The last time the Cubs found themselves facing the Red Sox at Fenway Park was during game six of the 1918 World Series. A game which the Cubs lost, and which, recent research suggests, might have been fixed. Though baseball has had interleague play for the last fifteen years, and the Cubs and Red Sox have played each other in that span, the teams somehow never met at Fenway until this year.
Indeed, the last time it seemed likely that these two would meet at Fenway was during the 2008 season, when both teams seemed destined for a trip to the World Series. Fans of both teams know how well that turned out, and the 2011 iterations of these clubs are pale shadows of those juggernauts of three years past. The struggles of the Cubs are well known in these parts, but the Red Sox have also had a dismal 2011 campaign. Though they've finally broken over .500, they still find themselves in third place in the AL East, trailing both the Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Starting for the Cubs this evening will be Doug Davis. Davis will be making just his second start for the Cubs this season, coming off a loss against San Francisco in a game plagued by frigid temperatures and torrential rain in which he gave up three runs over five innings. In his career against Boston, Davis is 3-2 with a 3.79 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. Mike Cameron holds a .333 career average against Davis, and has hit two home runs against him in 51 at-bats.
Pitching for the Red Sox will be Jon Lester. Lester is off to a good 2011 season, at 5-1 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He's coming off a start against the Yankees in which he gave up four runs on five hits over six innings, while striking out seven. He's never pitched against the Cubs, but has some experience against members of the lineup. Carlos Pena has a .294 average against Lester, and has taken him deep five times in 34 at-bats.
The weather in Boston is expected to be cloudy with a chance of showers and a game time temperature in the low 60's. First pitch is at 6:10 P.M., CDT, and the game will be televised on WGN and MLBN.