Through 47 games on the season, the Red Sox are 20-27 after an eight-game tailspin that saw them fall from second place in the AL East, only .5 back of the division lead, to six games back and in last place.
The Sox need to figure out something soon if they want to right the ship on 2014 and get back in any kind of contention, and it may need to start today, as the Sox take on the 21-28 Rays in the second game of their three-game set at Tropicana Field.
Jake Peavy gets the ball for the Red Sox on Saturday, sitting at a record of 1-2 in nine starts this year with a 4.33 ERA. He had a rough outing in his last start, giving up five runs on 11 hits in six innings to the Tigers, adding no walks and two strikeouts. He pitched well against the Rays on May 1, allowing just two runs on three hits in 6.1 innings.
Peavy has had success against the current Rays lineup; of the six players who have faced him more than 10 times in their careers, only James Loney (.286 in 35 at bats) has a batting average over .215. David Yunel Escobar has hit .214 in 14 career at bats against Peavy, while David DeJesus (.185 in 27 AB), Evan Longoria (.200 in 20 AB), Matt Joyce (.100 in 10 AB), and Desmond Jennings (.182 in 11 AB) are hitting at or below the Mendoza line.
Former AL Cy Young Award winner David Price will make his 11th start of the season for the Rays, garnering a 4-4 record with an ERA of 4.28 this year. His last start, like Peavy’s, was a tough one, giving up six runs, five of them earned, on one hit in 6.2 innings to the Angels.
Of the Red Sox in today’s lineup, only three of them have double digit plate appearances against Price in their careers. Dustin Pedroia has the most with 55, tallying 13 hits and six walks with a sac fly; Jonny Gomes has faced him 24 times and recorded just four hits with one walk; and A.J. Pierzynski has two hits in 14 career at bats.