The Boston Red Sox (48-58) take on the Toronto Blue Jays (57-50) tonight in the middle game of their three game series. Toronto hammered the Red Sox last night 14-1 to take the opener in the series.
Sound familiar? That's because 14-1 is the same score Boston beat the Blue Jays by to open last week's series in Toronto. The Jays managed to get their revenge in an attack led by Melky Cabrera (2 HR, 5 RBI). Clay Buchholz was knocked around for 7 runs in 5 innings, but things really got out of hand when Felix Doubront took over. The disgruntled pitcher has made it no secret that he's unhappy with his new role in the bullpen and last night he pitched like it by allowing 6 runs in two-thirds of an inning. One has to wonder if he created a distraction for himself with his trade demands, derailing any chance of earning a spot in this rotation or someone else's.
Speaking of trades, the MLB trade deadline is coming up on Thursday and several Sox players have had their names swirling in the rumor mill. Most notable is Jon Lester, who at this point seems likely to be dealt. He's scheduled to start tomorrow, so if the Sox were to make a deal involving Lester they would surely want to get it done before then. The most likely suitors seem to be the Dodgers, Pirates, Brewers and Orioles.
- Rubby De La Rosa (3-3, 3.54 ERA) takes the hill for Boston. He's coming off his worst start of the season, where the Blue Jays roughed him up for 7 runs (6 earned) in 4 innings. He may have better luck this time facing them at Fenway, where he is 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA.
- If Lester were to get traded before tomorrow's game, it's expected that Brandon Workman will get the call to take his place for tomorrow's start. Which means by tomorrow, the Red Sox could be rolling with at least three rookies in their rotation. With John Lackey drawing plenty of interest on the trade market, it could even be four.
- Mike Carp is in the lineup again for the second time in three games, as the team tries to showcase him prior to the deadline in order to help meet his trade demand. It's not likely that Mike Napoli would be going anywhere, so there's an opportunity to give him some rest for a couple games this week. Napoli has also been dealing with some swelling in the finger he broke earlier this season, so a day off should help.
- Marcus Stroman (6-2, 3.21 ERA) gets the start for Toronto. The rookie picked up the win last time out by shutting out the Red Sox over 7 innings, allowing only 1 hit. He has now thrown 7 shutout innings in 3 of his last 4 starts this month.
- Could the Blue Jays be interested in Lester? They currently sit 2.5 games back of Baltimore in the AL East and hold the second Wild Card spot. They could really use an ace like Lester if they find themselves in that Wild Card playoff game. The Red Sox reportedly have no concerns about trading Lester within the division (except to the Yankees of course). They aren't worried that Lester would have any interest in re-signing long term with either of those teams, so dealing him to one of those teams would increase their chances of brining him back as a free agent next year. While they help a division rival in the short term, they also hurt them in the long term by taking their prospects. It seems like a long shot, but with Lester scheduled to pitch tomorrow, it's not unfathomable to think he may still take the mound at Fenway tomorrow night… wearing a Blue Jays uniform.
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Tags: Baseball, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Mike Carp, Mike Napoli, MLB, Rubby De La Rosa