Yesterday at Fenway, the Sox sent a pitcher to the mound who has been more dominant against the Orioles than just about any pitcher in baseball history has been against any team in baseball history.
It didn't work out so well, as Jon Lester a career 14-0 against Baltimore gave up eight hits, four runs (two earned) and lasted only six innings in the Sox eventual in the Sox 8-6 loss.
So, tonight the Sox will try a little reverse psychology and send out a guy who's been anything but dominant against the O's: Josh Beckett. (it's also just his turn in the rotation).
Of the 13 teams that Beckett has started against at least 10 times in his career, there are only three against which he has a worse ERA than the 4.25 he sports vs. Baltimore.
In all, Beckett's a career 7-5 against the O's with 102 strikeouts, only 26 walks and a 1.213 WHIP. None of those numbers are bad. None of them are particularly good.
But if yesterday's any indicator, good isn't always good. Bad isn't always bad. Sometimes average is just right.
OK, I have on idea what I'm talking about except to say that the Sox need a win tonight, and they've got one of the two pitchers on the mound who they have around for situations just like this. The ball is yours, Beckett.
Rich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine
We knew back on the night of the draft that as the Cavaliers desperately looked for a way to pry Paul George out of Indiana, they started involving third teams in the talks (because Indy had no interest in Kevin Love for Paul George straight up, not should they). Phoenix was involved, but that fizzled. So did talks involving Denver.
But those latter ones didn’t die the night of the draft, according to reports that came out over the weekend. Denver, Cleveland, and Indiana were still talking about a three-team deal that would land Love in Denver and George in Cleveland. The challenge for Cleveland was finding the combination of young players and draft picks that Indiana wants in a deal — Indy is rumored to want a lottery pick (preferably high lottery) and a young player or players.
Now that Denver three-team is “very unlikely” to happen, according to Joe Varden of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Click here for the complete story.
NFL players vote every year on which players should make up the list of the best their game has to offer, but it's an imperfect system. And that's probably putting it lightly.
The NFL Network will reveal the final 10 players on its annual Top 100 list Monday night at 8 p.m. It will be an order that has been chosen by some players, not all. Of those who took part, some hastily made their way through a handful of names at the end of last season handing over their choices.
Yet it's the list the league ends up with, for better or for worse, prompting responses like JJ Watt's when he found out he was No. 35 this year after playing in three games last season.
On NFL.com, the Top 100 list is described as the answer to the question, "Who are the top 100 players in the NFL today?" If that's the criteria -- and not simply performance in 2016 -- then Watt's complaint actually doesn't hold much water. If he's healthy, no one would argue that he's one of the best 35 players "in the NFL today."
This year, several Patriots players from 2016 made the cut: Rob Gronkowski (No. 23), LeGarrette Blount (No. 80), Julian Edelman (No. 71), Dont'a Hightower (No. 94) and Malcolm Butler (No. 99).
Tom Brady will be the last of Bill Belichick's players to be named. He's lumped into a Top 10 that will include Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ezekiel Elliott, Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Von Miller and Khalil Mack.
Here's what we think the list should look like when the curtain falls on the finale of this flawed endeavor: