(Patrick previews the week ahead for the Red Sox each and every week. Start your week off right and read everything you need to know for the games ahead.)
Note: Stats are accurate prior to Sunday’s games. Game times are EST and pitching match-ups are subject to change.
Boston Red Sox
3rd in AL East (1.5 GB)
I’m not going to jinx it this time. Last time I assumed the game was in the bag I woke up the next day to find that I was sorely mistaken. Now there’s a lot more on the line.
So far the Sox have met my expectations and more by sweeping the Diamondbacks and as I’m typing this Clay Buchholz is in the middle of pitching seven scoreless innings…
Oh crap, Buchholz just hit Blake DeWitt. Maybe I spoke too soon.
Yes I did. Buchholz couldn’t finish the inning but I’ll take 6.2 innings of shutout ball… as long as Bard can hold them.
We’ll see how the game goes as I finish this column. I don’t want to say what a win will mean tonight but I’ll say this: they haven’t lost since last Sunday.
Keep it going boys.
The Red Sox are the leading the league in hitting with a .279 team batting average and their combined 93 home runs only trail the homer happy Blue Jays. What makes the story more amazing is that it’s all being done with an outfield consisting of Mike Cameron, Daniel Nava, Bill Hall, and Darnell McDonald.
It’s no surprise that J.D. Drew is a little banged up but with Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida on the DL this isn’t the outfield we imagined going into the season. In fact, I thought it was interesting when I heard that Nava was the eighth outfielder on the organizational depth chart.
On The Mound…
Daniel Bard finished the top of the eighth and still looks as good as he was when I mentioned him earlier. Since then he’s nabbed a couple of rouge saves and will really be a factor on Papelbon’s future at the end of the season.
Dice-K is also due back off the DL from his being Dice-K Forearm injury. His strikeout rate has dropped from around eight K/9 the past three seasons to 6.8 this season. However over his last four starts he’s been ok. Let’s see how he will do in the Colorado air.
Tuesday, June 22 @ Rockies 8:40 PM
Wednesday, June 23 @ Rockies 8:40 PM
Thursday, June 24 @ Rockies 8:40 PM
Friday, June 25 @ Giants 10:15 PM
Saturday, June 26 @ Giants 7:10 PM (on FOX)
Sunday, June 27 @ Giants 4:05 PM
Colorado TV: FSN
San Fransisco TV: NBC-11/CSN-BA
Rockies: Jhoulys Chacin, RHP (3-6, 4.00)
Last start: 6/16 @MIN: 5.0 IP/7 H/2 R/1 K/3 BB
Chacin made his debut last July and looked great as a reliever and is now the back-end of the Rockies rotation. Even though his fastball stays on the low-end of 90, he is extremely effective at missing bats with a nine K/9 and a below average contact rate of 74.5 percent. What his 45.9 percent groundball rate keeps whatever hits he does give up in the park.
Red Sox: Jon Lester, LHP (8-2, 3.13)
Last start: 6/16 vs. ARI: 7.0 IP/4 H/2 R/7 K/3 BB
Even though the headline from his last start was “lacking command“, you can’t be disappointed in a seven strikeout performance. Lester has instead shown that he knows how to work out of a jam and he’ll need that craftiness when he visits Coors Field for the first time ever.
Rockies: Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP (13-1, 1.15)
Last start: 6/17 @MIN: 8.0 IP/8 H/1 R/4 K/2 BB
He’s 13-1 and the one of the leading candidates for this year’s NL Cy Young. While he doesn’t have an overwhelming strikeout rate, he’s only struck out 10 in his two starts against AL opponents this year, his high 90’s fastball and 54.9 GB percentage has made him a hard pitcher to beat.
Red Sox: John Lackey, RHP (8-3, 4.53)
Last start: 6/17 vs. ARI: 6.0 IP/8 H/4 R/5 K/2 BB
Even though his average velocity doesn’t appear to be down, his game charts show that his overall range is considerably down compared to last year. That would explain his lower strike-out rate and high contact rate.
Rockies: Jason Hammel, RHP (5-3, 4.03)
Last start: 6/18 vs. MIL: 7.1 IP/8 H/0 R/4 K/2 BB
Along with Chacin, Hammel has helped Colorado win games with an effective starting pitching in the fourth and fifth slots. He doesn’t have overwhelming stuff but he keeps the ball on the ground but has allowed more batters to make contact compared to his previous year with Colorado (79.9 contact rate in 2009 vs. 84.4 percent in 2010.)
Red Sox: Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP (5-2, 4.59)
Last start: 6/7 @CLE: 8.0 IP/4 H/0 R/5 K/2 BB
I can only hope he returns to this kind of form.
Giants: Jonathan Sanchez, LHP (5-5, 2.78)
Last start: 6/14 vs. BAL: 7.2 IP/8 H/2 R/5 K/1 BB
A little less than a year since his no-hitter, Sanchez has a career low 2.78 ERA but the numbers behind it say there maybe a little luck involved. However he is improving on his control- one of his main flaws and pitching in pitcher friendly AT&T Park helps.
Red Sox: Tim Wakefield, RHP (2-5, 5.33)
Last start: 6/19 vs. LAD: 6.1 IP/5 H/4 R/6 K/2 BB
Good news: His control is at a career high 1.93 BB/9. Bad news: his contact rate is at a career high 84.5 percent.
Giants: Joe Martinez, RHP (0-1, 5.68)
Last start: 6/15 vs. BAL: 6.1 IP/8 H/4 R/2 K/1 BB
The 2005 draft pick is making his second start of the season. In his first start? 93 percent of swings made at his pitchers made contact. This will be fun.
Red Sox: Clay Buchholz, RHP (10-4, 2.47)
Last start: 6/21 vs. LAD: 6.2 IP/6 H/0 R/4 K/3 BB
It was fun to watch him pitch tonight, and is now Boston’s first 10 game winner this season.
Giants: Tim Lincecum, RHP (7-2, 3.11)
Last start: 6/16 vs. BAL: 6.0 IP/8 H/2 R/10 K/4 BB
Sure he’s good but as of recently he’s looked a little more human than before. So far this season he’s walking more batters and his average velocity has been on a three year decline but hey he’s still one of the best in the game right now.
Red Sox: Jon Lester, LHP (8-2, 3.13)
4th in NL West (4 GB)
Jonathan Herrera, 2B/SS
Todd Helton, 1B
Ryan Spilborghs, CF
Brad Hawpe, RF
Ian Stewart, 3B
Seth Smith/Melvin Mora, LF
Chris Iannetta, C
Clint Barmes, 2B/ss
Lost two out of three in Minnesota, won two out of three against Milwaukee.
Taylor Buchholz, RP (Elbow,Back) 60-day DL. Expected to make Triple-A rehab assignment June 24. Out until at least early July
Jorge De La Rosa, SP (Finger) 15-day DL. Expected to make Triple-A rehab assignment June 23. Might return July 7 vs. St. Louis
Carlos Gonzalez, LF (Knee) Day-to-Day
Huston Street, RP (Shoulder, Groin) 15-day DL. Might return for June 22 vs. Boston
Troy Tulowitzki, SS (Wrist) 15-day DL. Out until at least late July
Eric O. Young, 2B (Leg) 15-day DL. Out until at least late July
Ryan Spilborghs: .419 BA/4 HR last two weeks
Ian Stewart: .154 BA/9 K last two weeks
San Fransisco Giants
2nd in NL West (1.5 GB)
Andres Torres, CF
Freddy Sanchez, 2B
Aubrey Huff, LF
Juan Uribe, SS
Pat Burrell, LF
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Buster Posey, 1B
Bengie Molina, C
Won two out of three against Baltimore, lost two out of three in Toronto. Will play three in Houston before playing Boston.
Mark DeRosa, LF (Wrist) 15-day DL. Might be out for the season
Ryan Rohlinger, 3B (Hamstring) 15-day DL. Out until at least late June
Emmanuel Burriss, 2B (Foot) 60-day DL. On Triple-A rehab assignment
Tim Lincecum, SP (Shoulder) Probable for June 22 start at Houston
Todd Wellemeyer, SP (Quadriceps) 15-day DL. Out until at least late June
Pat Burrell: .364 BA/2 HR last two weeks
Buster Posey: .227 BA last two weeks
Well, Papelbon shut the door and the Red Sox just swept both Arizona and Los Angeles Dodgers. Interleague play continues this week and I’ll tell you that I won’t say they’ll sweep the entire week. Looking at the match-ups the Red Sox will be playing against a few of the best pitchers in baseball right now. I’ll say they split 3-3.
How do you think the Sox are going to fare this week? Leave them in the comments or let Patrick know on Twitter: @dmbosstone