The Red Sox toughest road trip of the season begins tonight in Anaheim with a three-game series against the Angels, followed by four games in Seattle and three against the first place A's in Oakland.
Red Sox Lifer's, we are looking at some late night games for awhile. What was it that Warren Zevon sang?
The first place Red Sox, owners of the best record in the American League, are 22-18 on the road this season. They will be road tested heading into the All-Star break. According to Baseball Reference, since 2003 the Red Sox are 63-80 against West Coast teams. Last season the Red Sox lost seven games in a row on the road to the Angels, Mariners and A's. It was the first time Boston had dropped the first seven games of a road trip since 1960.
"This will be another good test for us,” manager John Farrell said Thursday. “I think it’s important to have that momentum going into the break. You never want to go into a stretch where you start to slide back from the confidence that has been built or the wins we’ve been able to amass.”
The Los Angeles Angels have been disappointing this year. They are currently three games under .500, but have won eight of their last ten.
Farrell said, “We’re going to be challenged. Obviously the Angels are playing better now than when they were in town last. This will be a tough trip.”
The Red Sox took two of three from the Angels at Fenway Park back in June with Ryan Dempster and Clay Buchholz getting wins. It was also the last game Buchholz pitched in. The Red Sox don't expect him back until after the All-Star break
The Seattle Mariners must be thankful that the Houston Astros joined the AL West this season or else it would be the Mariners in last place. Seattle is 37-48, 12 1/2 games back. The Sox are 191-139 all-time against the Mariners.
In Oakland, the Athletics lead the Texas Rangers by a half game. Oakland has been particularly good at home this season. The A's are 28-14 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Red Sox did take two of three from the A's back in April.
Here are the pitching matchups to start the road trip:
Friday:Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.22) vs. C.J. Wilson (8-5, 3.63) Saturday:Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.11) vs. TBD Sunday:John Lackey (6-5, 2.81) vs. Jered Weaver (2-4, 3.79)
Are the Red Sox true contenders or just playoff pretenders? John Farrell knows the ten-game road trip will go a long ways to proving either side, "Talk is one thing. Going out and doing it is the most important. We really haven’t done anything yet.”