The Sox have quite the lineup playing tonight, with Mrs. Ellsbury still nursing a rib injury, Mike Cameron suffering from a kidney stone and Jason Varitek catching Beckett. That leaves Bill Hall out in Center, where he shined yesterday, and Hermida playing left and hitting seventh. The B team will face Wade Davis, who faced the Red Sox once last year and it wasn’t pretty for Wade. In a rain-shortened, five inning game, Davis got eight outs and gave up eight runs.
* I haven’t seen any roster moves out of the Sox so I guess that means that Ellsbury and Cameron aren’t long-term problems.
* Going into the season, my hope was Varitek would get most of his playing time when opposing lefties are on the mound. But over the first thirteen games, the Sox will have only seen three lefties and Varitek will have been passed over each time. Wade Davis. With so few lefties on the early schedule it is hard to predict how Varitek will be used, but it would appear that the more important variable is whether Beckett pitches, as tonight represents the second time this battery has been used (Whether Wake pitches is surely another variable as Varitek is allergic to the knuckler). We’ll see how this all unfolds, but I suspect Varitek wil be Beckett’s caddy and catch him regardless of who throws for the other team.
* On second thought …… here is another reason Varitek might be playing tonight: He is 4-21 off James Shields and 2-15 off Matt Garza, the two Rays scheduled to go Saturday and Sunday. If he is going to play, he might as well avoid those two Tek-Killers.
* With Vartiek in there tonight, expect to see Tampa run early and run often. The Rays were 31 of 35 off the Sox last year and the Sox haven’t shown any ability this year to throw out base stealers.
* Did Tony Massarotti really take a dig at Marco Scutaro this morning for being slow to his left? Did I actually read that? Based on what Tony …..two ground balls up the middle in Minnesota? On that basis, I guess we should also conclude that he is great to his right based on that gem he made deep in the hole yesterday.