They are back! After not facing them since the 2007 World Series, the Colorado Rockies are returning to Fenway Park for a quick two-game series.
Looking back on that series, both teams were very different. Matt Holliday, Mike Lowell, Ubaldo Jimenez, Julio Lugo, Brad Hawpe, and Manny Ramirez are just a few. Jon Lester was a great storyline, pitching in game four after battling cancer just a year before. Dustin Pedroia and Troy Tulowitzki were two rookies of the year, battling it out for a ring as well.
Now both teams are battling for a playoff spot, coming off of bad years. The Rockies are three games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Red Sox are clinging to a two and a half game lead over the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles.
The two teams will do quick battle, and the result does not affect each other directly, but with the pressure around the two, they will both want to take both games.
Series: 2 Games vs. Colorado Rockies (Fenway Park, Boston, MA)
Probable Starters (Career vs. Opponent):
June 25, 7:10 PM EDT
RHP Juan Nicasio (0-0, -.– ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (5-4, 6.96 ERA)
June 26, 4:05 PM EDT
RHP Roy Oswalt (0-0, 27.00 ERA) vs. RHP John Lackey (1-0, 4.91 ERA)
Now that the job is totally his with the demotion of Will Middlebrooks, José Iglesias will not want pull a “Jackie Bradley Jr.” Yes, his average is unsustainable, but his on base ability is. As his average falls back to earth, his on base percentage needs to be a parachute to make sure that he does not fall flat on his face. His defense will keep him in the lineup regardless of how he is hitting, but his on base ability will keep the Red Sox in first place.
Ryan Dempster has pitched much better in June than he did in May, and the Red Sox have needed every start. He is 1-2 in his last three starts, but he owns a 3.66 earned run average with it. With the Rockies coming to town, Dempster is the man anchoring this pitching staff, and he needs to stay firm to make sure the Red Sox do not float out of first place. Recent success is nice, but pitching consistently over long stretches is what earns a starter his big bucks.
Enjoy the series! And thanks for reading.
(Photos Courtesy of Jim McIsaac and Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)