We're going to do things a little differently here today since I woke up late. The plan for today is to combine the normal morning post along with the lineup post. This way I can talk about yesterday's game while preparing you for today's game.
The month of July was not kind to the Boston Red Sox. They were very close to the top spot in the AL East but never got over the hump. Instead, they battled themselves to a 12-13 record in the month of the July and find themselves 7.5 games behind the New York Yankees for first place and 5.5 games behind the Tampa Rays for second place and also in the wild card standings.
The month of August will probably tell us whether the Red Sox will have a shot at playing in the postseason or they'll be making tee times and vacation plans. I certainly do hope they will be playing for a shot at the postseason.
The non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone for all 30 MLB teams and we the saw the Red Sox stand pat for the most part. They did make two small moves sending Ramon Ramirez to the San Francisco Giants and trading for Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Texas Rangers.
A few years ago, it would have cost the Red Sox Clay Buchholz but they were able to get him for two minor leaguers, $350,000 and a PTBNL. The cost of Salty was cheaper because he's had problems throwing the ball back to the pitcher or as it's known in the baseball world a case of the yips.
Salty was optioned to Pawtucket after the trade where the Red Sox will continue to monitor his progress on the yips. Should the Red Sox not be able to sign Victor Martinez to deal after the season, it's quite possible we could see Salty as the every day catcher in 2011. But until then, it's time to concentrate on 2010.
Another big move the Red Sox made yesterday was the surprising move of designating Jeremy Hermida for assignment. Interestingly enough, Hermida had options left on his contract but was designated instead. He started out hot for the Red Sox but cooled down and then never really found his stroke after coming back from the disabled list where he had been after breaking ribs in a collision with Adrian Beltre.
The Red Sox brought up Ryan Kalish who has risen through the Red Sox system this year. He's comparable to Trot Nixon and will bring the Red Sox some good pop as well as good defense once he gets acclimated to left field in Fenway Park. Dustin Richardson was brought up to replace Ramirez on the roster probably only because Michael Bowden wasn't eligible to be called back up until tomorrow.
The bases clearing double by David Ortiz secured another Red Sox comeback win yesterday and showed they will not quit. Just like Friday night, Papi came through in the clutch but this time it led them to a win. It was a curious move by Jim Leyland though that may have helped as well.
With two runners on base and Kevin Youkilis at the plate, Leyland decided it was best to intentionally walk Youk. Although it's unconventional to put the winning run on base, Leyland played the numbers. You see Big Papi was 0-for-8 against Phil Coke with three strikeouts so the odds were in Tigers favor.
And as you all know, Big Papi is now 1-for-9 against Coke with a double and three RBIs. Hopefully that moment plus the return of Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia to the lineup in the near future can spark the Red Sox to the promised land.
Keep reading for today's pitching matchups, lineups, and batter/pitcher matchups.