After an embarrassing loss last night, Boston's lineup needs to wake up against Jordan Lyles who, thankfully, throws with his right hand.
Boston Red Sox (68-46)
- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
- Shane Victorino, RF
- Dustin Pedroia, 2B
- David Ortiz, DH
- Mike Napoli, 1B
- Mike Carp, LF
- Stephen Drew, SS
- Ryan Lavarnway, C
- Brock Holt, 3B
Starting Pitcher -- Steven Wright
Houston Astros (37-74)
Starting Pitcher -- Jordan Lyles
Scoring against the young Lyles has not proven the tallest of tasks this year, but it could be especially important tonight with Steven Wright on the mound for the Red Sox. Wright has done reasonably well since he's started working with Tim Wakefield, and if you're going to give him a start, the contact-low Astros seem like the team to do it against.
If it's hard to expect anything from Wright, good or bad, however, the possibility for the extremes, be it seven shutout or two disaster innings seem likely to be unusually high with the knuckleballer on the mound. So the only safe route is clearly putting up a bunch on Lyles to protect against any eventuality. Kind of a good "strategy" for any game, honestly.
As far as getting to that point, it might behoove the Sox to swing early, at least in the first couple of innings. Lyles has a tendency to throw strikes early, and punishing him for that right away could dissuade him from pounding the zone. After that, it's all just about taking what he gives them and getting into the bullpen, which has been one of many weaknesses for Houston.
Whatever the case, the Red Sox should not be losing a series to these Astros. It's time to play like the division leader they are, or chances are they won't be come the end of the night.