8 a.m. ET: It’s far too easy too look at results during spring training and, quite frankly, they hold little bearing on how a player will perform during the regular season. Most of the time, getting through the spring without anything noteworthy happening is a success.
However, when you’re coming off the kind of season the Boston Red Sox (13-10 in Grapefruit League play) are, it’s difficult not too get excited when looking at the performances of guys like Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz — who threw five innings of one-hit ball on Monday. Ditto for Ryan Dempster (1-1, 2.13), who’s putting together a great spring, himself. For the record, Dempster has always been a strong pitcher during March, so perhaps his consistency is the most encouraging sign to take out of his four starts so far.
For the Baltimore Orioles (13-6), they’ll send Brian Matusz (1-1, 2.70) to the mound. The 26-year-old came up to the big leagues as a starter, but in 2012 he was used by Baltimore as a swingman, and so far this spring they’ve appeared to stick with that plan, as of Matusz’s four appearances, two have come out of the bullpen. However, in his last time out, five days ago, he threw four no-hit innings against the Minnesota Twins.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET, but we’ll have the starting lineups and, as Vin Scully would say, “all the stats and stories” leading up to the game at Fenway South. And, if you’re so inclined, you can follow this live blogger on Twitter at @ZachStoloff for additional baseball analysis and the occasional knock-knock joke.