After taking 2/3 from the Rangers here at home, the Sox are going where they have been at their best... the road. First up is a trip to Disneyland to face the Angels for a quick two game set beginning tomorrow. Then, they go to the Pacific Northwest to visit the Mariners for a weekend series.
Tomorrow night, Mark Buehrle will square off with Ervin Santana. The Sox handled Santana well this year in their only matchup on May 9, with an 8-0 victory. Unfortunately, the guy that had 5 RBI's that night isn't expected to play. Santana is 4-4 in 12 career games vs. the Sox (11 starts). Buehrle needs to pitch better than he normally does against the Angels, as he is 2-7 with a 4.43 ERA over 19 games (18 starts). He did pitch a pretty good one here though.
On Wednesday night, we send Zach Stewart against Jered Weaver. Stewart has looked good in his 2 starts with the Sox, and he will need to be great to lock horns with Weaver. Weaver is having a Cy-Young type season with a 14-6 record and a 2.10 ERA. He beat the Sox 4-3 in their lone matchup this season, but has dominated us in his career. In 8 starts against us, he is 5-2 with a 1.81.
After another off day on Thursday the Sox head to Seattle to face the Mariners. The Sox are 4-2 vs. Seattle this year and have handled them pretty well in recent times. Jake Peavy, John Danks and Gavin Floyd will be who we send out against the Mariners. Seattle's rotation has yet to be decided, but Felix Hernandez pitches on Wednesday vs. the Indians, so we will miss the King.
I am looking for big things on this road trip. I don't think a 4-1 mark is out of the question. A good trip would go a long way in drawing near to Detroit, as they are going to be playing their toughest series remaining on the schedule. They open up a 4 game set against the Rays tonight in Tampa. The probables for that series are Justin Verlander vs. Jeff Niemann, Brad Penny vs. David Price, Max Scherzer vs. Wade Davis and Doug Fister vs. Jeremy Hellickson.
* Paul Konerko will reach 2,000 hits with his next one. It would be fitting if it ended up being a homer into the left field bleachers in Anaheim, as he hit a couple of big home runs there back in October of 2005.
* With the rosters able to expand to 40 men on September 1st, Ozzie said the team will at least add another catcher, infielder and pitcher from the minors along with the much awaited arrival of Dayan Viciedo.