Everything appeared to be falling into place for the Red Sox on Monday night after Adrian Gonzalez delivered a go-ahead three-run homer off White Sox left-hander Leyson Septimo in the bottom of the eighth inning, plating David Ortiz and Carl Crawford, who was making his long-awaited season debut. However, the club was dealt another tough blow before Gonzalez even touched home plate.
Ortiz pulled up lame after rounding second base on Gonzalez’s blast and limped his way into home plate and the dugout. According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, the veteran slugger suffered a right Achilles injury and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said early indications are that he didn’t suffer a tear or strain, so the hope right now is that he’ll only have to miss a few games.
Ortiz was understandably frustrated after the game, saying, “This (expletive) team is cursed.” However, he later said, “I think I’ll be all right.”
Ortiz, 36, is hitting .316/.414/.609 with 23 home runs, 58 RBI and a 1.024 OPS in 89 games played this season.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.