The Boston Red Sox Have 47 Games To Go
Good morning on this still dark Friday AM, the day the Olympic Games begin in China. The opening ceremonies begin in about three hours, but they'll be shown on NBC tonight in primetime at 7:30 pm EDT. Why not a live broadcast?? I'll tell you...so that NBC can get the maximum viewership possible. But I'm going to talk baseball. Ok with you? I hope so.
The AL East first place Tampa Bay Rays lost to Seattle last night on the left coast, so the Red Sox crept a little closer to them in the standings. And with 47 games to go for the Sox, here are the home/away ratios for the three top teams in the AL East. Boston has, as I said, 47 games left in the 2008 regular season, and 25 of them are at Friendly Fenway. The Rays have only 19 home games left...they have 48 games to play, and maybe this current west coast swing will enable the Red Sox to take over first place. The Rays away record is 23-29, so they will be vulnerable at the right time. The Sox are playing the tough Chicago White Sox, with 4 games beginning tonight. The complete pitching matchups are coming up later in this post. And lastly (I like to leave them last), the New York Yankees, who have the best away record of all three teams, have only 19 home games left out of their 47 games remaining. So advantage Red Sox in this home/away analysis.
The Red Sox have placed a waiver claim on Brian Giles, an outfielder who is currently hitting a healthy .296 for the San Diego Padres this season, with only 6 home runs and 37 RBIs. They did this for multiple reasons. One, as insurance if Big Papi experiences more problems with his clicking wrist. Two, they did it to hopefully prevent the Rays or the Angels from landing him. The Sox have a four man outfield contingent, a good one at that, but if (God forbid) Boston needs a replacement DH, he would fit the bill quite well. I have faith that Papi will be just fine, even though he's gone on record as saying that he feels "unprotected" without Manny guarding his backside batting fourth. But Manny HAD to go...we all know that.
With that said, two of the top three AL East teams have a huge shot at making it to the postseason, either by finishing in first place or securing the Wild Card slot. Who it will be is unknown, but I know who I'm rooting for! Here are those pitching matchups for the four game set in Chicago...
Jon Lester (10-3, 3.14 ERA) vs. Mark Buehrle (8-10, 4.07) tonight
Daisuke Matsuzaka (12-2, 3.04) vs. Jose Contreras (7-6, 4.60) Saturday
Clay Buchholz (2-7, 5.94) vs. Gavin Floyd (11-6, 3.66) Sunday
Josh Beckett (10-8. 4.08) vs. John Danks (9-4, 3.21) Monday
4 games...4 days...4 wins? Only time will tell. Click on the title if you wish to read the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman piece on the playoff chances for those three teams in the AL East. Have a great Friday and I look forward to reading and responding to all of your comments. As always, BE WELL.