The Tigers continue their East Coast road trip with a 3-game sweep of Baltimore under their belts, and an 8-game road win streak, their longest since 1984 (good luck catching that one: 17).
Going into Fenway comes with its perks, and the Tigers will be showing on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, which is a treat for those of us who normally watch the games via laptop. On the downside, the series is being inevitably plugged as a rematch of that ALCS some of us would like to forget, and the promos all feature that Ortiz blast that makes us feel whatever the opposite of warm and fuzzy is.
Here is the series schedule; Anibal Sanchez is scheduled to make his comeback on Sunday night.
Friday May 16 7:10 Max Scherzer vs John Lester (L)
Saturday May 17 7:10 Rick Porcello vs John Lackey
Sunday May 18 8:00 Anibal Sanchez vs Jake Peavy
Boston, at .500, might not look like quite the same team that handled Detroit in the ALCS (although it is worth noting that Boston was only 23-17 at this point last season). The Red Sox are also only 10-11 at Fenway, and 3-3 against the AL Central, having just lost 2-of-3 to the Twins. One difference so far for Boston has been less offense. Last year’s league leader in team OPS (.795) is currently 7th at .721. Perhaps they are missing Jacoby Ellsbury more than anticipated.
Tonight Max Scherzer (5-1, 2.04) takes on lefty Jon Lester (4-4, 2.75). Before the Tigers get too excited about getting a rare shot against a lefty, they might want to check out Lester’s 2014 splits: right hand batters are only hitting him for .220 this season (.617 OPS).
One guy who is probably looking forward to facing Lester is Miguel Cabrera, who is hitting over .500 against him (10-for-19). On the other side, Boston’s big man is certainly not phased by Max: 7-for-15, with 3 HRs. This game may hinge on the battle of the big men.
Game time weather forecast: 64 with 30% chance of rain. At the moment (4:15) rain is 100% likely at the park.
In other news, Putty Time is on hold. Luke Putkonen’s rehab assignment has been halted, and he and his elbow are off to see Dr. James Andrews. Could Putkonen by joining this season’s Tommy Johnapalooza?
Tonight’s Green Monster-Bashing Lineup:
OK, so there wasn’t much bashing going on last night. When Torii Hunter drove in a run with a clutch 2-out single in the first, it looked like the game was off to a good start, but in fact the scoring was all done for the day. Max was great (as was Lester), the bullpen held–again–and here we are with a 4-game winning streak and a 6 1/2 game lead.