Game 161: Red Sox at Orioles - A different kind of September 28

Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

One more win will give the Boston Red Sox the best record in not only the American League, but also in all of Major League Baseball.

It’s more important for the AL portion of that so the Sox would clinch home-field advantage throughout the 2013 Postseason. But it is nice to know a team that lost 93 games a season ago could finish the regular season as the best in the big leagues.

In Baltimore, Jon Lester is nearly unbeatable. He will make his final regular season start tonight in hopes of being given the nod in Game 1 of the ALDS his next start. Lester simply has been awesome since the All-Star Break. His ERA has lowered each month since July. In July, it was a solid 3.13, followed by a 2.97 ERA in August. Through four starts in September, it’s a minute 1.80. Lester is 15-8 with a 3.67 ERA for the year and has won five of his last seven starts (5-1 in that span with 10 ER total).

Here is the lineup for the Red Sox (97-63) tonight (first pitch – 7:05 pm EDT):

1. Victorino, CF
2. Drew, SS
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Napoli, DH
5. Gomes, F
6. Nava, RF
7. Snyder, 1B
8. Ross, C
9. Middlebrooks, 3B

Lester, P

The Orioles (83-77) will send Wei-Yin Chen to the bump. Chen is 7-7 with a 4.03 ERA and gave up three earned runs on 11 hits in 5.2 innings two starts ago against the Red Sox. Chen received a no-decision in the game, but the O’s won in extras, 5-3.

Wild Wild Card Race
Texas sits one game back of Tampa Bay and Cleveland going into today. There is a scenario where all three teams would tie for the two Wild Card spots, creating a chaotic playoff for the postseason. The three teams would play a round robin format to figure out which two teams advance. One potential scenario is Tampa Bay playing in Toronto Sunday to close out the regular season then traveling to Cleveland for a game Monday, Texas for a game Tuesday and potentially back home Wednesday. If the Rays are the team to advance to the ALDS, they would travel Thursday to Boston and play the Sox Friday.

This affects the Red Sox in multiple ways. 1) Boston wouldn’t know its opponent until potentially Wednesday night. 2) The Sox would have five days off between their final regular season game Sunday and their first playoff game Friday. 3) The winning Wild Card team would have exhausted its pitching staff during the course of the week, giving the Sox a slight advantage. However, 4) Boston would have had a lot of time off and could be rusty to start the postseason.

Just keep an eye on it all and we will keep you updated here at Red Sox Life.

Two Years Later
September 28, 2011 was one of the wildest nights in baseball. Most of us in Red Sox Nation have forgotten that memory. Now it is two years later and the Red Sox are on their third manager since that night and on the verge of clinching home-field advantage. Instead of fighting for their playoff lives and going through an offseason of turmoil, this team is out to prove it is the best in baseball and bring home a trophy and set off a ticker-tape parade through the streets of Boston.

Let us know what you think about tonight’s game by commenting below.

Like what you read? See more from Ben here.
Have a question or comment for Ben? Give him a shout on Twitter: @thebenwhitehead
Home item


Red Sox schedule
Powered by Blogger.