The Boston Red Sox (35-42) take on the Seattle Mariners (41-36) in the middle game of their three-game series. Boston will try to bounce back after being trounced by Seattle in the opening game of the series last night.
The Red Sox knew they had a tall task ahead of them facing former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez, but they did themselves no favors with their lack of execution. Seattle took the lead when John Lackey failed to cover first base on what could have been an inning ending double-play to escape a bases loaded jam. Instead, they settled for one out and the go-ahead run crossing the plate. Lackey's frustrations began to boil over as a wild pitch allowed another run to score and a walk followed by a hit loaded the bases again. Brock Holt misread the angle of a ball hit to right field, allowing it to go over his head for a bases clearing triple, capping the fatal fourth inning that broke the game wide open.
- Jake Peavy (1-5, 4.52 ERA) gets the start for Boston. He's been better in June than he was last month (5.89 ERA in May), but has still taken the loss in 3 of his 4 starts this month. Part of that is due to getting the 3rd worst run support (3.33 runs/game) in the AL. Aside from that, it's tough to make a case that he's really been unlucky. His 4.73 FIP is actually worse than his ERA and he's walking a career high 3.5 batters per 9 innings, so really it could be worse for Peavy.
- After struggling early this season, to the extent that it warranted a demotion to Triple-A, Daniel Nava has been quietly heating up this month. He's hitting a team high .341 in June to finally raise that average above the Mendoza Line.
- We knew Stephen Drew would take more than a few games to get his timing back at the plate, but how long of a leash can the Red Sox afford to give him? Drew is batting .143 in 42 at-bats this season and has failed to get on base in each of his last 5 games. Making matters worse, Drew's return has coincided with Xander Bogaerts slump. Since Drew was called up on June 2nd, the pair have combined to hit .199 and the team has gone 8-13.
- Erasmo Ramirez (1-4, 4.62 ERA) will take the hill for Seattle. He hasn't given up a run in any of his last 3 starts, totaling 15.2 innings, yet hasn't earned a win in any of them. Seattle actually ended up going on to lose the last two after Ramirez was out of the game. You can blame their bullpen for that, but the Mariners have had one of the league's best group of relievers this season.
- Seattle's leads the AL in bullpen ERA (2.76) and their relievers have the second best batting average against (.224). Oddly enough, despite those great numbers, the 13 losses suffered by the Mariners bullpen are tied for the second most in the AL. Boston's bullpen has 15 losses to lead the league, despite having the 3rd best reliever ERA (3.02).
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