Sunday, June 17, 2012

Interleague Hope?

Once again the Red Sox are on the precipice of being back where they were on Opening Day: back at .500. After a masterful performance from Jon Lester last night, albeit with a 3-run homerun hiccup, the Red Sox held on for the win and brought their dismal record to 32-33.  With one more game against the Cubs, then three more against the struggling Marlins, and finally a three-game set against the second-place Braves, the Red Sox have a chance to wrap up interleague play above .500.

The Sox were supposed to have Josh Beckett pitching for them tonight in the third and final game against the Cubs, but he's been placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.  When reporters asked Beckett for comments about his situation, he refused, telling them he would talk about it on Tuesday.

Now, I could get into how flipping annoying it is that Beckett can't be bothered to address the media, but that's old news, and we've discussed it in this space more than once.  Instead, we'll do a short preview of Beckett's fill-in, Franklin Morales.

Morales hasn't started a game in more than three years, but he has had some rather long relief outings lately.  So far this season, Morales has pitched 23.2 innings, and has a very respectable 3.04 ERA. In the year since Morales came to Boston from the Rockies, he's had some success, and he seems to be excited for the opportunity to start.

Clay Buchholz, on the other hand, was asked about the possibility of him starting this evening on his normal four days of rest, but he chose to take the start against the Marlins on Tuesday at Fenway, after the offday.

It's the story of the season: the much-hyped Red Sox pitching staff continues to struggle, underperform, and end up on the DL.  Hopefully Morales can do something relatively rare for the Sox this season, and get the win.

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