Boston Red Sox catcher Kelly Shoppach connects for an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Less Brent Lillibridge, more Daniel Nava. Less Jarrod Saltalamacchia vs. lefties, more Kelly Shoppach against lefties. These are what I would call positives, and they're the primary differences between yesterday's lineup and today's.
While Saltalamacchia was of course the man who hit the game-tying homer in the seventh, it was only once he was turned around to his preferred side of the plate that he started looking comfortable. With an even tougher lefty on the mound in Ricky Romero, and given Kelly Shoppach's tendencies to destroy southpaws, it's nice to see him back in the lineup.
As for Daniel Nava, it's a simple matter of quality. Brent Lillibridge seems like a nice guy in his interviews, but right now even with his struggles against lefties Nava inspires a lot more confidence at the plate than Lillibridge, whose OPS is about thirty points below Nava's OBP.
Let that one sink in for a bit.
|BOSTON RED SOX||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Daniel Nava, LF||Brett Lawrie, 3B|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Colby Rasmus, CF|
|David Ortiz, DH||Jose Bautista, RF|
|Cody Ross, RF||Edwin Encarnacion, 1B|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||Ben Francisco, DH|
|Will Middlebrooks, 3B||Yunel Escobar, SS|
|Mike Aviles, SS||Rajai Davis, LF|
|Darnell McDonald, CF||J.P. Arencibia, C|
|Kelly Shoppach, C||Omar Vizquel, 2B|