Monday, June 30, 2008

Red Sox 2008 Game 85 Preview

Bos@ Tb
J. Masterson4-1, 3.43J. Shields5-5, 3.76
Red Sox50-34Rays49-32
Monday, June 30      Tropicana Field  ✠ 7:10 p.m. ET
American League
EastWLGBL 101 R W1 R LX WX L
Tampa Bay4932-7-314104635
New York44385.55-51494339

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

Red Sox: Masterson earned his second career win against Tampa Bay on June 3, a 7-4 decision at Fenway Park. It wasn't his most dominant performance, allowing four runs on six hits during six innings of work. But it did set the tone for the three-game set as the Red Sox swept the Rays to regain first place in the AL East. Masterson's last start was very similar to that game against the Rays; he allowed four runs on seven hits against Arizona on Tuesday.

Rays: Shields is coming off a resounding victory over the Marlins on Wednesday night in which the right-hander broke a seven-game dry spell to notch the win. He tossed seven innings of four-hit ball, allowing only a solo home run to Mike Jacobs in the sixth inning. Shields will face a new rival in the Red Sox, as the right-hander was one of five Rays suspended in June 5's on-field melee at Fenway Park. Monday's game will be the 27-year-old's fourth appearance against the Red Sox this year. Shields has beaten Boston once this season, in April 27's game at Tropicana Field, but sports an impressive 1.99 ERA in home starts.

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

Red Sox Batting History vs Shields

J. Ellsbury71000012.
D. Pedroia74100100.571.625.7141.339
J. D. Drew124200101.333.333.500.833
M. Ramirez114000002.364.417.364.780
M. Lowell103000002.300.300.300.600
K. Youkilis140000025.
J. Varitek81000104.
B. Moss------------------------------------
J. Lugo104200213.400.455.6001.055

Right now Jason Varitek, aka "the Captain" is stinking up the place at the plate. Tonight would be a good night for Tek to sit. Give him a couple of days off in a row, and maybe, just maybe, he will be ready for New York.

I would also sit Youkilis, though he has been swinging the bat well lately, Shields owns him. Give him a night off also and let Casey swing the bat tonight. Of course, Terry will ignore my advice so, confidence level of them winning tonight 20%.

Pitching Comparisions Career


Masterson has been, well, masterful in most of his games this year. His one appearance versus the Rays being one of his worst starts. Look for him to come out firing tonight though and I expect that slider of his to be working down and away to the left handed hitters.

Shields has beaten the Sox once this year. That is his only win ever against the Sox. With that ERA I can see why. Look for a patient Sox team to take him deep tonight and I fully expect him to be knocked out by the sixth inning. The question is can the bull pen for the Sox hold off the Rays.

Pitching Comparisions this year


Pretty evenly matched between these two pitchers. Still I think I'm going to give a slight edge here to Masterson.

Inside Edge

Type (%'s)All1st PEarly2 SAheadBehindRHB LHBOp. BA (avg)
Change Ups2812195443222334.179

Shields has been tough to beat, but if you can get into the Fastball counts you can beat him. The Sox will need to be patient against this guy.

♊ - Well, let's hope we get some funny hats too.

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