The Red Sox have Shane Victorino back in the lineup, but batting sixth rather than second as the Red Sox try to clinch the 2013 World Series in Game 6.
Boston Red Sox (3-2)
- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
- Dustin Pedroia, 2B
- David Ortiz, DH
- Mike Napoli, 1B
- Jonny Gomes, LF
- Shane Victorino, RF
- Xander Bogaerts, 3B
- Stephen Drew, SS
- David Ross, C
Starting Pitcher -- John Lackey
St. Louis Cardinals (2-3)
- Matt Carpenter, 2B
- Carlos Beltran, RF
- Matt Holliday, LF
- Allen Craig, DH
- Yadier Molina, C
- Matt Adams, 1B
- David Freese, 3B
- Jon Jay, CF
- Daniel Descalso, SS
Starting Pitcher -- Michael Wacha
This is not an optimized lineup.
It's not an optimized lineup because Jonny Gomes is hitting fifth. It's not an optimized lineup because Stephen Drew is batting anywhere but ninth and, frankly, at this point it seems foolish to hope he's going to start hitting like his old self anytime before 2014. It's not optimized because Xander is so low.
Red Sox fans should care. But frankly we probably shouldn't care all that much. Not yet. This Red Sox team has been dealing with that for weeks now. Hell, they dealt with a lot worse over the last three games thanks to National League rules depriving them of Mike Napoli.
Granted, this is also one of the harder challenges they've faced, but...they did enough last time. It's easy to forget, given that Game 2 ended with St. Louis two runs up, but two runs from Boston's offense against Wacha was enough right up until Craig Breslow made a mess of things in the seventh. Bridging the gap between Lackey and Koji is still a problem, but getting to that point, at least, is not so impossible a hurdle as it might seem.
If things go wrong there will be time enough for grousing later. For now, we're one win away. Savor it.
Read more Red Sox:
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- What can drive Shane Victorino to sit out a World Series game?
- World Series 2013: Felix Doubront, John Lackey save bullpen for Game 5
- World Series 2013: Red Sox lose, but can take control in St. Louis
- Minor-league pitcher asks if Jon Lester doctored baseball