August 1-4, 2011
- Cleveland – The struggles continue. It could have been a lot worse. It SHOULD have been a lot worse. The Indians dropped two of three to the Royals and barely escaped with a 5-2 victory on Saturday night. The Indians continue to make mistakes that playoff teams should not make. Base running errors, lack of production with runners in scoring position were key yet again in the series against the Royals. In the first inning of Sunday’s loss to the Royals, Asdrubal Cabrera was picked off TWICE. The first time he lucked out when Carlos Santana was granted time. One would think that would make Asdrubal a bit more weary. Duffy throws right back over and nabs Cabrera again. Bottom of the second inning with the bases loaded? NADA. Three pitches, three strikes: good morning, good afternoon, good night for Lou Marson. Bottom of the third? Brantley leads it off with a lead-off single. Picked off. Playoff teams don’t run themselves out of innings, especially when they are struggling to score runs such as the Indians. They have lost eight out of their last ten and have struggled mightily on offense. The Tribe has their work cut out for them against the AL East leading Red Sox to kick off the week.
- Boston – The Red Sox are feeling good as the trade deadline comes to a close and they embark on the second half of the season. they feel even better that they sit atop the American League East and the Yankee’s didn’t further bolster their lineup at the deadline. Boston’s pitching has really stepped up after the losses of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz. It was revealed today that Buchholz is most likely done for the year, which likely prompted the trade for Bedard yesterday. When Buchholz is on he’s got dominating stuff, and having him out of the rotation definitely hurts Boston. Adrian Gonzalez has been money for the Red Sox all season and continues to make Theo Epstein look good by making the move. Carl Crawford was beginning to heat up as the weather did in Boston, before going down with an injury that forced him to miss a significant amount of time. But he’s back in the lineup now and has found a home in the number 6 spot in the lineup and he appears to have become comfortable with it.
Game 1 – Josh Tomlin vs. John Lackey
- Josh Tomlin 11-5, 4.01 ERA
Tomlin took his first loss since June 12 despite eight strong innings on Tuesday. The righty allowed just two runs and four hits, but the Indians only scratched across one run against Angels ace Jered Weaver in a 2-1 loss.
- John Lackey 9-8, 6.20 ERA
Lackey wasn’t at his best on Wednesday against the Royals, allowing four runs on 11 hits, but the Red Sox’s potent offense again bailed him out. It’s the first time this season that Lackey has won four in a row.
Game 2 – David Huff vs. Josh Beckett
- David Huff 1-1, .071 ERA
The southpaw was on the other end of Ervin Santana’s no-hitter on Wednesday at Progressive Field. Huff pitched well, though, allowing just one earned run in 5 2/3 innings. That’s the only run Huff has allowed in two starts this season.
- Josh Beckett 9-4, 2.17 ERA
Beckett is coming off his worst start since Interleague Play, allowing four runs to the Royals and issuing three walks for the first time in nearly two months. He held the Indians to just a single run in May.
Game 3 – Carlos Carrasco vs. Tim Wakefield
- Carlos Carrasco 8-9, 4.67 ERA
Carrasco’s frustration got the best of him in his last start, a loss against the Royals in which he was ejected for throwing over the head of Billy Butler. Carrasco has picked up a loss in each of his last five starts.
- Tim Wakefield 6-4, 5.06 ERA
A day after celebrating his 45th birthday, the knuckleballer will go after his 200th career win. Wakefield pitched well enough to achieve the milestone in his last start, but a lack of run support led to a 3-1 loss. This will be Wakefield’s 2
Game 4 – Justin Masterson vs. John Lester
- Justin Masterson 8-7, 2.56 ERA
Masterson held the Royals to two runs and nine hits in eight innings of a no-decision on Saturday. The right-hander ranks fourth in the American League in ERA and seventh in innings pitched.
- John Lester 11-4, 3.17 ERA
The power lefty cruised in his last start, with eight strong innings (four hits, two runs) en route to a win over the White Sox. Lester has held opponents to a .245 average in his career. At Fenway this year, he’s 3-3 with a 3.86 ERA in eight starts.
- LF Michael Brantley
- 2B Jason Kipnis
- SS Asdrubal Cabrera
- DH Travis Hafner
- C Carlos Santana
- RF Kosuke Fukudome
- 1B Matt LaPorta
- 3B Lonnie Chisenhall
- CF Ezequiel Carrera
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- 2B Dustin Pedroia
- 1B Adrian Gonzalez
- 3B Kevin Youkilis
- DH David Ortiz
- LF Carl Crawford
- C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
- RF Josh Reddick
- SS Marco Scutaro