The Red Sox have had a nasty habit this year where they turn the ball over to their stopped needing them to play the stopper.
The designation of a stopper is all well and good. It's always nice to have a starter you can rely on to come through when the going gets rough and the team starts to slide backwards. The thing is that one the slide is stopped by the stopper, the team then has to start a winning streak of some sort.
Otherwise you've got a bunch of four-game losing streaks, and what good is that to anybody?
It's only a two-game losing streak this time 'round, but a losing streak all-the-same, and one that could use some stopping if it's not going to end up as a sweep.
As for the men behind him, well, Nick Punto is batting seventh, so there's that. Pedro Ciriaco and Scott Podsednik are the men behind him, filling in at shortstop and center field respectively, with Mike Aviles riding the pine and Jacoby Ellsbury slotting in at DH for a half-day of sorts.
Otherwise, status quo stuff for the Sox on Thursday night.
|BOSTON RED SOX||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, DH||Nick Markakis, RF|
|Carl Crawford, LF||J.J. Hardy, SS|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Nate McLouth, LF|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||Adam Jones, CF|
|Cody Ross, RF||Matt Wieters, C|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C||Chris Davis, DH|
|Nick Punto, 3B||Mark Reynolds, 1B|
|Pedro Ciriaco, SS||Manny Machado, 3B|
|Scott Podsednik, CF||Omar Quintanilla, 2B|