Thursday night was an offensive disaster for the Red Sox, but the good news is that it's over. And while Jered Weaver has posted impressive numbers (16-8, 3.75 ERA) this season, he could be just what the Red Sox need in order to get back on track.
Weaver hasn't fared too well against some key players in the Red Sox' lineup:
David Ortiz: 7-for-20 (.350), 2 HR, 3 BB, 9 RBI
J.D. Drew: 6-for-17 (.353), 1 HR
Victor Martinez: 3-for-8 (.375), 4 BB (.583 OBP)
Kevin Youkilis: 6-for-20 (.300), 2 HR, 4 RBI
Jacoby Ellsbury: 3-for-11 (.273), 1 HR
One player who hasn't hit Weaver well at all is Jason Bay, who's 0-for-5 with a walk and two strikeouts in his career against the 6-foot-7 righty.
However, the numbers could be deceiving. The 27-year-old Weaver has evolved quite a bit this season, and in his only two appearances against the Red Sox in 2009, Weaver pitched 13 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits, three walks and 12 strikeouts. He showed masterful control in those outings, needing 101 pitches in April and 98 pitches in May.
On the other side, the Angels' numbers against Josh Beckett vary considerably:
Howie Kendrick: 8-for-19 (.421), 1 HR, 3 RBI
Chone Figgins: 8-for-22 (.364), 3 BB (.440 OBP)
Torii Hunter: 5-for-15 (.333)
Erick Ayabar: 2-for-5 (.400), 3 RBI
Maicer Izturis: 10-for-27 (.370)
Bobby Abreu: 14-for-69 (.203), 2 HR, 19 BB (.375 OBP), 23 SO
Vladimir Guerrero: 8-for-33 (.242), 2 HR, 7 SO
Juan Rivera: 2-for-18 (.111)
Kendry Morales: 0-for-7, 3 SO
Mike Napoli: 0-for-6, 2 SO
As always, the game will come down to execution, and with the pressure of the playoffs, there might be nobody better suited for the job than Beckett (7-2, 2.90 ERA, 96 K, 19 BB). Weaver has fared well in his two postseason outings, going 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in seven innings. He earned the win last year in Game 3 of the ALDS, pitching two innings of relief.
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