By: Sean Clifford

The Red Sox return to Fenway after a 9 game road trip in which they went 6-3. The Orioles were able to get the best of the Sox in the last series of the trip taking 2 of 3. The Seattle Mariners come to Boston in the next series. Flying high, the Mariners swept the Detroit Tigers in their last series in which they averaged 8 runs per game.

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This day back in 1946, the Sox took 2 games from the A’s which also put them into first place. They won 15 games in a row and remained in first place to the last day of the season, winning their first pennant since 1918.

Interesting tidbit…..While the sox were away, Tom Yawkey allowed the Braves the use of Fenway to play two games over a weekend. This double-header drew 20,375 people.

How good is Jon Lester?

Among Lester’s through age 26 top 10 comps at baseball-reference:

  • Tim Hudson
  • Johan Santana
  • Cole Hamels
  • Andy Pettitte
  • Roy Halladay
  • Roy Oswalt

Bill James HOF Standards says he’s the 205th best pitcher of all time – and half way to being an average HOF.   Can’t be you say?   Consider that since the start of 2008, Lester is in top 10 in the Majors in: in Win Shares, ERA+, Win/Loss%, and K/9 rates.  He’s never had a poor year, so his stats like so many others are not diluted by poor years (Beckett and Tiant for two).  It should also be noted that he’s having a great start to 2011.

If you examine Red Sox pitchers closely since 1945 Lester is the 5th best pitcher in a Red Sox uniform the past 60 years, behind only:

  • Roger Clemens – 74.8 WAR in 2776 IP
  • Pedro Martinez 47.6 WAR in 1383 IP
  • Luis Tiant – 34.0 WAR in 1774 IP
  • Mel Parnell – 29.0 WAR in 1752 IP
  • Jon Lester – 19.2 WAR in 797 IP

Lester is better then Schilling, Kinder, Lonborg, Hurst, Boyd, Lee, Lowe, Culp, Beckett, and all the rest. Parnell and Tiant seem to be within reach.  Getting into the Clemens/Martinez neighborhood is much more difficult and likely to result in Lester actually being a HOF.

As for me, I was bit by the Lester bug early.  I was so excited after his 3rd ML start I proclaimed that he was a HOF’er, if he stayed healthy.  The last time I had done that for a Sox farm hand was in 1984 for Roger Clemens.  There is no way to know the future, but as Tiant, Clemens, and Martinez before him – Lester can go out and pitch a master piece which is why I try to watch as many of his games as I can.  Lester is literally a once in a decade sort of pitcher for the home nine – don’t miss him!

By: Sean Clifford

The Boston Red Sox head to Baltimore to take on the slumping Orioles. After a torrid start to the season that saw the Orioles stand atop the division with a 6-1 record, they have since lost 11 of their past 13 games. Boston is on a tear meanstwhile, ripping off 5 straight wins and taking 8 of their last 9 games. Camden Park is a home-away-from-home, as it is routinely filled by Red Sox Nation when the Sox have a series there. However, this is not the Oriole’s team of years past. With multiple big name additions and some impressive young pitchers, the new look O’s could surprise.

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It’s Monday!  That means it’s time to Drop the Hammer!  This week, we tackle the difficult task of assigning a starting shortstop.  Fresh in everyone’s mind is Jed Lowrie, the hotshot former prospect who is finally healthy and is absolutely killing the ball (as his .431/.455/.686 line demonstrates).  Marco Scutaro, the incumbent, has struggled out of the gate, only providing the previously anemic Sox offense with a .213/.315/.255 line.  While it’s clear that for now, Lowrie should be starting games, the question for this week is, for how long?  Should Lowrie be named the full time starter, and Marco Scutaro be the super utility infielder?  Or should Scutaro work out his struggles playing every day and Lowrie bounce around the infield like a pinball machine to get his bat in the lineup?

Coach, can I play too??

 

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There was a lot of controversy surrounding how far the Green Monster actually was from home plate. On this date in 1995, Dan Shaughnessy wrote that he took a Stanley Steelmaster measuring tape, vaulted the rail at Fenway and measured from home to the wall. At the time, “315″ could be seen painted next to the foul line on the monster. Shaughnessy’s measurement came out at 309′ 3″. The original Fenway blueprints state 308′. Shortly after this, the sign was changed to read “310″.

Rich Garces also made his debut this day in 1996.

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Jed Lowrie, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Marco Scutaro, SS

SP Jon Lester

 

Ellsbury leading off and Drew moves down to sixth. After coming out of the game with a shin injury last night, Youkilis remains on the bench. However, Francona has said he is available to pinch hit if needed.

1:26 AM

Paplebon K’s Howie Kendrick to shut the door. That’s three saves in three straight games. I would like to congratulate our Player of the Game, Peter Bourjos. Without your error in centerfield, this win wouldnt have been possible.

That’s all for tonight folks. Be sure to stop by next time!

1:15 AM

Bell retires the side quickly and Paplebon is coming in for the save opportunity.

1:13 AM

I spoke too soon. Paplebon is warming in the pen.

1:10 AM

Pinch hitter Maicer Izturis grounds out to second to finally end the inning. With Paplebon and Bard unavailable, Wheeler and Okajima are warming up in the pen. This could get ugly.

1:06 AM

Wow Salty, wow. Abreu goes from second to home on a pass ball! Terrible. One run game as the Red Sox bullpen/Salty is letting this game slowly slip away.

1:02 AM

Abreu moves over to second on yet another wild pitch.

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By: Sean Clifford & Brendan Pitts

The Sox finally got the monkey off their back yesterday, and recorded their first win of the year away from Fenway Park. After splitting a short 2 game series against the A’s, the Red Sox will continue their west coast road trip as they take on a hot Angels team that has won 8 of its last 10 games.

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Drew, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Gonzalez, 1B
Youkilis, 3B
Ortiz, DH
Lowrie, SS
Crawford, LF
Varitek, C
Ellsbury, CF

Beckett SP

No real surprises compared with yesterday’s lineup. Drew remains at leadoff and Crawford is still batting seventh. Varitek gets the start, which is to be expected with Beckett on the mound.

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