The Boston Red Sox (20-29) have a Memorial Day matchup against the Atlanta Braves (28-21) to open a four game series. The first two games will be in Atlanta before the series shifts to Fenway. Boston's season is starting to spiral down the drain in the midst of a 10 game losing streak after getting swept for the third straight series.
The Braves lead the NL East and have the second most home wins in the majors. They have given up only 152 runs this season, which is the best in the majors. Then again, they've only scored 166 runs, which is the second worst in the majors.
Will Braves pitching stymie Red Sox hitters or will Boston be able to take advantage of Atlanta's low scoring offense?
- Clay Buchholz (2-4, 6.32 ERA) will take the mound for the Sox. Buchholz has lost his last three starts, giving up 13 Earned Runs over 15 innings during that span. So far this season he has yet to resemble anything close to the same pitcher he was last season prior to getting injured.
- Just before yesterday's game, the Red Sox put Mike Napoli on the disabled list with a dislocated finger. The team had been reluctant to make the move, but the taxed bullpen needed to keep Alex Wilson around rather than send him back to Pawtucket to make room for Brandon Workman to be added to start Sunday's game.
- Ervin Santana (4-2, 3.42 ERA) will start for the Braves. Santana signed with Atlanta in mid-March for a 1-year, $14.1 million deal, which equaled the qualifying offer the Kansas City Royals had offered him. Other teams had shied away from Santana because signing him as a free agent would cost them a draft pick, but the Braves desperately needed to add a starter after Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy were both lost for the season following Tommy John surgery.
- Santana missed Spring Training due to the late signing and didn't make his season debut until April 9th, but got off to a great start with his new team. Atlanta won 5 of his first 6 starts, but he's been roughed up in each of his last two starts, which both resulted in losses. Let's hope today against the Sox isn't when he gets himself back on track.
- The Red Sox are a season worst 9 games under .500 and have a -27 run differential. Only the Houston Astros have a worse run differential in the AL.
- Atlanta has a +14 run differential and a 3 game lead over Miami in the NL East.