Stephen Drew and Daniel Nava are back in the Boston lineup Friday afternoon, as Jonny Gomes and Will Middlebrooks ride the pine against Doug Fister and the Tigers.
Boston Red Sox (44-31)
- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
- Shane Victorino, RF
- Dustin Pedroia, 2B
- David Ortiz, DH
- Mike Napoli, 1B
- Daniel Nava, LF
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
- Stephen Drew, SS
- Jose Iglesias, 3B
Starting Pitcher -- Jon Lester
Detroit Tigers (40-31)
Starting PItcher -- Doug Fister
Ah, Doug Fister, the one that got away and, frankly, sent Boston into a tail spin in doing so. How different would this team be if the Sox had just done the smart thing and pulled the trigger back in 2011?
Well, they didn't, and now the team that's emerged from the ruins of 2011 and 2012 will have to hit him if they want to avoid a three-game losing streak. They'll have arguably their best lineup on the field--though an argument could certainly be made for Mike Carp over Mike Napoli were the former not injured.
Whatever happens between Fister and the bats, though, it's Jon Lester's performance that will really matter tonight. He showed signs that he might be headed in the right direction last time out, but it came in the midst of one of his worst performances of the year by far. If he doesn't capitalize on those positive signs, it's going to be a new level of misery for Lester in 2013, and the Sox will have to strongly consider giving Buchholz his spot in the rotation when he's ready to return.
Read more Red Sox:
- Ryan Dempster: The model of stability
- Solving the Red Sox closer problem
- Can the Red Sox rotation hold up?
- MLB Draft 2013: Red Sox sign first-round pick Trey Ball
- Jonny Gomes hits walk-off homer, punts helmet