Red Sox v. Rays, 7:05. Here is a picture of Evan Longoria, who represents all that is pure and good and beautiful about baseball
Ahem. The absence of Big Papi [whimper] didn't appear to be holding back the Sox bats last night... hopefully that trend will hold tonight as Josh Beckett (5-4, 4.30) squares off against 24-year-old righty Edwin Jackson (3-4, 3.70). Dodgers fans out there will not doubt remember Jackson as the 19-year-old phenom who tore up AA in 2003 but couldn't hold down in the majors; he was traded to The Baseball Team Formerly Known As The Devil Rays in 2006. Jackson started last year off miserably, heading into the All-Star break with a record of 1-9 and a 7+ ERA, but he pulled it together a bit towards the end of the season and actually managed to toss a complete-game shutout against the Rangers (I guess it still counts) in August. Bottom line: This kid is obviously streaky as hell and I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see the Sox light him up like a Christmas tree. Boom!
The lineup from last night will remain the same, as Manny Ramirez remains in the DH spot and Drew, Crisp, and Ellsbury hold down the outfield. Some shuffling in the order will occur, however, with Drew batting third (he's hitting .381 over his last 6 games) and Mikey LOL stepping up 5th. Youk has been bumped to 6th for the rest of the series since he typically struggles against both Jackson and James Shields, who will start tomorrow.
Frivolous prop bet of the night: Looking out my window, I'd say it's fairly likely there's at least a partial rain delay in this game, which means the Red Sox will win by default because the Rays all have bedtime at like 10 pm because they are a bunch of baby-faced children.
Serious prediction of the night: Ack my world has been completely turned upside-down at the sight of Drew batting third. Still, I feel like he'll do a great job bringing home Ellsbury and Pedroia... look for a big 3-4 RBI night from Drew. Woo!