That old saying is “Ninth time is the charm,” right? Or is that three times what it usually is?
Either way, the Red Sox have the chance tonight to pull back to .500 for the ninth time this season when they take on the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park.
Since falling under .500 after losing their second game at Fenway this year in what would eventually be a three-game sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Red Sox have had eight chances to pull back to even in wins and losses. They have not won a single one of those games.
In those losses, the Red Sox were outscored by their opponents 50-25, and scored one or fewer runs three times. Two of those losses were by only one run: a 7-6 loss to the Orioles on Patriots’ Day and a 3-2 loss in 10 innings to the A’s on May 4.
The only time this year that the Red Sox had a record over .500 was on April 3 after they took two out of three from the Orioles in the opening series of the season.
The Red Sox have Jake Peavy on the mound tonight, who probably knows the Reds better than anyone else in the Boston rotation, having spent eight seasons in the National League with the San Diego Padres.
Peavy is 1-1 in six starts this season with an ERA of 2.87. He has been very good in his career against the Reds, going 6-0 in 10 starts.
Against the current Cincinnati lineup, Brandon Phillips and Ramon Santiago are the batters he has faced more than 10 times. Phillips has three hits and one walk in 20 plate appearances with one RBI and four strikeouts against Peavy, while Santiago has two hits in 13 plate appearances.
The Reds will counter with Mike Leake, a 26-year-old with five years of big league experience. Leake is 2-3 in six starts this season with an ERA of 3.53.
Only three Red Sox hitters have faced Leake in their careers: Shane Victorino, A.J. Pierzynski, and Grady Sizemore. Victorino knows him the best, tallying four hits with a double and an RBI in 10 plate appearances, while Pierzynski and Sizemore have each faced him three times, with Sizemore getting one hit and two RBIs.