After another terrible game last night, the Red Sox will be looking to salvage the series against the Angels for a two-game split. The Red Sox are now two games back of the Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the American League East, but still hold on to the second wildcard spot. In their past nine games, the Red Sox are 2-7, while batters have a measly .252 average, while only scoring 4.4 runs per game and a team ERA of 4.88. Not great.
The Red Sox will try and stop the bleeding, as they send Steven Wright to the mound in sunny (and dry) Anaheim, California. Since the All-Star Break, Steven Wright has not been the same pitcher, allowing a career-high eight earned runs Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. In his last six games, Wright does have a 4-1 record, but also has a 6.29 ERA, while opposing batters are hitting at a .282 clip. This is a far cry to Wright's previous six starts, pitching to a 5-0 record and a 1.41 ERA. While it is reasonable to see a decline in Wright's performance, I don't think that it is absurd to expect more than a 6+ ERA.
The Angels will counter with the revitalized Tyler Skaggs, as today marks his two-year anniversary from his last game before undergoing Tommy John surgery. On Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals, the 25-year-old southpaw threw seven shutout innings, while striking out five. In today's modern MLB, it is not unusual for players to come back stronger and better than before Tommy John surgery. Look for Skaggs to excel in the second half of this season and for years to come.
In some lineup notes, Bryce Brentz and Aaron Hill will again be in the lineup, after going a combined 0-6 at the plate with 10 runners left on base last night. Good call, John Farrell. Additionally, David Ortiz will return to the lineup in his final game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.