Astros Return to Fenway for First Time Since 2003
I just need to get something off my mind first...ACEVES IS GONE!!! but now our AAA team will suck. Okay now back to real baseball.
Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox (4 games)
As we close off the month of April and a long time at home for the Sox the Houston Astros will be returning to Fenway for the first time since 2003 which is also their only time in Boston as well. Now that the Astros have joined the American League we will most likely see more matchups between these clubs. Thursday night's game 1 will see Red Sox top pitcher so far, Clay Buchholz who is 4-0 take on Phillip Humber who holds the opposite record of 0-4. Coming from the White Sox last year Humber has seen the Sox a few times and is 2-2 with a 7.33 earned run average. In his last game Humber retired just 1 batter versus the Indians before being pulled and is probably off to the worst start of any pitcher in the majors right now. At 4-0 with a 0.90 earned run average, Clay Buchholz may be off to the best start of any major league pitcher. Currently the Red Sox starters lead the league in strikeouts and Buchholz is a big reason for that with his 29. Buchholz is struggling with allowing walks this season so far but Astros' batters like to swing a lot which will help him get more strikes he needs. For game 2 the Sox will send Ryan Dempster to the mound who is still looking for his first win in Boston as he enters 0-2 but do not let that fool you. He has looked quite solid in his no decision games and should look good versus the Astros batters. To face him will be Erik Bedard who is 0-1 on the season but does have a high era over 6. In his 4 games (3 starts) Bedard has only pitched 11 plus innings which has caused a lot of strain on the bullpen. The majority of Sox hitters have seen and hit Bedard before so hopefully experience comes in handy here. Saturday night youngster Felix Doubront will take the mound as he has pitched wonderful this year off to a 2-0 start! In his 16 plus innings Doubront has 21 strikeouts and just nine walks. He has struggled going deep in games but this week against the A's he went 6 2/3 strong innings. To face him will be Brad Peacock who has started with a high era over 7 and has a record of 1-2. Peacock's biggest struggle to start the season is allowing six home runs over his 18 innings pitched and with some of the Boston batters power they will hopefully take strong advantage of him Saturday night. Both line ups are VERY new to opposing pitchers in this game so scouting reports will be the story line for this game.
GAME 4 WILL BE PREVIEWED ONCE JOHN LACKEY RECEIVES CONFIRMATION FOR SUNDAY
Game 4 Preview:
3 games down and 1 to go as the Sox near the sweep! John Lackey will return to the lineup for his second start of the year. After sitting out last season due to injury Lackey is hoping to bounce back as the other Sox starters have. In Lackey's 4 1/3 innings pitched in his first start he set eight down on strikes with his mid 90s fastball that we will see Sunday for sure! Victorino was questionable for Sunday's game but according to Red Sox twitter he will not be in the starting lineup as Carp will start again. To face Lackey in this game will be Bud Norris of the Astros who has start 3-2. So far Norris looks to be one of the Astros better pitchers but still is no friend to the strikeout. In his 5 games he has 14 runs allowed and 11 of those being earned. Finding his strikeout pitch will be key if he wants to keep the Sox runs low unlike they have been all series. FIRST PITCH 1:07! Come watch the Sox bring out the brooms for the SWEEEEEEP.
As said in the game 3 pitching matchup preview Brad Peacock has struggled with allowing home runs as many of the other Astro pitchers have as well. This is great news for Sox fans as Napoli has been hot with the long ball and I am sure will continue to hit it throughout this series. (I called it last series that he would hit a home run in game 1 and he hit a big grand slam!) Since returning from his injury Ortiz has been off to a great start going 8 for 16. The Sox also recalled reliever Daniel Bard from AA to give MLB another try for a while and John Farrell has this to say about Bard's return, "Right now, I think it's a matter of him getting back, acclimated to this level and building some confidence along the way,his fastball is not back to the upper 90s. That doesn't mean he has to get back to that level to be successful. It's been 93-96 range. I think a lot of guys would sign up to be able to throw that hard." Hopefully Bard redeems himself and is back 100%. As long as he throws it in the strike zone and runs to first base when needed he will be better than Aceves. Well the Sox look to have the upper hand for this series and I sure hope these pitching matchups turn out to be good for the Sox as they look. Go SOX Go!
Game 1: Red Sox win 5-0
Game 2: Red Sox win 4-2
Game 3: Red Sox win 7-2
Game 4: Red Sox win 7-3