On Saturday afternoon, the Sox wrapped up their 15th victory of the season over the last-place Orioles; on Sunday, they head to Camden Yards looking to finish off a three-game sweep in their final matchup of the year with the O's. On Saturday, the Sox broke a seventh-inning tie with a pair of huge late rallies — let's see how the Sox plan on pulling this one out.
When and Where
1:35 p.m. ET (NESN), September 20, 2009
Camden Yards, Baltimore, Md.
Red Sox (88-59, 2nd place in AL East)
Orioles (60-88, 5th place in AL East)
For the Orioles, it's wait 'til next year. The O's have a solid foundation in place, but two of their key young players — Adam Jones and Nolan Reimold — are now on the disabled list, and the O's are in need of more depth all around. Another arm or two wouldn't hurt, either. This Baltimore club has some talent, but this hasn't been their year. Time for one more tangle with the playoff-bound Red Sox before they wrap up 2009.
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||Brian Roberts, 2B|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Felix Pie, CF|
|Victor Martinez, C||Matt Wieters, C|
|Kevin Youkilis, 1B||Nick Markakis, RF|
|Jason Bay, LF||Luke Scott, LF|
|J.D. Drew, RF||Ty Wigginton, DH|
|Mike Lowell, DH||Michael Aubrey, 1B|
|Jason Varitek, C||Justin Turner, 3B|
|Alex Gonzalez, SS||Cesar Izturis, SS|
RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-5, 7.02 ERA) vs. RHP Jason Berken (5-11, 6.08 ERA)
For Matsuzaka, this start is a big one. A pitcher's second start back from a shoulder injury is always a big one — this performance will test the true extent of Dice-K's recovery. His first start back was a gem — he threw six scoreless innings against the Angels — but we'll see what he's got left this time.
It's hard to know what to expect from the rookie Berken. He's undefeated in five starts since Aug. 18, but his ERA is still over six and he's struck out just 59 in 108 innings this season. He's only 25, but the Orioles were hoping to get a more effective season than this out of Berken.
The Red Sox are 15-2 against the Orioles this season.
Boston has scored 783 runs, third-most in the American League.
Daisuke Matsuzaka's road ERA this season is 7.80.
Kevin Youkilis is hitting .311, eighth-best in the AL.
Jason Bay has a .931 OPS, fourth in the AL.
Jacoby Ellsbury leads the AL in stolen bases (62) and triples (nine).
Alex Gonzalez has a .471 slugging percentage since joining the Red Sox. He has 11 extra-base hits in 30 games.
J.D. Drew has a .404 on-base percentage in September.
Mike Lowell is a .314 career hitter against the Orioles. He has 55 RBIs in 64 games.
Dustin Pedroia is 4-for-7 against Jason Berken.
David Ortiz is 2-for-5 with two walks against Berken.
The Orioles are 16-25 in day games this season.
Jason Berken is winless in three career starts against the Red Sox. He has a 10.03 ERA.
Brian Roberts leads the major leagues with 53 doubles.
Nick Markakis has made 596 at-bats this season, second-most in the American League. He's on the verge of breaking 600 for the second time in his career.
After going deep twice on Saturday night, Ty Wigginton has nine career home runs against the Red Sox.
Matt Wieters is 14-for-35 (.400) against Boston.
Melvin Mora is 1-for-9 in his career against Daisuke Matsuzaka. He has struck out four times.
Cesar Izturis is hitting .309 at home this season.
Black and Blue
Tim Wakefield is ready to return to the mound despite the fragmented disk in his back. He's not pain-free, but he's poised to pitch for the Red Sox on Monday in Kansas City.
Kevin Youkilis missed the Angels series earlier this week with back spasms. He is back in the lineup this weekend.
Miguel Gonzalez has been on the 60-day disabled list since March 27 as he recovers from right elbow surgery.
Nolan Reimold has tendinitis in his left Achilles heel. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday and has been declared out for the season.
Adam Jones has been on the 15-day disabled list since Sept. 2 with a severely sprained left ankle.
Rich Hill has been on the 60-day DL since July 28 with an inflamed left shoulder.
This Date In Red Sox History
In 2005, 21-year-old shortstop Hanley Ramirez made his major league debut, entering in the seventh inning of a blowout win over Tampa Bay as a defensive replacement for Edgar Renteria. Two months later, Ramirez would be traded to the Marlins in a blockbuster trade that brought Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston.
"He’s OK. Wake did pretty good. Actually, he didn’t want to get tested. He goes, 'Right now I’m not even sure I want to know because I feel good enough that it’s not going to matter.' So I understand the trainer was not going to push him on it. So that’s good."
–Manager Terry Francona, in the Boston Globe, on the health of Tim Wakefield. Wakefield is expected to pitch against the Royals on Monday.
The Sox won again over the Orioles.
Boston's offense picked up Jon Lester.
Tim Wakefield's good to go.
The bullpen broke down for Baltimore.
Lou Montanez is back.
Nolan Reimold is done.
Jake Peavy is back with a bang.
Pedro Martinez's status is uncertain.
Who's afraid of Justin Verlander?
So long, Baltimore. The Red Sox will no doubt miss you. The Sox have had their way with the Orioles all season long, and now they're back to try for one last win. A win would be a nice farewell to Camden Yards and a nice way to bolster the Sox' wild-card chances — all they need is for Daisuke Matsuzaka to come through and be the healthy Dice-K that vied for a Cy Young last season. If the good Dice-K shows up, then the Sox can cruise. If not, we'll see.