by user Bosoxwest
Tonight the Sox show us whether they have cast off the shackles of ownership by Rodrigo Lopez. They beat him 4-1 in a game where Wake pitched a 5-hit gem, and in which Josh Bard oddly suffered no passed balls.
It would be nice to have Stern on the roster for tonight's game, as over the course of the past couple years Rodrigo has been diligently working on creating a poor split versus lefties (you can check out YoY stats here. In that first game against the Sox 7 of the 8 hits he gave up were by the lefties.
Stern was on the major league roster then and could bat lead-off which allowed Tito to start Snow at first, and JT performed by going 2 for 3 in the game. In the current situation I would assume Youks needs to lead off unless the unthinkable happens and Willie Harris starts and leads off so Snow can play first. This would likely mean that we trade Wily Mo's bat for Willie's, which would then mean the apocalypse is upon us, so I guess I don't see that happening. Wily Mo Pena Super Genius is annihilating RHP this year to the tune of a 1.192 OPS. Wily Mo loves the reverse split.
The happy news for Sox fans of course is that Schill takes the mound for the Sox. He has looked very good in his 2006 outings, and you have to feel good about his chances to get the win, despite Boston's historical collapse versus Lopez. <Cue announcer jinx>
The Orioles obviously have some big bats, with Miggy Tejada leading the way with an OPS well over 1.000. Crazy Melvin Mora, Jay Gibbons, and Ramon Hernandez are playing to par, which is nothing to scoff at. Hell, even Corey Patterson is hitting the ball. Kevin Millar, or course, is not. Roberts is injured, which hurts the lineup considerably, but still, this is a team whose offense can't be taken lightly. Schilling will need to show some poise and have good stuff to win.
The Sox will probably need to have a big(ish) inning to win, like they did last night. They are having difficulty putting multiple innings together offensively, and Lopez won't get lit up. I'm betting Cora will get the start since he hits lefty, and since Gonzalez is a white chalk outline surrounded by police tape when he bats. This may help the Sox keep innings alive later in the game. Still, this should not be a high-scoring affair. My inaccurate prediction for tonight's score: 4-3 Sox, with an unearned run the decider.
Fri 05/05/06, 8:56 am EST