After a disappointing weekend in Western Pennsylvania, the Red Sox head East to Philadelphia for a highly anticipated 3 Game series. Boston went just 1-2 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but a strong showing in Philly would put fans’ minds at ease.
The Phillies have the best record in the National League, and pre-season Vegas odds showed Boston and Philadelphia as this year’s World Series favorites. Tonight’s match up is especially interesting, with two of the best pitchers in baseball facing off.
Josh Beckett comes in with an MLB best 1.86 ERA, while Cliff Lee has given up only 1 run in the last 33 innings.
The key to this series for the Red Sox may be Terry Francona. The Phillies’ rotation is stacked, boasting starters such as Lee, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. This means that the Sox will need everything they can get from their star studded batting order.
The problem is, Francona has struggled to integrate both Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz into the lineup without the DH spot due to Interleague rules.
There was speculation before Interleague play began that Gonzalez could play some innings in the outfield. That has yet to happen, but to beat the Philadelphia rotation, the Red Sox may have to explore this option. This solution could be even more likely now due to the Red Sox poor production from Right Fielders. Entering today, Boston has the worst offensive output from the RF spot in the majors this season. Shifting A-Gonz to right could kill two birds with one stone, making room for Ortiz at First and placing one of the best hitters in the League in Right.
The most highly anticipated Interleague series of the year kicks off tonight at 7:05!
Let’s Go Red Sox!