Well, the Jays did manage to pick up the first game of this three game set at Fenway but at the cost of losing Henderson Alvarez for an (as yet) undetermined amount of time. It looks like Jamie Moyer may end up pitching for the Jays sooner than expected. Let's just hope he's avoided running, fried meats, and looking back.
Tonight, the Jays look to take game two as well. Things won't be easy, of course, the Jays are sending Aaron Laffey to the mound to face baseball's fourth-best lineup (according to Fangraphs wRC+, at least). At 27 years old, Laffey isn't quite over-the-hill yet, but that doesn't mean the Jays are likely to get much more than a journeyman-type performance out of him. He's battled for the Jays out of the bullpen thus far (3.00 ERA over just 9 innings) but his strikeout-rate over his MLB career (4.5 K/9) doesn't exactly inspire confidence against a tough offence in a tough ballpark.
Pitching for the Red Sox will be the much-maligned (generally unfairly, in my opinion) Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-2, 6.01 ERA). Matsuzaka hasn't put up the numbers that many folks were expecting or that his contract would suggest he should. Nonetheless, prior to his injuries, he was a pretty good rotation option. Matsuzaka is still battling his way back from injuries and has just three starts this season. Though his record and ERA are underwhelming (to say the least), his underlying peripherals (8.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 42% gb-rate) suggest that he may getting back on track.
Provided that 2012 ERA is a useful predictor of tonight's performance for Matsuzaka and Laffey (a combined sample of 25 innings!), the Jays should be in good shape! Either way, enjoy the game and let's hope Over the Monster keeps it uncivilized enough for the both of our sites.
Special thanks to the Boston-based Pixies for tonight's thread title. I saw the Pixies a few years ago in Eugene, Oregon and, while Black Francis didn't look to be in the greatest of health, they played a great set, including all of Doolittle (with b-sides!).
Adam Lind back in, playing first and batting eighth. Edwin DH'ing.
Jeff Mathis in and catching, batting ninth.
As always, remember:
1) no *.gif images until after the game
2) arguing with moderators is tempting fate. Like arguing balls and strikes, you'll likely get some leeway but it's best not to push your luck, lest you end up with the Lawrie treatment.
3) don't talk about illegal streams. You can talk about your fantasy team but, if you choose to do so, prepare to be mocked, ridiculed, and made to look like a fool.