For the second time in August, the Red Sox will squeeze three games into two days, this time against the Oakland Athletics.
The schedule crunch is, of course, the result of the impending threat of Hurricane Irene, which even now is bearing down on the East Coast. With heavy rains expected to hit Boston around Sunday, the Sox have moved the last game of their series against Oakland to Sunday, setting up a doubleheader to be played at 12 PM and 5 PM Saturday.
As far as momentum is concerned, the Sox enter the series with it firmly on their side. Winners of 6-of-8, including a dominating statement series against Texas, the Sox will come up against an Athletics team that had all the good vibes from a series win against the Yankees sapped by their complete meltdown Thursday, when they saw a 7-1 lead evaporate into a stunning 22-9 loss.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that the Sox' offense is hitting as well as they have in a month, and their pitching staff is allowing just 3.6 runs per game over the past couple of weeks. Throw in a pretty pitiful Oakland offense, and all the Sox have left to deal with is an unset Oakland rotation.
Boston Red Sox (80-50) vs. Oakland Athletics (59-71)
Friday, August 26, 7:10 p.m.
Tim Wakefield (6-5, 4.97 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (10-11, 3.24 ERA)
Saturday, August 27, 12:00 p.m.
Jon Lester (13-6, 3.16 ERA) vs. Guillermo Moscoso (6-7, 3.28 ERA)
Saturday, August 27, 5:00 p.m.
Erik Bedard (4-9, 3.57 ERA) vs. TBD