The Red Sox come to town to start off a ten-game road trip with a 4-game series with the Twins. Boston lost 2 of 3 against the Mets this weekend, and lost 3 of their 4 series on the road this month. Overall, the Sox are 9-12 on the road, but remain in first place in the AL East, one half game ahead of the Blue Jays. The Twins are 17-9 at home, having won 8 of their last 9 in the Dome.
Judging by the blogs, everyone in Red Sox nation is talking about David Ortiz. He’s been keeping pace with Matt Tolbert in the HR race, but apparently that’s not acceptable for Big Papi. He’s gone back to struggling mightily, and the rumor is that he’s going to be moved down in the lineup for this series. Still, it could all just be an elaborate trap (A-Rod and Teixeira were supposedly struggling too).
Those that aren’t complaining about Ortiz’s offense are complaining about the defense at the shortstop position. Julio Lugo has looked slow and error-prone, while the other replacement for Jed Lowrie, Nick Green has taken error-prone to a whole new level (8 errors in 23 games). That’s why Lugo gets an ‘F’ a quarter of the way through the season.
Liriano v. B. Penny
Blackburn v. J. Lester
Slowey v. D. Matsuzaka
Swarzak v. J. Beckett
Sox pitchers haven’t been lighting the world on fire so far this season. The only category that they lead the AL in is hit batsmen, so the Twins will have to be on their toes in the batters box (and try not to get hit in the hand, take it off a meatier part of the body, please!). Jon Lester has gotten off to a surprisingly poor start, and Beckett has been OK, but it seems Sox fans are waiting for a dominating performance from him to show them he’s still the dominant pitcher they were expecting. I say keep them in suspense at least one more start – but then, I am biased. I think the Twins should be alright as long as Beckett didn’t bring any of his eponymous burgers along with him.