Red Sox vs. Cubs: On saving face, and new lows

Jim Rogash

Can the Red Sox avoid a sweep at the hands of the Cubs? Why is this scenario even in play?

The Red Sox face the ugly prospect of a sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs Wednesday night as they take the field at Fenway Park behind Brandon Workman.

Today's Lineups

CHICAGO CUBS BOSTON RED SOX
Chris Coghlan - LF Brock Holt - RF
Justin Ruggiano - CF Dustin Pedroia - 2B
Anthony Rizzo - 1B David Ortiz - DH
Starlin Castro - SS Mike Napoli - 1B
Luis Valbuena - DH Jonny Gomes - LF
W. Castillo - C Xander Bogaerts - 3B
N. Schierholtz - RF A.J. Pierzynski - C
Mike Olt - 3B Mookie Betts - CF
Darwin Barney - 2B J. Herrera - SS
Travis Wood - LHP Brandon Workman - RHP

"New low" gets thrown around an awful lot in a season like this one, but this...this would be pretty difficult to argue with. The Cubs are 10 games below .500, feature the second worst offense in the game, and between Edwin Jackson on Tuesday and Travis Wood tonight will have put out two pitchers with ERAs over 4.50. You can forgive a loss to Jake Arrieta. Even a second loss was hardly inconceivable given what the Red Sox look like this season.

But when the other cellar dwellers come to town, not even being able to compete? There is a line to be drawn between disappointment and embarrassment, but that would fall somewhere below even that, into the real of infamy. The Red Sox--and by extension us fans--are certainly not in a position to be looking down on anyone. But getting swept out of Fenway by a 36-46 Chicago team would suggest they shouldn't even be playing on the same field. And that's just beyond the pale when we're not talking about an intentionally dismantled team ala September 2012.

For those who can stomach it, first pitch will be at 7:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and ESPN.

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