jimmythegreek Posts:12612 Followers:392
On 08/09/2014 02:16 PM in MLB


Boston/Anaheim over 4 even:
Alan Webster scattered 2 runs on 4 hits in nearly 7 IP and Yoenis Cespedes added a 2 run double as Boston (51-64) defeated Anaheim (67-48) 4-2 Friday night. Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless 9th to earn his 24th save in 26 opportunities. Jered Weaver yielded 4 ER on 7 hits in 6 IP but failed to receive run support falling to 12-7 overall. The loss dropped the Angels 4 full games behind first place AL West leading Oakland, who held off Minnesota 6-5. Game 2 of this 3 game series takes place this evening at 9PM EST.

The spoiler mission Red Sox send struggling Clay Buchholz (5-7 6.20) to the hill trying to figure out control and command issues all season long. The 29 year old righty hasn't won since July 13th and got routed by the Yankees last week at Fenway. The Bronx Bombers blasted Buchholz for 7 ER on 8 hits while walking 5 in as many innings in a no-decision which the Yankees won 8-7. Buchholz faces an Angels lineup that has failed to score more than 5 runs per game over the last week despite averaging 4.7 all season, only second to Oakland (4.9). Anaheim is batting .261 collectively with their 112 HR ranking 7th in the AL. Mike Trout (.298 25 82) leads the club in all offensive categories and is among the tops in production of the AL. Despite an 0 for 12 mini-slump his offense will be the key in determining if Anaheim can make it to the postseason. Albert Pujols (.275 21 70) has just 1 HR in his last 28 games and most fans feel that he may have reached his peak, especially since suffering torn plantar faciitis that put an early end to his season in 2013. Kole Calhoun (.281 11 32) has been one of the more pleasant surprises in the outfield for the halosand appears to have a bright future ahead. Howie Kendrick (.279 4 47) is mired in a 5 for 28 (.179) slump but continues to be one of the better hitters at the beginning of the lineup. Erick Aybar (.267 6 52) is also been struggling and has mainly become a singles hitter that has hampered his impressive first half ability to produce runs. CJ Cron (.271 9 29) was recalled from AAA Salt Lake City to help provide some more offense in the short term. Josh Hamilton (.271 8 35) is jut 3 for his last 20 (.150) and according to manager Mike Sciossia could be pressing in a limited role that sets him worlds apart from his 2012 career season with Texas.

Anaheim counters with Garrett Richards (12-4 2.58) who comes off a shutout performance against the Dodgers last week scattering just 5 hits while striking out 9. The 26 year old righty ended a 2 game losing streak and is still in discussion for the AL Cy Young Award. Richards faces a Red Sox lineup hitting just .246 averaging just 3.8 runs per game while stroking only 86 HR, third worst in the AL. Brock Holt (.300 3 23) has hit safely in 7 of his last 8 and recently shown his versatility by playing second base despite being the everyday hot corner commander. David Ortiz (.246 26 82) his having yet another productive season despite not nearly as consistent compared to seasons' past. It seemed like Boston gave up a lot by acquiring Cespedes (.258 17 69) , but the former Athletic provides the BoSox with balance of power in the lineup for future contending seasons. Dustin Pedroia (.280 5 43) recently ended a 30 homer less game streak and has hit in 7 of his last 8 (.348). Mike Napoli (.272 14 40) homered last night and has also been used sparingly at first base as well as the DH. Newly acquired Allen Craig (.237 7 44) was put on the DL with what could be a torn ligament in his foot. A rash of injuries has left the defending champions short on hitting which is part of the reason for their cellar dwelling days in the AL East.

We receive yet another bargain of a price this evening at Angels Stadium. Once owned by Disney Entertainment,the ballpark was built dimension wise favorable to the hitter, but doesn't carry out as well to the deeper parts of the park. While it;s about 340 to the corners and 395 to straight away center, it doesn't take much for power hitters on both teams to clear the fences. Buchholz has been lit up like a pinball machine and has not shown any similarities to his dominating way of 2010 and 2013. You almost feel that the Angels are due to break out of it facing the ideal opposition in a game that has postseason implications over the final quarter of the campaign. Richards could use some run support himself, but must also be careful of Boston's ability to rain on pitcher's parades. They have the names that have provided efficient offense in year's past. We look to get back on the winning track this evening and once again near 60% which is what we eclipsed in about 60 plays in 2013. Best of luck however you play!

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