Boston Red Sox (22-21) at Philadelphia Phillies (26-15)
Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP (2-1, 7.89 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick, RHP (2-1, 5.24 ERA)
Time: 7:10, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Few Showers, 71
These aren’t the same Boston Red Sox that we’ve seen in recent history, as witnessed in the Phillies’ 5-1 win last night. At this time of year, we’re used to seeing the Red Sox towards the top of the American League East, but instead they are quickly falling to the .500 mark.
Today, Jacoby Ellsbury will be coming off the disabled list for the Red Sox. Ellsbury will need to be watched on the base paths, but the speedy outfielder missed a significant amount of time due to broken ribs. On the other hand, Jimmy Rollins was placed back on the disabled list. Rollins re-injured his calf by running out of the batter’s box in last night’s game. The grade one strain is not said to be worse than the first injury, however Rollins is still expected to miss two weeks. Wilson Valdez was recalled to take his spot.
Daisuke Matsuzaka will take the hill for the Red Sox. Dice-K has had high expectations since coming over from Japan in 2007, but struggled last year and to this point this year. Dice-K faced the Phillies once in his career, and gave up four runs in as many innings.
Dice-K will be opposed by Kyle Kendrick, who is coming off a great start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kendrick has been up and down all season, so it’s always a mystery as to what kind of performance the Phillies will get out of him. Kendrick is 0-2 with a very high ERA in his career against Boston. Kendrick would like to continue the Phillies’ recent success on the mound. In May, Phillies starters are 11-4 with a 2.96 ERA. Starters went at least six innings in 18 of the last 19 starts, including 13 quality starts.
Tonight’s Lineup:Victorino (CF), Polanco (3B), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Werth (RF), Ibanez (LF), Ruiz (C), Castro (SS), Kendrick (P).
Your gamenight beer: A spring seasonal from Flying Dog, Garde Dog is a worthy Biere de Garde entry. It’s a bit tart, loaded with malts to create a toasted body. But why Garde Dog? Because tonight we protect our house. This is Phillies Nation. Let’s keep it that way. –By Tim