So, about that winning streak. It was nice, wasn't it? The last two games, not so much.
Tonight, Our Boys make an appearance on Monday Night Baseball on the 4ltr. I'm sure we are all excited to have the nation see our AAAA (AAA?) squad take the field. Will Cuddyer play shortstop?? Go team!
Game time: 6:10 p.m. Central.
Nick Blackburn (4.41 ERA, 5.53 FIP, 4.47 xFIP, 6.18 tRA, 15:13 K:BB, 6 HR, 34 2/3 innings)
Josh Beckett (2.35 ERA, 3.14 FIP, 3.26 xFIP, 3.07 tRA, 35:12 K:BB, 3 HR, 38 1/3 innings)
On paper, this one does not look good. We get Blackie instead of F-Bomb, who has been suffering from "Flu-like symptoms." Mebbe next year, the team can set up a flu shot clinic, please?
Blackburn has been awful in three of his six starts so far, having given up five runs each on April 15 and April 20, then seven in 3 1/3 horrible innings at home on April 28. But there are glimmers of hope, as his other three starts have been quite good, including a solid 6 2/3 inning outing to beat the Bitch Sox on May 4. When things are going well, Blackburn is a league-average pitcher who doesn't miss many bats, but who generates a lot of ground balls. In his three good outings, he induced 35 ground balls against only 17 fly balls and 9 line drives. In his three bad outings -- 27:19:16.
For his part, Beckett has been good-not-great so far. I see some hope in that he gave up 7 fly balls and 3 walks in a rain-abbreviated 4 1/3 innings against LAAAAAA on May 4th in his last start, and got hit hard by the Orioles (4 runs on 2 HR, 10 fly balls and 5 LDs in 6 innings) the start before that.
Fenway Bandbox isn't the sort of place you want to be giving up a lot of fly balls in, so let's hope the Good Blackie shows his beard tonight, and Beckett pipes a few to the Dude and Mountie.