Red Sox vs. Tigers: Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino start, Miguel Cabrera does not

Jim Rogash

Despite leaving Sunday's game with injuries, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino are both in the starting lineup. Miguel Cabrera, on the other hand, is not.

Step back from the ledges, turn off the alarms, and replace the "in case of emergency" glass that's currently scattered across the floor in a million pieces. Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino are both in the starting lineup one day after being removed from Sunday's win over the White Sox with injuries.

Boston Red Sox (82-56)

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

Starting Pitcher -- John Lackey

Detroit Tigers (80-57)

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Torii Hunter, RF
  3. Prince Fielder, 1B
  4. Victor Martinez, DH
  5. Andy Dirks, LF
  6. Omar Infante, 2B
  7. Not Miguel Cabrera, 3B (Don Kelly)
  8. Alex Avila, C
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Starting Pitcher -- Doug Fister

You may recall that the last time the Red Sox faced the Tigers was...not so fun. We have Andrew Bailey's infamous blown save, a defensive train wreck, and an Allen Webster implosion to thank for that. It was so bad that it's actually easy to forget that we thrashed the pitcher we're facing today: Doug Fister. The Sox tattooed him for six runs in three innings in the one game they did win.

Since then, Fister has been...inconsistent. Good on most days, but then every once in a while, he'll hit a really nasty road bump, and give up six or seven runs. That's true of any pitcher, I suppose, but it seems to have been happening to Fister more than most. In fact, it just happened to him in his last outing, when he surrendered seven to the Athletics. And it's not beyond him to have back-to-back rough outings, either, so definitely don't take that as a bad sign.

Unfortunately, also present in that last series was Boston's tendency to let John Lackey down. That Andrew Bailey blown save? Only a problem because the Red Sox couldn't score more than two runs against Jose Alvarez, who presently boasts an ERA over six. It would be more understandable to get shut down by Doug Fister, sure, but at this point any mediocre performance behind Lackey would be maddening. Especially if he can take advantage of a Cabrera-less lineup to keep a normally potent Detroit offense in check.

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