Boston Red Sox (76-61) @
San Diego Padres (57-80)
Clay Buchholz (5-10, 5.20) @ Paul Clemens (2-4, 4.93 ERA)
No Ortiz without DH
As the Red Sox continue this series, they are without one of their best hitters to start the game. Ortiz hasn’t played the field since last month, when he started at first base as the Sox traveled to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers. Ortiz was pulled during the middle of the game due to continued lower body fatigue.
After the game, there was some questions as to whether or not Ortiz would need significant time off. Luckily, the Sox were able to have Ortiz pinch hit the following day, and not have to miss any more time.
The way it stands, it looks like John Farrell will take no more chances with Ortiz’ health down the stretch. After tonight’s game, the Sox will end their interleague play on Wednesday. Expect Ortiz to just be available to pinch-hit in that game as well.
Clay Buchholz back in rotation
After three relief appearances, Buchholz will see the start tonight. Buchholz gave up one run in two of his three outings in relief, including taking the loss in his last outing against Tampa Bay. One alarming thing was that Buchholz only notched one strikeout in those three innings out of the bullpen.
In the starting rotation, Buchholz has pitched back-to-back quality starts. He still owns a 5.63 ERA as a starter this year, but looked considerably better the last time he saw some consecutive starts. In nine August appearances, Buchholz owns just a 2.86 ERA in that span.
Steven Wright’s health
Buchholz gets hit turn in the rotation, thanks to the nagging injury that Steven Wright has just not been able to shake.
Wright suffered the right shoulder injury when diving back to second base in a game against the Dodgers last month. Wright missed multiple starts and a stint on the disabled list due to this. After 21 days, Wright rejoined the rotation and has not been at all impressive.
Wright has pitched two games since returning and has allowed nine runs in those games. In each start, Wright gave up seven hits and two long balls.
At this point, Wright has not commented on whether or not he will take the mound again in 2016. For most of the year, Wright was arguably the best starting pitcher in this rotation. If he ends up being out the rest of the year, it’ll be a big blow to the Red Sox.
The Pitching Matchup
Although Buchholz has looked good in his last two starts, it’s unsure whether or not being sent to the bullpen will affect him. Throughout his long career, Buchholz has been viewed by many to be a “head case.” It will be interesting to see if Buchholz can continue his August success.
As for Clemens, he’s coming off an outing where he allowed eight baserunners in just three innings. He walked four batters during that start, and if that’s something he continues in this game, this Red Sox offense will make him pay.
Lucky for the Red Sox, Clemens is a reverse splits pitcher, as he’s allowing an enormous .418 wOBA to righties this year. Without Ortiz, the Red Sox will be a heavy righty club tonight.
1-Dustin Pedroia-R 2B
2-Xander Bogaerts-R SS
3-Mookie Betts-R RF
4-Hanley Ramirez-R 1B
5-Sandy Leon-S C
6-Jackie Bradley Jr.-L CF
7-Chris Young-R LF
8-Yoan Moncada-S 3B
9-Clay Buchholz-R P
1-Travis Jankowski-L CF
2-Wil Myers-R 1B
3-Yangervis Solarte-S 3B
4-Alex Dickerson-L LF
5-Ryan Schimpf-L 2B
6-Hector Sanchez-S C
7-Oswaldo Arcia-L RF
8-Luis Sardinas-S SS
9-Paul Clemens-R P
It’s somewhat of a usual lineup for the Red Sox. Obviously, Ortiz will be available to pinch hit at some point during the night.
Sandy Leon will be in a good spot, batting fifth tonight. He’s cooled off a little, but still is hitting well.
After his 0-for-3 with three strikeouts yesterday, Yoan Moncada will now bat eighth instead of seventh tonight. That also has to do with Leon now in the lineup though.
Red Sox Notes:
Andrew Benintendi could be back sooner than expected (FOX SPORTS)
Where will Tim Tebow sign? (MLB.COM)