Buehrle (13-4, 2.79) @ Wells (9-5, 4.45)

Since July 1st, Wells is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA, numbers he will need to replicate tonight to have any luck against Mark Buehrle, who is enjoying the best success of his pitching career so far this season. Buehrle looked well on his way to becoming a frontline starter in 2001, but took a three-year detour and now that he’s stopped giving up so much homeruns, is realizing his potential. He gave up ten hits in six innings against us on July 21st, earning a no-decision in an eventual loss despite only allowing three runs. He only struck out one Red Sox, and was on the bench to see Luis Vizcaino serve up the game-deciding home-run to Manny Ramirez, a pitch after Joe Crede dropped a foul pop-up by Manny.
Buehrle will look to improve his secondary statistics (1.42 WHIP, .277 BAA) against Boston. He may sport a nice 3.47 career ERA against the White Sox, but these secondary statistics tell a different story. The White Sox just came off a highly taught series against the Yankees, and this matchup will show a lot of their resiliency. The topnotch pitching performances they had to turn in against the Yankees plus a tough time getting runs across the plate could come back to haunt them. The pitching will have a tougher time against Boston, and they could struggle at the plate. Manager Ozzie Guillen has noted that the White Sox are not playing with the same fire they usually had and he saw encouraging signs during the Yankees series. Time will tell if these signs are seen in Boston.
David Wells sports a career 4.50 ERA against the White Sox, with a 1.43 WHIP and .293 BAA. In Fenway Park, he owns a career ERA of 4.47, 1.33 WHIP and .277 BAA and has worse numbers at US Cellular Field (4.28 ERA 1.51 WHIP .304 BAA) so Wells should be a bit better than these career numbers against the White Sox, considering that so far this year in Fenway, he has a line of 3.27/1.07/.252. For someone wanting to blow up Fenway Park, he’s done quite well at Fenway this year.
If we want to succeed against Buehrle, we’re going to have to look at getting some left-handers in the lineup. Buehrle has a 2.57 ERA v. RHB and a 3.79 ERA v. LHB. Even though conventionalism leans towards starting righthanded batters, I would hope Francona would notice this abberation and perhaps give Edgar Renteria a second day off (which he needs) and start Alex Cora in his place. Adam Stern could also potentially start in right field, and Roberto Petagine at first base. The Red Sox, after this series, only encounter some resistance the rest of the month in the Angels. If we can come out of this series strong, we will have made a statement and we can lean back and watch the Yankees fight to stay in the race, who have a tougher way to go.

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