BOSTON – With the threat of rain hovering over Fenway Park for most of Saturday and into Sunday, the Red Sox are trying to make plans for the remaining two games of their season series against the Indians.
The Red Sox put out a tweet, stating Fenway’s gates would open on time and they expected the game to start at its 1:35 p.m. scheduled time.
Shortly before that, though, manager John Farrell was asked what he had been told about the weather and possible contingency plans, including the potential of a day-night doubleheader on Sunday. The one thing both teams would like to avoid is having their starting pitchers – left-handers Jon Lester and Scott Kazmir, for the Sox and Indians, respectively – start the game only to get stopped and be lost until their next starts.
“Sounds like starting at 3:00 on, it’s going to get nasty,” Farrell said. “So there’s the proverbial window from 1:30 – 3:00, but it might be a wooden door, not a window. That’s kind of what we’re working on. So all things are being discussed, whether it’s a split [doubleheader] tomorrow, whether it’s try to get through today. I think everyone involved would like to avoid a start and stop as best we can.”
- With the Red Sox in the middle of a stretch of 20 straight games before a day off – their next scheduled off day is June 3 – manager John Farrell has been looking for ways to get his players a day off. And with the Indians starting left-hander Scott Kazmir Saturday afternoon, it was a good day to give left-handed hitting shortstop Stephen Drew some down time.
Pedro Ciriaco is in the starting lineup playing third, batting ninth, with Jose Iglesias moving to shortstop, batting eighth.
“Day game after night game, trying to get another right-handed bat in there, feel like Stephen probably can use a day,” Farrell said. “As we’ve been rotating our position players thru, just kind of the normal scheduling situation.”
Overall, Drew is hitting .205, with a .305 on-base percentage and.352 slugging percentage. Against right-handers those numbers are .220/.326/.354. Against lefties those numbers drop to .174/.261/.350.
But, Drew has been a little banged up lately, too. He made a diving stop on Michael Brantley’s infield single in the third inning Friday, before getting up gingerly. And he missed two games on the road trip with a back injury, when he slid awkwardly into second base on a double in Minnesota.
“No, no lingering effects,” Farrell said. “The slide over in Minnesota, he’s felt some soreness from it, but it hasn’t been to the point of keeping him out of the lineup once he returned. Just managing it as everyone else manages what they’re banged up with.
But, since tweaking his back, Drew has gone 0-for-17 with two walks and five strikeouts, dropping his average from .238 to .205.
“I can’t say it hasn’t [affected his swing].” Farrell said. “Whether it’s the aggressiveness in which he’s swinging the bat, or just in talking with Stephen I can’t say that it’s restricted his swing the extension to it. It might just be the overall aggressiveness. So all things considered today was a natural down day for him.”
- Dustin Pedroia is the only Sox player who has not yet gotten a day off.
“I’ll probably look [for a day off] and he'll probably continue to be in the lineup,” Farrell said. “As we know, he’s not a guy that’s looking to come out of the lineup, whether it's 162. There may be a time along the way that we give him a break, but right now he’s still going strong.”
- Left-hander Franklin Morales has been on the disabled list since the start of the season, with back and pectoral ailments. He is nearing the end of his rehab assignment. On Thursday, he went five innings for Double-A Portland, giving up one run on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts. What’s next for him? His status could be decided by the end of today.
“One of two things,” Farrell said. “Either he’s activated and put in the bullpen here or he makes one more additional rehab start. Those are on-going conversations, that I think will come to a more clear direction I think by the end of the day. I think we’re going to have quite a bit of time to sit around and talk about a few things, so that’s certainly one of them.”
- Mike Napoli has a seven-game hitting streak, matching his season high. In that stretch he is batting .304, going 7-for-23.
- Jon Lester is going for his seventh win today. This will be his second start against the Indians this season. He earned the win on April 18, at Cleveland, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk in seven innings. He is 6-1 with a 3.27 ERA in 12 career starts against the Indians. The Sox are 9-3 in his starts. In four starts at Fenway Park against the Indians, he has an ERA of 2.31.
- Shane Victorino went out to Saturday morning to support the OneRun, which began in Kenmore Square and ended at the official finish line of the Boston Marathon. 3,000 runners and bombing victims gathered in light rain to run the final mile of the world’s oldest annual marathon. The event was intended to honor the victims of the bombings, emergency workers, and volunteers who assisted.