After a devastating throwing error by Hanley Ramirez and, as a result, a blown save by Brad Ziegler last night in the ninth inning, the Red Sox and Angels will meet again for the second game of this four-game set. While the Red Sox have continued their downward spiral as of late, they are still only two games behind the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the American League East.
The Red Sox will be sending Rick Porcello to the mound, who hasn't lost a game since May 17. The righty has won five straight decisions, all while sporting a 13-2 record and an ERA of 3.57. Furthermore, the Red Sox have won Porcello's last seven starts and has only walked three batters in four starts in July. Control has always been an extremely important part of Porcello's game. If his sinking fastball is left up in the zone, hitters will tee off on it.
The Angels will counter with former San Francisco Giant Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum. Since showcasing his abilities and signing with the Anaheim Angels, Lincecum has been downright awful. The righty currently sports a 8.70 ERA and just suffered the worst defeat of his career. On Sunday, Lincecum was shelled for eight runs while only lasting 1.1 innings against the Houston Astros before getting pulled.
If the Red Sox cannot shell Tim Lincecum, then it may be time to look at this team as a pretender, and not a contender. Like I mentioned above, Lincecum has struggled all season and the Red Sox should make this a blowout early with one of their better pitches on the mound.
In some quick lineup notes, Aaron Hill will be replacing Travis Shaw at third base, and for good reason. In his career against Lincecum, Hill is batting .524 with four RBIs in 21 career at-bats. Additionally, look for Hanley Ramirez to remain hot, as he sports a .333 batting average against Lincecum with two RBIs in 21 career at-bats.