Series Preview: Redsox at Indians. May 23, 24, and 25.

Last Series Played:

The Red Sox recently won two games out of three from the Chicago Cubs and Fenway Park. They are 8-2 in their last ten games.

5/20  Red Sox 15   WP John Lester     5/21   Red Sox 3   LP Matt Albers     5/22   Red Sox 5   WP Tim Wakefield

         Cubs       5                                         Cubs      9                                       Cubs      1

 

Injuries:

  • RHP Josh Beckett (neck tightness) left the May 19 game, but the ailment was considered minor. He will make his start on Tuesday.

  • RHP Dan Wheeler (strained left calf) went on the 15-day disabled list May 5. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Pawtucket on May 12, and he was activated May 20. We’ll keep an eye on it.

  • RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (right elbow sprain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 17. He hopes to resume throwing in early June, but that might be unlikely. It’s possible he might not return until after the All-Star break. Dice-K’s trip to the DL isn’t surprising given the reports of elbow tightness from a couple of starts ago, as well as his extensive injury history. The fact that his command and velocity have been off recently—even more than usual—sealed the deal for Boston, who decided to have him checked out and put on the shelf. Matsuzaka has had forearm and shoulder problems in the past, and if the MRI results reveal something major that requires surgery, this may be the beginning of the end for him in Boston. The 2011 season may have been his last chance before Boston could find another starter or promote one from within, and missing a chunk of the season would cut into the persuasiveness of the arguments in favor of retaining him.

  • RHP John Lackey (right elbow strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 12. Lackey has been playing catch after receiving a cortisone injection May 16. Lackey’s appearance on the DL for his own elbow issue isn’t surprising either, based on his performance. His velocity has declined over the course of his starts recently, which is an oddity for a veteran pitcher, unless there is another underlying injury. Lackey had elbow issues and arm troubles in 2008 and 2009, so the Red Sox stuck a clause in his contract that allows them to retain him in 2015, after his contract is supposed to have ended, for the league minimum if his elbow causes him to miss significant time. There is no word yet that his elbow injury is that serious or related to his old injury—there are also whispers in the Boston media that this is a DL stint meant to help Lackey clear his head as much as recover from an injury—so that clause may not come into play anytime soon, but remember that it’s there to help the Sox recoup some of the value of the contract if Lackey can’t take the ball. Then again, given the way things are going, 2015-era Lackey might not be worth rostering at any price.

  • SS Marco Scutaro (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list May 8. He was targeting May 23 to resume swinging a bat.

  • RHP Bobby Jenks (strained right biceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 2. He played catch for the first time May 17. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session May 23 while in Cleveland.

  • RHP Junichi Tazawa (Tommy John surgery in April 2010) went on the 60-day disabled list March 26. The timetable for his return was unknown.

Recent Transactions:

  • 5/20 LF Daniel Nava was designated for assignment.
  • 5/20 SS/2B Drew Sutton’s minor league contract was purchased by the Red Sox.
  • 5/20 SS Jose Iglesias was sent to AAA Pawtucket.
  • 5/20 RHP Michael Bowden was sent to AAA Pawtucket.
  • 5/19 RHP Kevin Millwood was signed to a minor league contract. Oh well :( 

Tribe Killers:

David Ortiz:

                       G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVE OBP SLG OPS
Last game vs. CLE 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 .000 .250 .000 .250
Career vs. CLE 99 357 53 94 19 0 17 60 35 90 1 0 .263 .332 .459 .791
Away (this year) 19 72 11 22 3 0 5 8 8 10 0 0 .306 .375 .556 .931
Grass (this year) 42 155 20 45 8 1 7 20 20 20 0 0 .290 .369 .490 .860
Career vs Masterson 6 1 0 0 1 1 0 3 0 0 .167 .167 .667

.833

Dustin Pedria:

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Last game vs. CLE 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Career vs. CLE 29 109 16 31 6 0 2 15 15 11 2 0 .284 .372 .395 .767
Away (this year) 20 74 8 18 0 0 0 2 14 16 6 2 .243 .367 .243 .610
Grass (this year) 43 168 24 41 6 0 2 10 29 32 8 1 .244 .357 .315 .672
Career vs Masterson
4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

.000

John Lester:

G GS W L SV BS HLD CG SHO IP H R ER BB K ERA WHIP BAA
Last game vs. CLE 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7.0 3 0 0 0 3 9 0.00 0.86 .130
Career vs. CLE 9 9 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 52.2 48 25 23 5 20 51 3.93 1.29 .250
Away (this year) 6 6 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 37.2 29 16 16 8 18 34 3.82 1.25 .212
Grass (this year) 9 9 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 58.1 53 21 21 7 21 58 3.24 1.27 .244

Pitching Matchups:

5/23  Justin Masterson vs. Clay Buchholz

5/24 Fausto Carmona  vs. Josh Beckett

5/25 Mitch Talbot        vs. Jon Lester

This series could not showcase better pitching matchups. Well, maybe if CC and Cliff still threw for Tribe.

Tidbits:

- 3B Kevin Youkilis became the Red Sox’s all-time hit-by-pitch leader in the fifth inning Saturday night when he got plunked by a Carlos Zambrano fastball. It marked the 72nd time in his career that Youkilis had been hit by a pitch, moving him past Mo Vaughn for the club record.

- Five… the number of players with at least 300 home runs for the Red Sox. On Saturday night, David Ortiz joined a club that includes Ted Williams (521), Carl Yastrzemski (452), Jim Rice (382) and Dwight Evans (379).

- Tim Wakefield made a spot start for the Red Sox on Sunday night and earned his 194th career victory. He reentered the rotation last week when RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka went on the disabled list with a sprained elbow ligament. With performances like this, he may remain in the rotation for a while. Wakefield also notched his 180th win with the Red Sox, trailing only Cy Young and Roger Clemens (192 wins apiece) for the club record.

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