These guys again.
The story so far:
The Jays ventured into Fenway and split a pair of games with the Red Sox back in April. Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run HR off Hyun-Jin Ryu in the opener, which was all the support Eduardo Rodriguez would require as the Sox won 4-2. The Jays bounced back to defeat Garrett Richards 6-3 the next night behind seven different pitchers (it was a Bullpen Day).
The Sox came down to Dunedin in May, and Ryu pitched his best game of the season, seven innings of four-hitter as the Jays beat Rodriguez 8-0. But the Sox kicked Ross Stripling around for five first inning runs the next day en route to a 7-3 win, with Verdugo, Martinez, and Hernandez all going deep. And in the finale, they hung one of the year's more deflating losses on the Jays. Given a 2-0 lead, Steven Matz instantly surrendered a five spot to put the Jays down 5-2. But he held the line there, and Jays crawled back into the game, tied it up, and eventually took a 7-5 lead into the ninth inning. But Rafael Dolis gave up a pair of hits, an RBI groundout and a killer two-run homer from J.D. Martinez. And the rest of the bullpen said - "You thought that was bad? Come with us to Tampa Bay and see what's possible!"
And there was much wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
One of the good things about playing in Fenway is the left field wall is so close that Lourdes Gurriel can just stand on the warning track. As we've seen, he's elite when it comes to throwing the ball. He's adequate enough coming in on the ball or ranging to his side. Alas, he often resembles a confused Little Leaguer when he's required to go back on the ball. So I'd like to see him just stand on the warning track all weekend. Please. Whatever you do, don't give Charlie an excuse to write the name "Jonathan Davis" on a lineup card. I've got a fairly decent TV now, and it will probably last longer if I'm not throwing things at it.
The Red Sox were the AL East's first place team on both occasions when the Jays encountered them before. Not any more. It's not so much that they've slipped into second place as that Tampa Bay has gone sprinting past them. The Sox are still playing .600 ball. They've still got mainly a three man offense (Martinez, Bogaerts, Devers) but those three guys have been so good that only the Astros score more runs. Eduardo Rodriguez is still scuffling, but the rest of the rotation has been much better than anticipated. The bullpen is depressingly good, and depressingly deep.
The Red Sox will miss the Jays' best starter and the Jays will miss the Red Sox worst starter. Hey, no one said it was supposed to be easy.
Fri 11 June - Stripling (2-3, 4.71) vs Richards (4-4, 3.88)
Sat 12 June - Matz (6-3, 4.50) vs Pivetta (6-1, 3.78)
Sun 13 June - Ray (3-2, 3.36) vs Perez (4-3, 3.88)
Mon 14 June - Manoah (1-0, 3.14) vs Eovaldi (7-3, 4.11)