Saturday, April 12, 2008

Heidi Game Revisited

Game time today clocked in at 2 hours and 49 minutes. I'm speculating that this was probably one of the shorter Sox-Yankees games in recent history. Add in the 2 hours and 11 minute rain delay, and now you have your typical game time. Watching the weather maps, listening to McCarver and Buck, waiting..... I went outside to work on the garden, but remained within earshot of the tube. Pap warms up once, twice. I'm thinking no way A-Rod will go yard as he did on Pap last year (thanks for all the reminders, Fox.) Finally the game is being resumed! I knew that NASCAR was on it's way after the game (or so I thought), but Fox cut off the game and went with the race! Whiskey, tango....? The game was over before you knew it, but only after switching to FSN for the last dozen or so pitches. Fox could have at least waited until the end of top half of the ninth before shooing us all off to another station.

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Papi's Kind of Sloppy

Ortiz went 0-4 again, he is now 3 for 43 on the season. Body Language tells it all when you watch Big Papi go back to the dugout after getting out; the smiles are gone, he looks lost. The slump has now become much more than just a slow start. How long before Tito gives him a day off or moves him down in the order? I do not doubt that he will be fine but it is difficult to look at Ortiz and not see a player having fun.

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Tarp is On the Field In the 8th

The Red Sox lead 4-3 with 2 outs in the top of the 8th. A-Rod is up and Papelbon had just been called in before the game was halted. Based on the radar below it should get back underway quickly.

Update: the tarp is coming off the field.

Update 2: the tarp is back on before a pitch, Papelbon has had to warm up twice. We'll see if it has any adverse effects or if he enters the game at all.

Update 3: The tarp is off, the game is on FX (channel 36 on Comcast Bay Area) now due to the NACAR race on Fox

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Game 2 Underway

The skies have cleared and Beckett is on the mound.

Now if we could find a way to shut up Buck and McCarver, the most annoying announcers in baseball.

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More On The Yankee Stadium Curse

As you heard yesterday a construction worker building the new Yankee Stadium buried a Red Sox shirt in the concrete to curse the Yankees. Here is what he told the NY Post:

"As I stuck it in, I said, 'The Yankees are done for the next 30 years.' I only put a 30-year curse because I'm 46 and in 30 years I'll be dead, and I won't care if the Yankees win then."

It was a #34 David Ortiz jersey that was placed in the concrete because according to the worker:

"The reason why is George Steinbrenner told [Yankees GM Brian] Cashman to get Ortiz and Cashman told him, we don't need him, We have [Jason] Giambi and Nick Johnson."

The Yankees have already released a statement saying there is no shirt in the concrete. The only problem is pictures came out today in the Post. This is the funniest thing to happen to the Yankees in a long time. They are now talking about digging up the concrete but the worker has not disclosed the exact location. Ha ha.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

When Are They Gonna Start Hitting?

It's not like Chen-Ming Wang is a Cy Young award winner or anything, but the Sox sure made him look like one tonight. Wang had a no-hitter going in the fifth.

J.D. Drew hit a home run in the 5th, and continues to be one of the only Sox players with a hot bat. Ortiz went 0-3 causing Jerry Remy to note that this is the longest Big Papi slump that he can remember. Just about everybody else was hitless too, except for Coco, who managed one hit in the game. What's going on here? Drew is hitting .429 while Otiz is hitting just .077??!! Coco is hitting .296 while Manny is hitting .256??!!

The poor offensive showing overshadowed what was a good night for Clay Buchholz. He went 6 innings with only one earned run.

J.D. Drew deserves his props. He is off to a great start. It's time for the rest of the Sox hitters to recognize that it's April, not March, and that it's Wang on the mound, not Johan Santana. It's the Evil Empire in town Sox fans. It's time to get the get the offense going.

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Rays' Reyes Tased

Tampa Bay pitcher Joes Reyes became the most famous person to get tased by police since the "don't tase me bro" guy.

Following what must have been some good cocktails, Reyes fell down and then picked a fight with a guy and spit blood on patrons. Reyes was apparently celebrating his 38th birthday.

Reyes later explained and apologized, "I tried to have a good time on my birthday but I guess that was the worst one. I just want to apologize again to my teammates, the organization, the owner and the fans for what happened last night.''

I turn 38 in September. I may try the Jose Reyes party approach. How bad can it be to get tased? Do you really feel it after that much booze?

By the way, Reyes pitched tonight and got the final two outs in the eighth inning for the Rays. Try that with a raging hangover.

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Tonight's Lineup

Here's the Sox lineup for tonight but the tarp is on the field.
Update: Game On!!!

Crisp 8
Pedroia 4
Ortiz DH
Ramirez 7
Youkilis 5
Drew 9
Varitek 2
Casey 3
Lugo 6

Buchholz SP

current radar

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Fenway Flyover Pilot Grounded

One of the F-16 pilots who conducted the opening day flyover at Fenway Park on Tuesday has been grounded by the Vermont Air National Guard.

The pilot did an "unusual maneuver" and has been grounded for "remedial training."

Check out the stunt here...

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Hey, That's Enrico Palazzo!

It looks like world famous tenor Placido Domingo will be singing God Bless America at Fenway during the 7th Inning Stretch in tonight's Sox-Yankees game.

I'll beat everybody to the punch and say what thousands of Sox fans in Fenway will surely say,...."Hey, that's Enrico Pallazo!"


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Its A Little Too Quiet For Red Sox-Yankees

The Yankees come to Fenway today for the most unhyped meeting of the two in recent memory. Traditional media is saying the rivalry has "cooled" and the fans take it more seriously than the players. Every time I hear that I know that things are about to heat up. Last time they were saying that the days of the Muson-Fisk fights were long gone we saw Tek go after A-Rod and Trot and Kapler rolling on the ground and punching Yankee players.

When the two teams met for the only time this spring Jeter got hit by a pitch and Pettitte threw in on Big Papi causing a stare-down. The Joba/Youk incident from last season has not been resolved. The Yankees have a new manager that likes to retaliate and with Buchholz on the mound we are very likely to see a hit batter. Do not be surprised if the "dormant" rivalry heats up in Boston during this three game series. The Yankees are banged up and need a spark; getting into a mix up with the Sox might be the spark they are looking for.

Rivalry related news: Jeter said the following about Fenway Park, "They need a new stadium, It's a great stadium, but it's an old stadium. In terms of accommodations like the visiting clubhouse, I'm sure they would love a new stadium." Note to Jeter, do you really think the Sox would build a new stadium so visiting teams could have a better clubhouse? Have you been talking with Hank too much?

A Sox fan construction worker buried a Red Sox shirt in cement during construction of the new Yankee stadium to put a hex on the team.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sox Find The Missing Bats...Except Big Papi's

The Mayor got the offense going tonight while replacing Mike Lowell with 3 RBI's. The Sox all seemed to get in the offensive groove scoring 12 runs. J.D. Drew went 3-3 and is now batting .440, that is not a typo, he is really batting .440. Everyone had a hit but Ortiz(0-4 GIDP and 2 K's 2BB's) the slump continues, he is now batting .083.

Wakefield pitched well only giving up 1 earned run in 5 innings. He did pitch himself into a bases loaded jam with a hit batter and a couple of walks but got out of it. Wake had 5 K's on the night. Tavarez joined the "I want to blow the game" middle relief club for the Red Sox by giving up 3 earned runs in the 8th to put the game back in reach for the Tigers. Papelbon had to come in and get the last out of the inning. He struck out Cabrera in the 9th before he gave up a double to Guillen. He K'd Renteria, and gave up a single to Pudge before getting Thames to ground out to end the game.

Sox win 12-6 and series 2 games to 1.

Next up: Buchholz against the NY Yankees 7 pm.

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Mike Lowell Goes On 15 Day DL

Mike Lowell is headed to the 15 day DL This is the worst case scenario for Lowell and the Red Sox. It was originally believed that Lowell would be day to day and miss at most 3 games, with the choosing of the 15 day DL we know that the injury is much more serious. Jed Lowrie has been called up from Pawtucket to back up Youk at third. Lowrie hit well in spring training but has only hit .160 in 8 games with the PawSox this season. Casey will play first while Lowell is out and we may see Papi in there at times to keep his glove fresh with Coco or Ellsbury DHing

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Alex Cora May Now Be Hurt Too

Extra Bases is reporting that Alex Cora felt a "twinge" while fielding some grounders at 3rd today. Cora would give Youk the occasional break at third while Lowell is out. If Cora goes on the DL the Sox may call up another utility infielder. Ortiz can play 1st when needed but there are no other players to put at the hot corner if Youk gets hurt or ejected.

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Tonight's Lineup 4/10 vs. Detroit

Julio Lugo, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Coco Crisp, CF
Sean Casey, 1B
Kevin Cash, C
P -- Tim Wakefield

The platoon continues...Coco tonight

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Injury Update

Mike Lowell- The thumb injury is not season ending but could force Lowell to go on the DL. Lowell thought he felt his hand separate when he rolled on it. The Red Sox have to make a roster move when the activate Timlin and Corey is the likely candidate but if Lowell is not greatly improved today he may be the choice. It looks like he will be out about a week.

Mike Timlin - he pitched well for Pawtucket last night going 1 inning and getting three ground outs. He will be activated from the DL tomorrow forcing Brian Corey or possibly Lopez down.

Bartolo Colon- is said to be improving (oblique strain) but was told not to resume throwing for 2 days. He is doing other activities to get into playing shape.(hopefully not lifting cheeseburgers) From the sound of it Colon will not be up with the Sox before May.

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What's Wrong With Ortiz at the Plate?

Something is not right with David Ortiz at the plate. His early numbers confirm that he is struggling. He's 3-26 so far this season. For those of you scoring at home, that's a .115 average.

If you caught the game on NESN last night, you saw a slow-mo replay of his swing and his stance during the past few games. Big Papi tried a little wider stance (not the Sen. Larry Craig kind) to make sure he wasn't getting under the ball as much. It didn't help much yesterday, but he did seem to look at least a little more comfortable at the plate.

Ortiz had off-season knee surgery. It always takes a while to come back from surgery, but he seemed like he was fully recovered coming in to Spring Training. It looks like it's going to take a little longer for Ortiz to get back in a groove. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but with the Sox injuries and early season pitching woes, the team needs to put up some big offensive numbers for insurance to get them through the middle relief period.

Big Papi is such a good hitter that we should all be confident that he will work his way out of this slide in the short term.

Sports Writer Steven Krasner also gets into Ortiz's early season struggle at the plate in today's ProJo.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sox Give Tigers Their First Win

The Red Sox had a rally in the second tonight to take a 2-0 lead but those were the only runs they could score. The Sox had their chances but left runners on base in almost every inning including bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th. Lester started off fine for 3 innings but he ran into trouble in the 4th when Edgar Renteria hit a 2 run double. The Tigers scored twice more on a home run by Thames and there was no looking back. Boston's bullpen looked bad again with Corey giving up 2 earned runs and Lopez giving up a long ball.

The top third of the order (Pedroia, Youk, Ortiz) was awful tonight going 0-12 and leaving 11 runners on base. Ortiz is now batting .091. Youk and Lugo were both caught stealing making the Sox 1-4 in stolen base attempts this season. The few bright spots were Casey, Lugo, and Manny each having 2 hits.

Sox lose 7-2. Box Score

Next up: Wakefield against the Tigers for the rubber match 7 pm.

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Lowell Leaves Game with Thumb Injury

The bad news: Lowell had to leave tonight game against the Tigers after spraining his thumb.

The good news: X-Rays were negative and he is currently considered day-to-day.

Update 1: The North Andover Eagle Tribune has more on Lowell's injury:

"I went into a little half-dive and rolled over my thumb," Lowell said. "I felt my hand separate and it hurt right away. I wanted to see if I could play through it and let adrenaline take over, but it was really bothering me. I can't really move it."

"For him to leave the game, you know he's hurting," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "We put him in a splint to try to calm it down. I think the best thing we can do is see how he shows up tomorrow and how he feels. We all know a lot depends on tomorrow."

Lowell said, "I would not want to go on the (disabled list) so I'm hoping for the best."

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Lugo Makes All 3 Outs In the 4th

Julio Lugo came up in the 4th with no outs and runners on 1st and second. He hit a grounder to 3rd that was nearly turned into a triple play but he beat out the throw. He tried to steal second later in the inning and was caught for the third out. This is not going to get him much love from the Nation.

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Tonight's Lineup

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Mike Lowell, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Julio Lugo, SS

Jon Lester SP

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We Didn't Mean a Whole Concert Neil

Yesterday Neil Diamond announced he would hold a concert at Fenway during a broadcast of him singing "Sweet Caroline" with Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and Wally the Green Monster. The plan for Neil coming to Fenway for a full concert went over, well.... flat to Red Sox Nation. I do not think the organizers of the concert realize that while fans like to sing along with "Sweet Caroline" after a few beers at a baseball game it does not translate into wanting to see a whole set of cheesy Neil Diamond songs live. The concert announcement caught NESN broadcasters Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy off guard, they even said "what if nobody shows up?" I am sure that the Red Sox ownership are involved in the promotion so we will have to endure endless concert promotion commercials during Sox games until August. Bruce Springsteen, the Stones and Jimmy Buffett can fill up Fenway with Sox fans but I don't think they are going to need the new seats...or even the grandstand seats for the number of people willing to shell out some cash to see a glittered up old man sing Cherry, Cherry.

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New York Media Rips Damon

When you look at the players the Red Sox let go or traded in the last few year you have to say the team made some very good choices. Nomar and Pedro cannot put a season together without getting injured and when they are in the lineup their performance is a shell of what it once was. Johnny Damon can now be put in the same catagory. The New York sports website SNY.tv wrote the following about Damon today:

"Johnny Damon continues to hit weak flies to right field like he's swinging a Wiffle ball bat....
You don't want to overreact to the early season. That's a natural tendency given how long we wait for games that once again count. But thinking the glass is half empty with Damon is not an unreasonable position at the moment, I'm afraid. It doesn't help matters that he should be a designated hitter given the embarrassing condition of his throwing arm, which literally is Little League-caliber."

The days of Sox fans wishing for the idiot back in center are long gone; we now have 2 centerfielders who are better than Damon. Hey, maybe the Yanks want to trade for Coco?

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Is Buckner Forgiven?

It's been 21 years since the ball went through Bill Buckner's legs. That one moment erased everything else he did in his baseball career. There was no forgiving Bill Buckner for years and years by Red Sox fans.


It seems times have changed. A new Survey USA poll was released that says that 82% of respondents think Buckner should be forgiven. The survey was taken in the Boston and Manchester, NH areas.

I guess I am willing to forgive Bill Buckner. But, and I bet a lot of you feel this same way, if the Sox had not won two World Series Championships in recent years, and we were still hearing chants of "1918," we wouldn't be so forgiving of Bill Buckner. And he sure as hell (no pun intended) wouldn't be throwing out any opening day pitches.

Just so you know, Buckner forgives you too, for hating him from 1986-2004. After yesterday's game he said, ""I really had to forgive, not the fans of Boston, per se, but I would have to say in my heart I had to forgive the media for what they put me and my family through. So, you know, I've done that and I'm over that."

It's a new winning century in Red Sox nation, and we are all in a forgiving mood.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The $192,109 Golden Sombrero

The New York Yankees paid Alex Rodriguez $192,109 to strike out 4 times against Kansas City pitching today.

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Sox Win Home Opener 5-0

The Boston Red Sox righted the ship today behind another strong start from Dice-K. In his 3rd "opening day" Matsuzaka pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings striking out 7. Francona was not afraid to call on Manny Delcarmen who followed Dice-K with going 1 1/3 scoreless with 2 K's. Okajima finished off the Tigers and preserved the shutout. The Red Sox were productive at the plate scoring 5 runs. All of the starters had a hit except Ortiz and Lowell who each drew 2 walks. Youk was 3-3 and is now batting .400 (watch out Teddy Ballgame). Overall a great homecoming for the team and Red Sox Nation. On a side note the Detroit Tigers are now 0-7 with a payroll higher than Boston's.

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Bill Buckner Throws Out the First Pitch

Bill Buckner took the mound with tears in his eyes as the Fenway crowd cheered him on. Buckner's pitch curved over the plate for a strike. The Red Sox held an emotional ceremony before the start of the home opener in which Big Papi helped Johnny Pesky raise the World Series Pennant in center-field. Watch the videos below.

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Schedule of Events and Lineup

1:00 pm:

  • A parade of flags from countries related to the Red Sox; from home countries of players to places fan letters came from.
  • players will receive their rings
  • a banner will be unfurled on the Green Monster
  • the World Series pennant will be raised on the center-field flag pole
  • an undisclosed person will throw out the first pitch
  • Former players expected to participate include Royce Clayton and Doug Mirabelli.

Approximately 2 p.m. — National Anthem performed by the Boston Pops.

2:05 p.m. — First pitch.

Here is the Sox lineup for the home opener:

Pedroia 2b
Youkilis 1b
Ortiz dh
Ramirez lf
Lowell 3b
Drew rf
Varitek c
Crisp cf
Lugo ss

Matsuzaka p

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New Rings Arrive At Fenway

The 2007 World Series Rings arrived at Fenway this morning in preparation for the ring ceremony.



Boston Globe Photo

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Sox Fans Line Up for Tickets to the Home Opener

Take a look at Sox fans at Fenway from WBZTV.

video

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Its Bobby Doerr Day in Oregon

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski proclaimed April 7 as Bobby Doerr Day in honor of Doerr's 90th Birthday. Doerr represented the Red Sox in 8 straight All-Star games and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

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Coco Will Start On Tuesday

Even though it was Jacoby Ellsbury who helped the Red Sox more in the postseason last year it will be Coco Crisp who will be starting in center after the ring ceremony on Tuesday. Boston will be facing a lefty starting pitcher for the first time this season and Crisp matches up better against left handed pitchers. If Coco can not get something going soon the Red Sox need to get him out of Jacoby's way. He is not helping Boston find a trading partner when he is only hitting .235 with no RBI's so far this season.

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Monday News Roundup

Bartolo Colon now has soreness in his right side and his next start with the PawSox might be pushed back.

Josh Beckett said he felt good after pitching yesterday...health wise.

Julio Lugo is not a favorite of Red Sox Nation after making 3 errors at short yesterday. The message boards do not have much good to say and the ProJo has a piece on Jed Lowrie in today's paper.

The Vermont Air National Guard will conduct the flyover before the home opener on Monday at Fenway. I hope they can do better than the Oakland flyover that was did not arrive until at least a minute after the National Anthem was over, they had to tell players to stay on the field and wait for it.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Something to Do On An Off Day

While you have some free time on Monday since the Sox are off you may be able to meet legends Luis Tiant and the Spaceman Bill Lee. The 2 former Boston pitchers will be at the Cask ‘n Flagon for the “ Legend's Pre-Opening Day Celebration” to benefit Mini Fenway Park at 7 pm. For those of you who have not heard, a kid size Fenway Park is being constructed in Quincy, Mass. for little league games and charity events. Tickets to the celebration are $50.

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Sox Hope to Regroup in Fenway

Let's be honest. That's not the start that any of us were hoping for. Everyone knew the Jays had an improved team and were going to win more games this year, but a sweep??!! The Sox bats have been too quiet and the pitching has been shaky. But, there's no need to panic.

It's time to put things in perspective. The Sox have just finished a road trip from hell. Tokyo-Oakland-Toronto is not anybody's idea of a dream itinerary. Now, the Sox get to head home and right the ship in Fenway Park.

Two words put the Sox slow start into perspective, "Detroit Tigers." The Tigers have a larger payroll than the Sox and are off to a dismal start. They looked awful against Chicago tonight. Tigers fans are panicking. Let's hope that we give them more reason to panic this week when they arrive in Boston for a 3 game series.

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Maybe the Other Manny Can Pitch

What is the worst thing you can do when you take the mound with bases loaded and two outs? Manny Delcarmen did it on just one pitch. After Beckett was pulled in the 5 in a tie game Delcarmen gave up a grand slam to Frank Thomas; his second home run of the series. The Red Sox middle relief collapsed once again. Okajima and Papelbon came in late to get some work and pitched well, but in all three games against Toronto the starters and middle relievers failed to get the game to them where they were in a position to help. Boston leaves Toronto after losing today 7-4 and getting swept in the series. The long strange trip is over; the Red Sox are 3-4 to start the season. The good news is that Monday is an off day and we won't have to hear about how tired the Red Sox are. J.D. Drew and Tek continued to hit well and Jacoby homed today. On Tuesday the Red Sox will open up at Fenway after the pre-game ring ceremony. The hype and hoopla will be over and the team can return to regular baseball.

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Lineup for 4/6 at Toronto

Lugo's time in the lead-off spot did not last long. Tito continues to swap Coco and Ellsbury in center. Today's game will be broadcast nationally on TBS and on NESN and WRKO in New England. Start Time 1:07 pm Eastern.

Pedroia-2B
Youkilis-3B
Ortiz-DH
Ramirez-LF
Lowell-3B
Drew-RF
Varitek-C
Ellsbury-CF
Lugo-SS
Beckett-SP

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Pocket Aces

Today's match up will feature 2 of the best pitchers in the American League; Josh Beckett against Roy Halladay.

Josh Beckett is making his first start with the Red Sox today after suffering a back and recently reported hip injury during spring training. Beckett is coming off a Cy Young caliber year going 20-7 last season with a 3.27 ERA. He was 2-1 vs. Toronto last season with an excellent ERA of 2.35. The only thing to worry about is his career ERA of 6.16 at Rogers Centre. Boston needs a quality start from Beckett today to avoid the maligned middle relief pitchers in the pen.

Roy Halladay is making his second start of the season after losing to the Yankees on opening day in the Bronx. He pitched 7 strong innings but did give up 3 earned runs. Halladay does not usually pitch well against Boston; he has a career record of 9-10 and an ERA of 4.82. Youk and J.D. both hit over .300 against him and Jacoby is a perfect 3-3. The Jay's starters have been very good against Boston so far and Halladay is the ace of their staff, the Sox have their work cut out for them today. Lineups coming soon.

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