By Matt Straub
The Boston Red Sox continue to take two steps back for every step forward. It’s a trend which hasn’t eliminated them from contention yet, but has been troubling. Even scarier is the arrival into town of a team with a bunch of big names which is playing well of late and is motivated to get closer in its own divisional race.
Sooner or later the Sox are going to have to get on a roll, and there’s no better way to do so than to beat a good team at home. Let’s preview what could be a big series in Beantown.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (21-20, 2nd place AL West)
at Boston Red Sox (19-22, 4th place AL East)
Friday, 7:10 p.m.
Garrett Richards (3-2, 2.29 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (4-2, 4.26)
Saturday, 7:15 p.m.
C.J. Wilson (2-2, 3.06) vs. Steven Wright (1-1, 4.02)
Sunday, 1:35 p.m.
Hector Santiago (3-2, 3.25) vs. Wade Miley (3-4, 5.10)
The Red Sox have lost two in a row, dropping needed games to the Rangers at Fenway, and are just 5-5 in their last 10. The only place to find their offense is on the back of a milk carton, and they are still the only team in the East with a negative run differential. They have kept themselves afloat, but there is a long way to go on the road to the postseason. This team has higher expectations than "we haven’t embarrassed ourselves totally like the 2012 team did." The Angles are 7-3 in their last 10 and are making the Astros work for the West lead. They are now clear of the Josh Hamilton saga, which has taken away some distractions.
Three Angels To Watch
1. Mike Trout is one of the best overall players in baseball. The guy can do everything well, even if he doesn’t steal as much as he once did. He’s a big threat on offense and defense, and is a pleasure to watch play.
2. Albert Pujols will go down as one of the best hitters of this generation. He’s nowhere near what he once was, but this is a chance to watch an all-time great, and we might not get too many more chances to do so.
3. Richards has been outstanding so far and is one of the more underrated pitchers in the bigs. The Red Sox would love to break out against him, and he can set the tone for the series for the Angels.
A visit to the Twins, who have surged back into the race in the Central, is next.