The Boston Red Sox (47-53) take on the Toronto Blue Jays (52-49) in the third game of their four game series. The two teams split the first two games after Toronto evened the series last night, snapping Boston's 5-game win streak.
Jake Peavy just can't win. Literally, he hasn't won since April. He's taken 20 trips to the mound this season and walked away with only a single win. Some of the blame can be cast on Peavy himself for his career worst 4.72 ERA, but there are a lot worse pitchers in this league that have piled up several more wins. Every starting pitcher in the league that has enough innings to qualify for the ERA title has at least 3 wins. The Red Sox have lost in Peavy's last 9 starts, despite 5 of them being quality starts. It's been a frustrating season for the veteran pitcher, who's season has been marred by bad luck and the league's worst run support.
- Clay Buchholz (5-5, 5.46 ERA) takes the mound for Boston. He's faced the Blue Jays twice this season, surrendering 7 ER over 11.2 innings. Toronto is hitting .294/.357/.471 against him this season – a huge leap compared to how they've fared against Buccholz in the past. The Jays only hit .194 against him last season and they haven't hit better than .223 against him in any season since 2008. Buchholz has a career 1.72 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, which is the best of any pitcher with at least 55.0 innings in that stadium.
- After 59 straight games in the lineup, Brock Holt is getting a rest tonight. Shane Victorino will lead-off in his place.
- Drew's home run last night was his second in as many games, as the much maligned shortstop is finally showing signs of life at the plate. Over his last 13 games, he's hitting .244/.367/.610 with 4 HR and 9 RBI. He's a notoriously streaky hitter, so those numbers could sink rapidly at any moment, but if he can hit close to .250 overall the rest of the way with some modest pop, while providing his usual solid defense, his mid-season addition will have proved worthwhile.
- Felix Doubront is unhappy in his new role in the bullpen and his selfishness in speaking out about it isn't sitting well with some of his teammates, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE. It's understandable to be frustrated after going two weeks between appearances (partially due to the All-Star break in between), but he has to keep that to himself. The starters have been pitching well lately, so a long man like Doubront hasn't been needed. Rather than be happy to see his team turn things around, he's been too worried about himself to notice. Doubront also didn't do himself any favors by giving up a pair of runs in his inning of work last night to put the game essentially out of reach. Here's a thought – if you want to get back in the rotation, pitch better!
- R.A. Dickey (7-10, 3.95 ERA) gets the start for Toronto. The veteran knuckle-ball pitcher won the NL Cy Young in 2012 with the New York Mets, but hasn't been able to capture that dominant form since moving to the AL East. He got roughed up for 5 runs in a loss to the Texas Rangers his last time out, making it the 6th time this season he's given up 5+ runs in a start. Almost all of his other appearances have been quality starts, but his inconsistency in locating that knuckle-ball has made him prone to some clunkers.
- Casey Janssen entered the All-Star break as the only AL closer with double-digit saves who had a better ERA that Koji Uehara. Yet while Boston's closer has picked up a pair of saves since the break to lower his ERA to 1.58, Janssen has gone the other way in giving up 3 runs in 1.1 innings. All 3 of those runs were given up in non-save situations where the Blue Jays still ended up winning. The Red Sox chased him from last nights game with 2 outs in the 9th after Stephen Drew hit a 2-run homer, followed by David Ross and Brock Holt getting on board, but Brett Cecil closed the door for the save by getting David Ortiz to ground out.
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