The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich Monday morning, on his way to Texas for the Red Sox’ very important series against the Rangers.
“I think it’s a big one because they haven’t played well against Rangers for two years, and they haven’t played well in Texas. They opened up the season there and got knocked around for three games,” said Abraham, still in Kansas City where Boston took three of four over the weekend.
The Red Sox are currently half-a-game behind the Yankees in the AL East, and if the playoffs started today would face the Rangers in the first round.
“I think it’s a big series just because they need to avoid going back to Texas for the first round of the playoffs,” Abraham continued. “If they can win here and maybe get ahead the Yankees, it would set them up for an easier first round series. If they fall into the wildcard, they’re probably going to end up back in Texas for the first round.”
Boston won the series in Kansas City with a make-shift lineup. David Ortiz (foot) and Kevin Youkilis (back) missed the entire series while leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury missed the final two games after getting hit by a pitch in the back.
“It reminds me of the spring training game,” Abraham said of Boston’s lineup that featured Darnell McDonald batting second and rookie Ryan Lavarnway DHing in their 6-1 win on Sunday. “Kansas City is a better team than they’ve been in the past. I think it’s pretty good that they took three of four with the lineup that they had.”
The lineup also featured Dustin Pedroia batting cleanup. The Sox second baseman is batting .381 with three home runs and eight RBI from the four-spot this season. Could Terry Francona keep Pedroia in that spot even when Youkilis returns from the disabled list?
“It’s something to think about,” said Abraham, noting Youkilis may be rusty if his DL stint lasts longer than two weeks. “He’s a guy that hits the same way not matter where he’s been in the lineup.”
“Everything the guy does is beyond what you’d expect,” Abraham said of Pedroia.
The gang also touched upon Jacoby Ellsbury’s back injury, and what to expect from starter Erik Bedard the rest of the way. Click and listen to get all the Sox info you need!