The Boston Red Sox (48-59) finish their series with the Toronto Blue Jays (58-50) tonight. Boston has lost 7 of their last 8 games after dropping the first two games of this series. 5 of those losses have come at the hands of these Blue Jays, when you include their series last week up in Toronto.
The Red Sox once again struggled to solve the puzzle that is Marcus Stroman, who limited Boston to only 1 run in his 7 innings of work. The rookie has given up only that single run over 14.0 innings against the Red Sox over his last two starts.
It's not going to get any easier for the Red Sox until the chaos of the MLB trade deadline passes and the dust settles to reveal who is still left with the team.
- Brandon Workman (1-3, 4.13) has been recalled from Pawtucket to start tonight's game. He last pitched in the majors in a start against the Chicago White Sox on July 8 and has taken the loss in each of his last three starts. Jon Lester was originally scheduled to start tonight, but he was scratched due to the uncertainty of a potential trade deadline deal. If Lester somehow survives the deadline without being dealt, he'll pitch Sunday instead.
- The Boston Herald reports that the Red Sox are sending Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later, which won't be determined until after the Rule 5 draft in December. We probably shouldn't expect much in return, so this trade seems to be more about washing their hands of a disgruntled player. The trade also opens up a spot for Workman to join the roster for tonight's start. Doubront has always had great stuff, but has struggled to put it together consistently and publicly voiced his frustrations about being moved to the bullpen. He was lit up in his last outing, giving up 6 runs in less than an inning, while looking completely disinterested in being on the mound. He was 2-4 with a 6.04 ERA in 17 appearances (10 starts) this season.
- David Ortiz is out of the lineup tonight, with Mike Napoli getting the start at DH and Brock Holt at 1B. No, having Big Papi out of the lineup does not mean he might get traded, it's just a day of rest against a lefty starter. Ortiz does actually have good career numbers against Mark Buehrle (.316/.357/.667) but has struggled against him lately – 3 for 18 over the past two seasons.
- Jonny Gomes is in the lineup tonight against the left-handed starter. He has a .858 OPS against lefties this season and a .333/.410/.455 career slash line against Buehrle.
- Mark Buehrle (10-7, 3.19 ERA) gets the start for Toronto. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball in racing out to 10 wins by June 1, at which point he had a 2.10 ERA. That ERA has risen by over a full run since, as he's lost his last 6 decisions.
- The Blue Jays have been quiet on the trade front so far, despite battling for the AL East and Wild Card spots. Perhaps they are content with getting some injured players back to boost their lineup, but they could still use an upgrade at the back end of their rotation and a reliever to help their 26th ranked bullpen wouldn't hurt.
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Tags: Baseball, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Brandon Workman, David Ortiz, Felix Doubront, Jon Lester, MLB