Erik Bedard is slated to get the start for the Red Sox in this one. He is winless in three starts since coming over from Seattle at the end of July. The left-hander is 4-8 with an ERA of 3.44 in 19 starts this season. Lifetime against the Rangers, Bedard is 4-3 with a 3.22 Era.
In a season filled with ups and downs the Sox have a record of 44-48 are just five games out of first place. This leaves many to wonder if they can turn it around and what grade would they get going into the second half of the season?
National League MVP – Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies. This may come as a shock to people who always look at St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols as the automatic preseason pick for MVP. But anyone in the know understands the greatness of this hidden gem in the mountains of Colorado. The 25-year-old Gonzalez will be a legitimate threat to win the Triple Crown over the next few seasons. Last year, he hit 34 home runs with 117 RBIs and a .336 average. Throw in 111 runs scored and 26 stolen bases, as well as being a plus defensive outfielder, and you have the most well-rounded player in all of baseball.
McCray, 25, may not have been on the Sox radar at the beginning of the season, but he is off to a 4-1 start with a 2.30 ERA and 1.024 WHIP. He was originally drafted in the 34th round by the “Devil” Rays in 2006 out of high school, in the 50th a year later by the Cardinals and ultimately signed with Chicago when he was taken in the 16th in 2010 from the University of Tennessee.
Post-game — Thank you to all who kept checking back here for updates during the game. As I said, this is also Spring Training for me, and I ran into some glitches posting from the park. I was able to utilize Twitter and Facebook and will continue to do so and figure out a way to get to post here.
American League Rookie of the Year – sale jerseys, Chicago White Sox. Let me introduce you to the left-handed version of Daniel Bard. The White Sox 2010 first-round draft pick is 6-foot-6 (but only 180 pounds) and possesses a 99-mph fastball. There was talk of him potentially replacing the departed Bobby Jenks (and current Red Sox) as closer for the White Sox. Manager Ozzie Guillen decided to go with veteran Matt Thornton instead. But the 34-year-old Thornton has struggled with injuries in the past and will be asked to be a full-time closer for the first time in his career. If Thornton gets injured or struggles, watch for Sale to step in.
With postseason hopes hanging on every pitch, Dansk delivered with a masterful, eight-inning shutout performance in which he allowed just two hits, three walks, and struck out four. He struck out AL batting champ Joe Mauer twice. He held Carlos Gomez and Dennard Span, who came up so big for the Twins last week in Minneapolis, hitless. Possible AL MVP Justin Morneau? Not a chance. He went 0-3 against Dansk, who looked unhittable for much of the game.