Time to knuckle down

Current Conditions:

Not bad on last night’s forecast.  The Sox did indeed lose a close game, and Marcum did indeed pitch "well enough to win", pitching just 5 innings, giving up 2 runs, stranding tons of runners, and leaving with a one run lead after 89 pitches.

The Sox did indeed come back to take the lead of Toronto’s middle relief before losing. 

Tonight, the Red Sox go on the road for a very short one-city trip to nearby Baltimore.   More like a quick weekend getaway than a real road trip.  The combined effects of coming off a loss, getting Wakefield and Mirabelli back, seeing the division lead shrink to 6, and being at the start of a short trip will be enough to motivate the Red Sox to "knuckle down" and pull off a win. 

Playing the slumping Orioles doesn’t hurt, either.   Pedroia will be back in the lineup, nicely rested.  JD Drew is starting to show signs of some consistent offense.  The Orioles starter, Olson, has a high ERA, and almost as many walks as innings pitched, and he’ll be facing a team that’s very good at drawing walks and inducing high pitch counts. 

Forecast:

The Red Sox should win this game quite easily, given all the factors above. 

The only way the Red Sox lose this game is if Wakefield’s missing of a start somehow threw off his feel for his knucklball.  Having Mirabelli back might psychologically help in that regard.  Wakefield might give up some early-inning runs, but should be able to find the feel in time to get his career-high-matching 17th win, given all the offensive support he’ll be getting from his teammates. 

Wakefield gets the win and the Sox win big in a high-scoring game.

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