Boston Red Sox (56-36) @ Tampa Bay Rays (50-42)
Josh Beckett (8-3, 2.27) @ Jeff Niemann (4-4, 4.53)
8:05 PM EDT | Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg, FL)
TV: ESPN RADIO: WEEI 850, WWZN 1510
Josh Beckett’s last start against the Rays was as dominant as we’ve ever seen him. A complete game, one-hit shutout, the hit being a swinging bunt down the third base line. And yet, no one in Boston was watching. On the same night, June 15, the Bruins played and won, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The stage is bigger this time, Sunday night prime time, with no other noteworthy sporting event in North America going on. Will Josh Beckett rise to the challenge and perform like last time? Probably not, but it’s fun to think about.
Boston: Josh Beckett, hyperextended knee (day-to-day, scheduled to start 7/17); Clay Buchholz, lower back strain (Placed on the 15-day DL on June 19, retroactive to June 17); Carl Crawford, strained left hamstring (Placed on the 15-day DL June 18, finished rehab, scheduled to join team 7/18); Bobby Jenk, strained back (placed on 15-day DL 7/16), Jon Lester, strained left latissimus (placed on the 15-day DL July 6); Jed Lowrie, right shoulder injury (Placed on the 15-day DL on June 17)
Tampa Bay: Wade Davis, strained right forearm (Placed on the 15-day DL July 7); John Jaso, strained right oblique (Placed on the 15-day DL July 10)
PLAYER OF THE DAY
On July 17, 1990 the Red Sox grounded into two triple plays against the Twins. By that stat alone you may think it was a depressing game for the Red Sox, but it wasn’t. The Red Sox won the game 1-0, behind the stellar pitching of Tom Bolton. He went 8+ innings with 5 hits, 4 walks, and 6 strikeouts. Bolton played 8 seasons in the majors, parts of 6 with the Red Sox. He came up in 1987 and appeared in 29 games out of the bullpen with a 4.38. He was mostly a reliever during his time with the Red Sox, appearing in 128 games but only 48 starts. He went on to pitch for the Reds, Orioles and Tigers before finishing his major-league career in 1994.
Line-ups will be posted in the comments when they are available, feel free to add them if they aren’t there.