The going has been anything but easy for the Boston Red Sox lately as the team has dropped four straight and 11 of its last 12 games. This week could be just as much of a challenge, with the Red Sox preparing for a three-game series against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park before going to Toronto for three more games with the Blue Jays on the weekend.
Reigning Amica Pitcher of the Week Jon Lester (9-11, 4.99 ERA) will take the ball Tuesday night against the Yankees as he looks to continue an impressive run of pitching that dates back to Aug. 12. In that time, Lester has gone 4-1 with a 3.44 ERA. In two starts against the Yankees this season, he is 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA.
Aaron Cook (3-9, 5.17 ERA) will be up next, on Wednesday, with hopes that he can get his sinker working more like it did in June (2-0, 1.29) than it did in August (1-4, 6.46). Cook pitched well his last time out against Seattle, allowing just two runs and striking out five, but he took the loss in a 2-1 decision.
Felix Doubront (10-8, 5.21) closes out the series with the Yankees on Thursday and will be looking for his first win since Aug. 26. Doubront has struggled since coming off the 15-day disabled list in the middle of August, throwing just 12 innings in his last three starts. Doubront has pitched well in two outings against the Yankees but has not garnered a decision despite allowing just two runs in 12 1/3 innings.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-5, 7.20) is scheduled to pitch Friday's series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays, but Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he is not sure Matsuzaka will remain in the rotation following his 1 1/3-inning performance Saturday against Toronto. Alfredo Aceves (2-9, 4.48) could take his spot. It would be the first start of the season for the former Yankee and his fourth appearence against them this year.
The Sox have a chance to play spoiler for at least one playoff-hunting team, if the pitching leads the way. Who will be the Amica Pitcher of the Week?