Red Sox Try to Keep the Winning Going in Second Half


Jul 18, 2009

Red Sox Try to Keep the Winning Going in Second Half The Red Sox have now won four straight dating back to before the All-Star break, a winning streak that was bolstered Friday night by a stellar start from the young Clay Buchholz in his return to the major leagues. Thanks to a gem from Buchholz and some pop from David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis, the Sox are now three games up on the Yankees in the American League East — they'll look to Brad Penny to help them pad that lead.

When and Where
1:07 p.m. ET (NESN), July 18, 2009
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Red Sox (55-34, 1st place in AL East)
Blue Jays (44-47, 4th place in AL East)


If the Jays' bats couldn't turn it on against Clay Buchholz, who has spent the entirety of this season with Triple-A Pawtucket, it doesn't bode well for their chances against a guy bringing the heat at the big-league level. Like, for instance, Brad Penny. The Jays started the season as one of the hottest teams in baseball offensively, but they've cooled off considerably. Aaron Hill couldn't bat .370 forever.

Starting Lineups

Red Sox Blue Jays
J.D. Drew, RF Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Aaron Hill, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B Adam Lind, LF
David Ortiz, DH Scott Rolen, 3B
Jason Bay, LF Lyle Overbay, 1B
Mike Lowell, 3B Alex Rios, CF
Rocco Baldelli, CF Kevin Millar, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS Jose Bautista, RF
George Kottaras Raul Chavez, C

Pitching Matchups
RHP Brad Penny (6-3, 4.71 ERA) vs. LHP Marc Rzepczynski (0-1, 3.00)

There's not a pitcher in baseball more predictable these days than Brad Penny — every single start, he's going to give the Red Sox two or three runs in five to six innings of work. Like clockwork. Penny's numbers still aren't gaudy, even after months of improvement — the 4.71 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and .289 opponent's batting average all scream "No. 5 starter" — but he's a reliable No. 5 starter for the AL's best team.

Penny has pitched through trade rumors all season, but with Daisuke Matsuzaka injured and Clay Buchholz probably not in the majors for long, it appears that Penny's job in Boston and his spot in the Sox' rotation are safe. We know exactly what he'll do with them.

Rzepczynski is seeing the Red Sox for the first time in his young career — the Jays' fifth-round draft pick out of UC-Riverside in 2007 is making just his third career start. He went six innings in each of the first two, allowing three runs against the Orioles and one against the Rays. This is his first career start at home in Toronto.

Stat Sheet
Red Sox

The Red Sox are 21-11 this season against left-handed starting pitchers.

They are 23-9 against AL East opponents.

Brad Penny is 3-0 in six career starts against the Blue Jays. He has a 3.19 ERA.

Jason Varitek has 13 home runs. Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez and Pablo Sandoval are the only major league catchers with more.

Jason Bay has 57 walks, second in the AL.

Dustin Pedroia is seventh in the AL with 105 hits.

Kevin Youkilis has been hit by eight pitches, third in the AL.

Mike Lowell has grounded into 15 double plays, most in the AL.

Jacoby Ellsbury
is tied for third in the AL with seven times caught stealing.

David Ortiz has 32 home runs and 107 RBIs in his career against Toronto. He has faced the Blue Jays 138 times.

Nick Green is a .207 hitter in 58 career at-bats against the Blue Jays.

J.D. Drew has a .377 on-base percentage and a .493 slugging percentage on the road this season.

Blue Jays
The Blue Jays have lost three straight games.

They are 9-20 against AL East opponents this season.

Marc Rzepczynski has struck out 12 batters in 12 innings.

Alex Rios has an on-base percentage of .385 and a slugging percentage of .570 against the Red Sox in his career.

Rod Barajas
is hitting .235 at home this season.

Kevin Millar
has eight career home runs against the Red Sox, his former team.

Lyle Overbay has faced Brad Penny nine times in his career — he has a triple, a double and a walk.

Black and Blue
Red Sox

Third baseman Mike Lowell was activated before Friday night's game. He played third base and batted sixth for the Red Sox, going 2-for-4.

Relief pitcher Miguel Gonzalez was placed on the 60-day disabled list on March 27. He is recovering from right elbow surgery.

Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the 15-day DL on June 20 with a mild right shoulder strain. He hopes to return this season but his future with the team is in doubt.

Blue Jays
After undergoing right shoulder surgery, pitcher Dustin McGowan was placed on the 15-day DL on March 27. He has since been deemed out for the season.

Relief pitcher Casey Janssen was placed on the 15-day DL on June 17 with inflammation in his right shoulder. The team hopes to have him back within a few weeks.

Pitcher Robert Ray was placed on the 15-day DL on May 22 with right shoulder soreness.

This Date in Red Sox History
In 2005, left fielder Manny Ramirez disappeared into the Green Monster during a mound visit by pitching coach Dave Wallace and was late getting back out to the field. He claimed he was using the bathroom, but there are no facilities behind the Monster.

“When you see a good looking girl, you get married and sometimes things don’t work out. I gave it my best and unfortunately things didn’t work out. This is the best for both parties. I wanted it to work out but it didn’t.”
–Julio Lugo in the Boston Herald. Lugo was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Friday.

The Press Box
Red Sox

Julio Lugo wishes things had worked out.

Clay Buchholz got the win.

Who wants a physics lesson?

Blue Jays
It's all up to Roy Halladay.

B.J. Ryan has moved on from Toronto.

Ricky Romero: Not a Red Sox fan.

More controversy surrounds Barry Bonds.

Roy Oswalt carried the Astros.

Albert Pujols just keeps going deep.

The Jays just keep trotting out the rookie hurlers, and it hasn't been working against these Red Sox. Boston has performed well against Toronto this season, and with the reliable Brad Penny on the mound, expect the trend to keep up. The Red Sox have another rookie to eat for lunch this afternoon, and with Mike Lowell back in the lineup, their offense just got a lot more potent. The Sox are in good shape.

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