Texas will also have a lefty on the mound tonight with C.J. Wilson getting the call. He is 12-5 on the year with a 3.20 Era. His last time out, he held the Angels to two runs in seven innings to notch his 12th win of the season. Wilson is 3-1 against the Red Sox with an era of 1.69.
Cleveland, which saw its season-best 7-game win streak snapped on Saturday, had six different relief pitchers go a single inning each after Germano (0-3) went the first two, giving up five runs on seven hits with two strike outs.
The American League has seen the likes of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee relocate to the national League. So Lester’s only competition should be Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia. Hernandez will be hard-pressed to win 13 games again like he did last year despite a 2.27 ERA. Seattle’s offense and bullpen is just that bad. The Yankees’ Sabathia, despite still being only 30 years old, has logged over 230 innings in his last four seasons and has, remarkably, thrown over 180 innings in each of his 10 seasons in the majors. Might this be the year he breaks down? The Yankees don’t even want to consider the possibility.
Jerry Blevins was even worse than Ziegler in that department: the lefty struck out his fair share of batters, but he gave up more hits than innings pitched. His 3.70 ERA still looks respectable, but Blevins was one of those players that every fan feared when he entered a tight spot.
Two huge holes remain in Boston’s lineup with David Ortiz listed as doubtful and Kevin Youkilis still on the DL with a sore back. None the less, the Red Sox continue to lead the Majors in hitting with a .278 team batting average and scoring with an average of 5.32 runs a game.
James Shields maintained the edge in an all-star caliber pitchers’ duel against lefty ace sale jerseys, but was pulled after 103 pitches. Shields (2.52 ERA) gave up two hits in eight innings, striking out nine and walking two. Sale (3.42 ERA) gave up one run on six hits in 7 1/3 innings, fanning five and walking none.
However, Owens didn’t show that ability to get on base in his 2007 stint in the majors (.324 OBP) and in 2008 in the minors (.346 OPB). Castillo’s OBPs in the minors: .371, .419, .411, .425, .403, .471. While it’s tough to expect anyone to match up to those gaudy numbers, the fact that Owens’ career OBP numbers in the minors (.365, .393, .333, .361, .348) struggle to come at least close to those numbers with consistency should have been a red flag for the organization.
Danks’ located his fastball with perfection, keeping it down in the zone and right on the corners of the strike zone. His cutter jammed Twins hitters all day, and his changeup and curveball kept them off-balance. Under the circumstances, it was the best outing of Danks’ career without a doubt.