The Red Sox have faced the best the West has to offer, and it didn't go so well. Now they'll head north, hoping that slightly easier competition will make for slightly better results.
|BOSTON RED SOX||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Brock Holt - RF||Endy Chavez - RF|
|Xander Bogaerts - 3B||James Jones - CF|
|Dustin Pedroia - 2B||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|David Ortiz - DH||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Mike Napoli - 1B||Logan Morrison - 1B|
|Daniel Nava - LF||Mike Zunino - C|
|A.J. Pierzynski - C||Dustin Ackley - LF|
|Stephen Drew - SS||Brad Miller - SS|
|Jackie Bradley - CF||W. Bloomquist - DH|
|John Lackey - RHP||Felix Hernandez - RHP|
With these new-look Mariners, I really do mean "slightly" easier. At 40-36, the M's have shown they are no pushovers this year, even if they've got a guy like Logan Morrison batting fifth. While the arrival of Robinson Cano in Seattle has not changed the fact that the Mariners are a team that struggles to put up runs, their ability to keep them off the board has been better than ever--bad news for a Red Sox team that's struggling to mount much offense to begin with.
And oh, what a buzzsaw to run into after finally scoring some runs Sunday afternoon. Felix Hernandez is always a tough matchup, but this year he's been otherworldly. A 2.22 ERA, a K:BB better than six, and only three home runs so far on the season. He's damn near untouchable. John Lackey will need to be at his absolute best if the Red Sox are to stand a chance. But if his absolute best is nine shutout innings like it was against Minnesota...that may actually just get the job done.
Or it might send the game to extra innings again.
First pitch is at 10:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.