Red Sox vs. Twins lineups: Clay Buchholz, stopper?

Tom Szczerbowski

The Red Sox will turn to Clay Buchholz Monday night as they try to snap a three-game losing streak in Minnesota.

Tonight the Red Sox need to play the role Jon Lester could not: that of stopper. And right now, it's hard to think of anyone they'd rather have out there.

Buchholz, after all, has been on of late. Not simply good, but over-the-top fantastic. And oddly enough it's the control that's getting the job done. In the past, Buchholz has been a guy who can get by on his stuff alone when either his changeup or curveball are on, but has often struggled spotting his fastball. So far in 2013, however, he's doing it all--control, movement, the works. He has been, in short, the ideal world version of Buchholz we all dreamed of after that first start back in 2007.

That will change, at some point. An ERA hovering around 1.00 is impossible for a starting pitcher to maintain in this day and age. But after three straight losses in Texas, the Sox need Buchholz to delay any coming to Earth for a while longer. They need him to be at his best, so that even a struggling lineup can take home the win.

Boston Red Sox (20-11)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Shane Victorino, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Mike Napoli, 1B
  6. Daniel Nava, LF
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  9. Stephen Drew, SS

Starting Pitcher -- Clay Buchholz

Minnesota Twins (13-14)

  1. Jamey Carroll, 2B
  2. Joe Mauer, C
  3. Josh Willingham, LF
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Chris Parmelee, RF
  6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
  7. Oswaldo Arcia, DH
  8. Aaron Hicks, CF
  9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Starting Pitcher -- Vance Worley

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