After arguably the best win of the season, the Red Sox will be right back at it against the Seattle Mariners tonight at 10:10 PM ET. The Red Sox elected to not make a major move for starting pitching this Trade Deadline, deciding to only acquire reliever Fernando Abad from the Minnesota Twins on the August 1 MLB Trade Deadline. While many can and should question the lack of urgency from this ball club, they are still only a game and a half out of first place in the American League East.
As the Red Sox prepare for their postseason push, the man pitching tonight, Eduardo Rodriguez, will have a huge hand in the success (or failure) of this franchise in the playoffs. Since returning to the big league club, Eduardo Rodriguez has been a pleasant surprise and has, by all accounts, fixed his issue of tipping pitches. He has allowed three runs or fewer in his last three starts, but has allowed a home run in his last eight appearances. Because E-Rod has strictly been a fastball-changeup pitcher up until this point in his young career, he has been trying to work a slider into the mix to keep hitters off-balance. Hopefully he will be able to continue his recent success throughout the rest of the season, starting tonight.
Opposing E-Rod will be James Paxton, who has impressed since being called up to the show in June. In 11 starts, Paxton has amassed a 3-5 record and a 4.27 ERA, but features a heavy, upper-90s fastball that can produce some swings-and-misses. In Seattle last season, Paxton was able to throw eight shutout innings against the Red Sox last season, while only allowing five hits. Look for the Red Sox to build on their last game and make the youngster uncomfortable early in this game.
The Mariners are coming off a crushing defeat last night on Sunday Night Baseball against the Cubs and most likely got back to Seattle very late. Many have dubbed this game as a "scheduled loss," so it would be extremely disappointing if the Red Sox do not pounce on the Mariners for not only tonight, but this entire series. The Red Sox cannot tread water and play .500 ball for the rest of this season because most of their games are on the road. If they want to make it into the playoffs, they need to win series on the road, and that journey begins tonight.
Check below for the probable lineups: