Sox vs. Jays Series Preview/Predictions
Can someone explain to me why the guy who made the MLB schedule put the Sox and Jays meeting 3 times in just over one month! Maybe they wanted to show how good the Jays are by putting them up against the crappy Sox. Well they sure got that wrong! So far the Sox are leading the series 4-2 as they head into this 3 game series. Before jumping to conclusion that the Sox are a much better team the Sox have been 4-6 in their last 10 and that second number has been rising each day. Boston is currently tied for the AL East lead while the Jays sit at the bottom in the number 5 spot hoping to redeem themselves. David Ortiz came off his long hit streak reaching back to last year and since them has gone 0-9 in the past two games. The Sox bullpen has also been a little messy in the past few nights so look for some movement around there and lets hope the starters goes deep in the game. In seven meetings this season, the Blue Jays have been outscored, 39-20, all but one played at Rogers Centre. They have been outhomered, 16-7. In those matchups, Toronto's pitchers have a 6.00 ERA.
Game 1: Jon Lester (4-0) vs. Ramon Ortiz (0-0)
For game 1 Ortiz will be taking his first start of the year for the Jays (Boston fans don't worry David Ortiz was not traded!) as he has only made 1 appearance out of the bullpen in which he went 3.1 innings with 5 hits and 2 runs allowed. Ortiz has been called up from AAA Ortiz's start will be his first since July 10, 2011 against the Pirates as a member of the Cubs due Brandon Morrow's back spasms that push his start to Sunday for JA Happ who is expected to be about a minimum 4-6 weeks. "He's been pitching good down there, it's close to his turn, he's been up here before, you know we like him. We've run a few of them through here," manager John Gibbons said. "We want him to pitch good. It's no easy assignment going to Fenway, but we think he will." Nobody really saw this move coming but with the rotation injuries the Jays are seeing early AAA pitchers may see a few starts in the near future. The Sox will play their ace Jon Lester who has had a solid start to the season until his last start versus the Jays where he luckily came out with a no decision. He's allowed five earned runs in 13 innings in his first two outings, although he held the Blue Jays scoreless through seven in his first matchup. As Joel Hanrahan has been put on the 60 day DL as surgery looks necessary the door has opened for AAA Pawtucket closer Jose De La Torre who was given a spot on Boston's roster last night. Boston has yet to give up the lead in the AL East so far through the first 40 days so a win tonight will be key to continue that! Lester vs. Ortiz... something we thought we would never here but let's play ball! GO SOX GO!
Prediction: Red Sox win 7-3
Game 2: Clay Buchholz (6-0) vs. Mark Buehrle (1-2)
What a great way to end a losing steak as the great Jon Lester throws a 1 hit shutout without any walks or errors! The Boston bats were strong last night and hopefully will be again Saturday as they will have to face Mark Buehrle who is coming off a rough start. Buehrle leads the league with 11 home runs allowed, and gave up a pair of them against the Rays in his last start, in what was his toughest outing of the year. "It's frustrating; I'm not doing much to help this team win right now," Buehrle said after his last start. Buehrle lasted just 6-2/3 innings the last time he faced the Red Sox, but also gave up five runs and three homers in the process. The Sox could use another rough outing like that from the lefty. For the Red Sox, Clay Buchholz will do the work on the mound who is also coming off a little rougher game then he is used to but continues without a loss. This will be Buchholz's second start against the Blue Jays this year. Last time against Toronto, he pitched seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts. But it was that performance that began the accusations the Red Sox righty was doctoring the baseball. Hopefully, Buchholz tears through the lineup again like he did previously. Buchholz's strikeout pitch has been perfect this season and he continues to keep himself in the top 10 for K's this season. The Jays bats were next to silence Friday night so some frustration swings may come out of that lineup so watch for Buchholz to make them chance for pitches around the zone.
Prediction: Blue Jays win 2-1 (No decision for Buchholz)
Game 3: Ryan Dempster (2-3) vs. Chad Jenkins (0-0)
Chad Jenkins is so new MLB does not even have a picture of him! He is set to make his season debut after Brandon Morrow was scratched because of soreness in his upper back. Jenkins missed his first start of the year because of a shoulder injury, but made his return for Double-A New Hampshire on May 6. In Jenkin career versus Boston he has only pitched 1.1 innings but holds an ERA of 13.50 against them. "I made three or four starts in extended [spring training] and then I made one start in Double-A, and the manager called me in the office last night and was like, 'Hey, you're going back up,'" Jenkins said. "To be honest, I was pretty surprised." This will be the young hurler's fourth start in the Majors in his career, but he did go 1-2 with a 3.95 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP and eight strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings in his previous three outings. To face him will be hard throwing Ryan Dempster who is coming off a tough loss in his last outing versus the Twins. Generally versus the Jays this season Dempster has pitched well (except that one time when he missed his start in Toronto because he forgot his passport), coming into the game with a 1-0 record and 4.12 ERA against the divisional rivals in four games (three starts). He’s managed to keep the Sox in the game every time he’s pitched, not allowing more than four runs in any start. Mike Napoli may see some bench time during Sunday's game as he has struglled very much to start this month. Lately he has been hitting 6-for-37 (.162), with a single RBI and 10 strikeouts. It will be interesting to see who Farrell puts in his spot on Sunday! I think this will be a match right to the end of the game like last night as they battle for the series win but in the end....
Red Sox win 5-4