Let's get some Camden North up in here.
The best part about this series is that we aren't going to see Jon Lester in it. He pitched yesterday and so won't come up in the rotation until we are gone from Boston. Instead, tonight we will see Daisuke Matsuzaka. Dice has given up at least four runs in half of his 22 starts this season, including his last six starts. He's gone longer than six innings in only eight of his starts, and also spent some time on the DL. So a pretty disappointing year for the guy who the Red Sox paid $50 million just for the right to talk to him about a contract.
Matsuzaka will be trying to turn around a September that sees him with a 9.37 ERA in three starts - although he actually won the September 2 game against the Orioles as a result of three unearned runs and Buck's worst managerial tactics to date in the 9th inning. If you want to refresh your memory...
Luke Scott, Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts have all seen Daisuke quite a few times and get on base against him a lot. In more limited experience, Matt Wieters crushes Dice with 6-9 hitting that includes two doubles and a home run. If we see some more of that tonight, that's a good sign.
Brian Matusz pitches for the Orioles. I find this interesting because all the letters of his name are contained in nearly the same order in "Matsuzaka". Matusz is undefeated in his career against Boston. That's only four starts, but still a nice omen. The best Red Sox hitter against Matusz has been Adrian Beltre, who is day-to-day thanks to a wrist injury suffered on Saturday while diving for a ball. The worst Red Sox hitter against Matusz is David Ortiz, who is 0-9 with 8 strikeouts. Maybe Brian can hang a golden sombrero on him tonight and continue the misery. Or he would if Ortiz was playing. Beltre is in the lineup after all, though.
By the way, if the Orioles win this series, they will take the season series against the Red Sox only one year after going 2-16 against Boston. The O's haven't had a winning mark against the Red Sox since 2004. Go O's!
09/20/10 7:10 PM EDT
|Baltimore Orioles||Boston Red Sox|
|Brian Roberts - 2B||Marco Scutaro - 2B|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Darnell McDonald - RF|
|Ty Wigginton - 1B||Victor Martinez - 1B|
|Luke Scott - DH||Adrian Beltre - 3B|
|Matt Wieters - C||Mike Lowell - DH|
|Adam Jones - CF||Jed Lowrie - SS|
|Felix Pie - LF||Bill Hall - LF|
|Cesar Izturis - SS||Jason Varitek - C|
|Josh Bell - 3B||Ryan Kalish - CF|