Game of the Day: 4/7/09

Alright, time to reprise a GOTD post.  We feel foolish, but it just HAS TO BE DONE.  Anyway, there's some decent pitching action going on today.  Exciting youngsters Tim Lincecum (vs. Brewers), Jair Jurrjens (vs. Phillies), Josh Johnson (vs. Nationals), and Ubaldo Jimenez (vs. Diamondbacks) all take the hill today, and any of them are worth watching on any given day.  Plus, precocious rook Trevor Cahill takes the mound for the A's; his debut comes against the main divisional competition, the Angels.  Also, look for Dan Haren to start his Cy Young campaign against the Rox, while Ryan Dempster looks to justify his big contract for the Cubbies  and Erik Bedard starts a new season of getting hurt then watching impassively as M's fans  wring their hands and gnash their teeth over the bounty they traded for him.  As for the Game of the Day, though, we once again turn to:

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox 4:05 EST

James Shields (0-0, 0.00) vs. Josh Beckett (0-0, 0.00)

Rays                                            Red Sox

2B Akinori Iwamura                 CF Jacoby Ellsbury

LF Carl Crawford                      2B Dustin Pedroia

3B Evan Longoria                     DH David Ortiz

1B Carlos Pena                          1B Kevin Youkilis

DH Pat Burrell                           RF J.D. Drew

CF Matt Joyce                           LF Jason Bay

C Dioner Navarro                      3B Mike Lowell

RF Gabe Gross                          SS Jed Lowrie

SS Jason Bartlett                       C Jason Varitek

Lineup-wise, this matchup seems to favor the Sox. The middle of the orders (2-5) look about even, but overall, Boston's got more balance.  Josh Beckett is dominant when he's on, and we think he's going to be this afternoon - it's the opener, emotions are high, yadda yadda yadda. We would like for B.J. Upton to get off to a good start on making us look like geniuses with his inevitable MVP bid, so if he could come on off the DL, that'd be great; hopefully Matt Joyce doesn't screw up too much in his stead.

Player to watch: Depends on your personality. If you're into schadenfreude, watch Jason Varitek. It's sort of fascinating in a sad way to see what happens when an athlete hangs on far too long. We'll be interested to see if he has anything approaching capable bat speed at this point. We'd be more surprised if he hit .250 than if he hit .190. If it's good performances that are your thing, than turn your eye to the pitching mound. If Josh Beckett is in postseason form, this should be a hotly contested pitchers' duel that is great fun to watch.

KCSD GOTD Record: 1-1

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