Friday, May 23, 2008

Red Sox 2008 Game 51 Preview

Bos@ Oak
T. Wakefield3-2, 4.33R. Harden2-0, 2.91
Red Sox31 - 19Athletics25 - 23
Friday, May 23                   ✠ 10:05 PM ET

American League
EastWLGBL 101 R W1 R LX WX L
Tampa Bay27202.56-4672621
New York22257.54-6652126

ESPN.Com Preview .
Yahoo's Preview .
ESPN.Com after the game Recap.
MLB.Com Press Pass
From MLB.Com Scouting Report

Red Sox: After getting shelled at Minnesota, Wakefield made a nice recovery in his last start, surrendering six hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings. Wakefield left in position to get the win, but the bullpen couldn't hang on, so he was left with a no-decision. In four May starts, Wakefield is 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA. Lifetime against Oakland, he is 9-5 with a 4.03 ERA. At McAfee Colisuem, Wakefield is 5-3 with a 5.47 ERA in 15 starts.

Athletics: Harden baffled Atlanta on Saturday night, Braves manager Bobby Cox said Harden was "as good as advertised." Tim Hudson, who was teammates with Harden in Oakland, said his team saw firsthand how devastating Harden's stuff can be. Harden allowed one run on four hits in seven strong innings for the A's, who snapped a season-high four-game losing streak. Making just his second start since returning from the disabled list, Harden struck out eight and walked one. He is showing no ill effects from the strained right shoulder that landed him on the DL.

As usual all statistics were found at the day by day database at Baseball Musings and this year at Baseball Reference.

Red Sox Batting History vs Harden
J. Ellsbury------------------------------------
D. Pedroia61000002.
D. Ortiz85102432.625.7271.5002.227
M. Ramirez83003534.375.5451.5002.045
M. Lowell51000000.
K. Youkilis40000021.000.333.000.333
J. D. Drew21000000.500.500.5001.000
K. Cash20000001.000.333.000.333
J. Lugo133100036.231.375.308.683

48 at bats is about a game and 1/2. Still 1.079 OPS is pretty good. Of course the main batterers are the usual duo of Ortiz and Manny, and so far this year when one is hot the other is not, but maybe, this matchup will get the juices flowing in both of them.

Pitching Comparisions Career

Wakefield 24950174 1/31587824641204.031.276.38
Harden 411018 2/31816520247.712.044.67

Wakefield has a solid record vs the A's in his career. With all of the decisions being as a starter (made 11 relief appearances). The only worry would be his ERA which is a so so 4.29.

Harden has not been great against the Sox in Fenway, but at home he is lights out. Both of his home starts are this year and his .82 ERA is, needlessly to say, quite good. So is his 12.273 K's per 9 IP. The good news is that he only won the one game this year, his first start and the Sox won his second start (a no decision) against him. A tough pitcher but they do have some success against him in the past.

Pitching Comparisions this year

Wakefield 9320545026726324.331.4016
Harden 420021 2/3197112282.911.4315.42

Except for ERA I really think Tim has done a better pitching job this year. Remember, that 6.0 IP/GS includes a game that he only lasted 2 2/3 innings. If Wakefield can just keep the score close, the bats should chase Harden and then it is the bullpen time.

I expect the Sox to make it 8 straight tonight.

♊ - When all else fails, get a bigger hammer!

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