What To Watch For, To Make You a Better Red Sox Fan: June 12

Tony CatinellaContributor IJune 12, 2009

This is a sports column for all you Boston sports fans who want to sound more knowledgeable while watching each Red Sox game.  Read this daily column and it may work!

Tonight the Red Sox battle the Philadelphia Phillies, in the first of a three game series. This match-up doesn't happen very often as it is part of MLB's inter-league play, which occurs once a year (One weekend in late May and a series of weeks in mid June). 

Inter-league play is when the American League teams play the National League Teams.

Although the Red Sox and Phillies were the winners of the last two World Series, (Boston winning in '07, Philadelphia in '08) these baseball cities have suffered a lot of misery in Major League Baseball History. 

Boston's franchise originated in 1901, while Philadelphia's started in 1883, and still the two cities have only won a combined four World Series since 1918, and three of them have been in the last five years.

The Red Sox and Phillies each sit in first place of their divisions.  The Red Sox have won three games in a row and are winners of eight of their last 10 games.  The Phillies are on a two game winning streak and have won 7 of their last 10. 

The Red Sox  slugger David Ortiz is slowly crawling out of his slump. He now has three home runs in his last five games.

For the Phillies, outfielder Raul Ibanez, has been their best hitter all season.  Last night he hit a game-winning home run in the 10th inning to beat the division-rival New York Mets. He also leads the team in hitting, home runs, RBIs, and runs.

Tonight the Phillies start Joe Blanton (5-3) (5.46ERA) , while the Sox will send Jon Lester (5-5) (5.09 ERA) to the mound.  Lester is heating-up and threw a two-hitter in his last game.

That's all I have for you.

Enjoy the game!