Extra Bases

Game 73: Red Sox at Rockies

The Sox will try and rebound from last night’s loss against a very tough customer. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (43-29)
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
David Ortiz 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
Daniel Nava LF
Josh Reddick RF
Darnell McDonald CF
John Lackey RHP (8-3, 4.53).

ROCKIES (37-33)
Jonathan Herrera 2B
Todd Helton 1B
Carlos Gonzalez CF
Brad Hawpe RF
Seth Smith LF
Miguel Olivo C
Ian Stewart 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Ubaldo Jimenez RHP (13-1, 1.15).

Game time: 8:40 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN/WEEI.

State of the Sox: The Red Sox have won six of their last seven games and start the day 1.5 games behind the Yankees, who are at Arizona tonight.

Facing the best: There’s a term for the kind of season the 26-year-old Jimenez is having: Insane. In 101.1 inings, he has allowed only 65 hits (three of them home runs) with 36 walks and 88 strikeouts. Lefties are hitting .206 against him and righthanders .117. With runners in scoring position, Jimenez is allowing a .147 batting average.

The Sox have faced Jimenez once, in Game 2 of the 2007 World Series. He went 4.2 innings that night, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks.

Counting that game, here is how the Red Sox hitters have fared against Jimenez:

Cameron 1-8
Beltre 1-4
Lowell 1-2
Drew 1-2
Ortiz 0-2
Pedroia 0-2
Youkilis 0-2
McDonald 0-2
Varitek 0-2

Maybe there’s a chance: Jimenez skipped the game yesterday because he wasn’t feeling well. And his “worst” start of the season came against an American League East team, Toronto, on June 11 (6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 K). Jimenez also has a career ERA of 3.79 against the AL, compared to 3.32 against the NL.

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Unless this guy is 1968 Bob Gibson all over again, he’s bound to mix in a stinker at some point. Maybe the Sox will be the team that gets to him.

Lucky Lackey: The righthander has won eight games in spite of a 4.53 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. He has been better of late, posting a 3.62 ERA in his last five starts. Lackey faced the Rockies once, in 2008, and allowed three earned runs over eight innings.

Other stuff: Adrian Beltre (.398/.442/.706 at Coors Field in 242 career plate appearances) has hit safely in 11 straight games after going 2 for 3 last night. … Not only does Mike Lowell rarely play, he’s 5 of his last 40 when he does going back to May 4. … Daniel Nava has reached base safely in all nine games he has played.

That’s it for me today. Nick will have your updates from Denver. Enjoy the game.

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