After deciding to postpone Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin, the Red Sox will open up a 10-game homestand and three-game weekend series against the Nationals on Friday.
Left-hander Martin Perez will be making his seventh start of the season for Boston, and he’ll be opposed by vaunted right-hander Max Scherzer for Washington.
Perez is coming off his best outing of the year in which he held the Orioles to one run on five hits, one walk, and six strikeouts over seven strong innings of work last Saturday.
More significantly, the Venezuelan southpaw topped out at 95 mph with his four-seam fastball. He credits that increase in velocity to a revamped weight-lifting routine.
In two lifetime starts against the defending World Series champion Nationals, Perez owns a career 6.30 ERA and .841 OPS against over 10 total innings pitched.
Scherzer, meanwhile, has not been at his best so far this season even though the Nationals are 4-2 in his six starts.
Through his first six outings of 2020, the three-time Cy Young Award winner has posted a 4.31 ERA and 3.76 FIP over 31 1/3 frames of work.
Despite those somewhat surprising numbers, Scherzer does have a strong track record at Fenway Park, as the 36-year-old hurler owns a lifetime 3.13 ERA and .711 OPS against in five prior outings and 31 2/3 innings pitched in Boston.
Here is how the Red Sox will be lining up behind Perez and against Scherzer to begin things on Jackie Robinson Day:
Among the nine hitters that make up this lineup we have grown accustomed to seeing, J.D. Martinez and Kevin Pillar have taken Scherzer deep twice before in their careers, while Mitch Moreland has one career homer off the Nats ace.
Also worth noting here is the fact that Alex Verdugo has two hits in three career at-bats while facing off against Scherzer, which is somewhat prevalent considering the 24-year-old is leading off for Boston in this one.
First pitch Friday, which again is Jackie Robinson Day, between the previous two World Series champions is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. eastern time on NESN and WEEI. Red Sox going for win No. 11 in game No. 32.