While the lesser teams of the AL battle it out north of the border, the class of the league meets up in Beantown tonight for their first series of the year. The Sox return home having swept the Rangers in Texas, and the Cleveland Indians come in on a hotstreak of their own – they’ve won four games in a row, nine of twelve, and now lead the Central by 2.5 games. The Indians are a very good squad; we picked them for the division before the season began and we’re sticking to our guns: they scare us.
A few interesting facts, some Indians-related, some not.
- Since Roger Clemens squeezed his big white horse into George Steinbrenner’s box a couple of Sundays ago the Red Sox have gone 10-4, pushing the Yankees 5.5 games further behind.
- Those same numbers apply from the time that Curt Schilling (tonight’s Sox starter) supposedly gave everyone major bulletin board material when he spouted off about the Sox "not needing" Roger.
- On the other hand, in the three starts since he spouted off Curt has looked more like a Colorado Leskanic than himself.
- Kevin Youkilis has seven straight multi-hit games (yep, SEVEN). In those games he’s collected fifteen hits. He’s now hitting .353 for the season.
- Andy Marte, the man traded for Edgar Renteria and Coco Crisp, is hitting .180 in 16 games.
- Kelly Shoppach, also involved in the Crisp deal, is hitting .326 and has proven to be a superb backup to Victor Martinez.
- Old friend Trot Nixon comes back to Beantown for the first time, and he’ll surely receive a major standing ovation, deservedly. This year he’s stayed healthy, is hitting .281, has 20 RBIs, and has played in 38 games to this point.
Comment about the action here. Happy Memorial Day, everyone.
The Sox’ David Ortiz-less lineup (along with the Indians starting nine) are after the jump.
1. Julio Lugo, SS
2. Coco Crisp, CF
3. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
4. Manny Ramirez, DH
5. J.D. Drew, RF
6. Mike Lowell, 3B
7. Jason Varitek, C
8. Wily Mo Pena, LF
9. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
SP – Curt Schilling
1. Grady Sizemore, CF
2. Casey Blake, 3B
3. Travis Hafner, DH
4. Victor Martinez, C
5. Trot Nixon, RF
6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
7. David Dellucci, LF
8. Ryan Garko, 1B
9. Josh Barfield, 2B
SP – Cliff Lee