Chicago Cubs (20-24) @ Boston Red Sox (24-21)
James Russell (1-4, 6.26) @ Tim Wakefield (0-1, 5.40)
8:05 PM EDT |Fenway Park (Boston, MA)
TV: ESPN RADIO: WEEI 850, WWZN 1510
Chicago: Marlon Byrd, multiple facial fractures(Placed on the 15 day DL May 22nd); Matt Garza, elbow stiffness (Day-to-day, scratched from today’s start); Randy Wells, forearm strain (Placed on the 15 day DL April 6th retroactive to April 5th); Andrew Cashner, strained rotator cuff (Placed on the 15 day April 6th)
Boston: Daisuke Matsuzaka, sprained elbow (Placed on the 15 day DL May 17th); John Lackey, strained elbow (Placed on the 15 day DL May 16th, retroactive May 12th) to Marco Scutaro, strained left oblique (Placed on the 15 day DL May 8th); Dan Wheeler, strained calf (Placed on the 15 day DL May 5th); Bobby Jenks, bicep soreness (Placed on 15 day DL May 5th, retroactive to May 2nd)
The Boston Red Sox were trying for eight straight wins on Saturday night. They had a lead going into the eighth inning. The bullpen gave up eight runs. And just like that a new streak was started, a one game losing streak. Francona took heat for not pitching Daniel Bard in the eighth, claiming that Bard had been over used as of late. It is only May, but in a division that looks like it will be decided by only a few games, it is losses like this that come back to haunt a team at the twilight of September. The Sox look to move on as they send Tim Wakefield to the mound in the rubber game of this three game set. Wakefield fills in for the injured John Lackey, who hit the disabled list with elbow maladies after a few poor starts. Wakefield was scheduled to pitch last Tuesday against Baltimore, but the game was rained out. This will be Wakefield’s third start of the season, the last came on May sixth against Minnesota. He allowed eight runs, six earned, in 4 1/3 innings, while picking up the loss. The Sox catch a little bit of a break thanks to Matt Garza’s elbow. Garza, a pitcher who has dominated them in the past, was scratched from tonight’s start due to elbow stiffness. In his place James Russell will start, but manager Mike Quade expects Russell to only go a few innings, counting on the rest of his bullpen to stitch together a victory. Russell has been atrocious in four starts this season, posting an 0-4 record and a 10.05 ERA. Marlon Byrd, who was hit in the face with an Alfredo Aceves fastball yesterday, is still under observation in a nearby hospital. Jarrod Saltalamacchia will shoulder the challenge of catching the knuckleball tonight. With a win tonight the Sox can sweep away any bad memories from the previous game, and come out victorious in their first interleague series this year.
- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
- Dustin Pedroia, 2B
- Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
- Kevin Youkilis, 3B
- David Ortiz, DH
- Jed Lowrie, SS
- Mike Cameron, RF
- Carl Crawford, LF
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
- Kosuke Fukudome, RF
- Darwin Barney, 2B
- Starlin Castro, SS
- Aramis Ramirez, 3B
- Carlos Pena, 1B
- Jeff Baker, LF
- Alfonso Soriano, DH
- Wellington Castillo, C
- Reed Johnson, CF
-Russell has given up 16 earned runs in only 23 innings this year, including six home runs.
-The Red Sox will miss the Cub’s most valuable player, Garza has a team high 2.3 WAR.
-Alfonso Soirano has 36 at bats against Wakefield. He’s hit: .306/.366/.694 with four home runs.
-Matt Albers came into the eighth inning last night with a 1.56 ERA. He left with a 4.15 mark.
-Kevin Youkilis has a .413 OBP, good for sixth in the league. Jose Bautista leads everyone with an incredible .509 mark.
-Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz are the only two players on the roster hitting over .276 against Garza.
-The Cubs have not won more than two straight all season.
-Tim Wakefield has five career starts against the Cubs. Only one has come after 1993.
Still looking for tickets to tonight’s game? Check out Coast to Coast Tickets for Boston Red Sox tickets all season.
Join us tonight for a live chat! We’ll discuss the game, and take any questions you have. We’ll start at eight, but feel free to stop by anytime.