 7-1 win.
The Rangers right-hander has appeared in nine games against the Red Sox including five starts against the Red Sox over the course of his career and has posted a 2-1 record with a 3.38 ERA. Lewis also started the April 2 game against the Red Sox, and earned the win. He went six innings and allowed three runs on six hits.
The Red Sox don’t have too much experience against Lewis, as only three players have double-digit plate appearances against him. In 15 plate appearances, David Ortiz has four hits including three home runs, but he will not be in the lineup as he is still working his way back from right heel bursitis.
On the other hand the Rangers have plenty of experience against Lackey and have enjoyed a great deal of success. As a team they are hitting .356 against him. Ian Kinsler leads the way as in 31 plate appearances he is hitting .480 with three home runs and seven RBIs.
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