Despite the left-handed Barry Zito starting for the San Francisco Giants, Stephen Drew will play shortstop while Xander Bogaerts rides the pine as Boston looks to bounce back from a late-inning loss and a lengthy slump that has seen them fallen to second place (by percentage points) in the American League East.
Boston Red Sox (74-54)
- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
- Shane Victorino, RF
- Dustin Pedroia, 2B
- David Ortiz, 1B
- Jonny Gomes, LF
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
- Stephen Drew, SS
- Will Middlebrooks, 3B
- Felix Doubront, P
San Francisco Giants (56-69)
In 126 plate appearances this year, Stephen Drew is hitting .193/.246/.342 against left-handed pitchers. Xander Bogaerts, meanwhile, is a righty who has killed them in Pawtucket. Add in the fact that the Red Sox have not done the best job against southpaws this year, and it would seem an easy choice to start Xander here in place of Drew. Really the only reason that comes to mind why Farrell wouldn't is because he doesn't want to send negative signals to Drew about his place in the team.
Still, with the team in the midst of a serious slump that's threatening to put them well behind in the division race with a series against the red-hot Dodgers on the horizon, now does not seem the time to step lightly around putting the best lineup on the field. All hype for Bogaerts aside, and even taking into account that this is a very pro-Drew community on Over The Monster, not going to the guy who can actually hit lefties this year seems a curious choice indeed.
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