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Having (no) fun with lineups

With only about five weeks left of the regular season, things are rapidly getting very important. Naturally, a win in April is worth as much as a win in August/September, but it feels a lot more important now. The Sawx are 5.5 games back in the AL East and 4.5 games back in the Wild Card race. So, it's time to break out the guns. It's do or die time.

Trouble is, injuries have rendered our guns firing blanks. Here's the starting lineup for yesterday's game against the Mariners:

  1. Crisp, CF
  2. Loretta, 1B
  3. Ortiz, DH
  4. Pena, LF
  5. Lowell, 3B
  6. Kapler, RF
  7. Mirabelli, C
  8. Pedroia, 2B
  9. Cora, SS
Using BaseballMusings' Lineup Analysis, that lineup is expected to score between 4.448 and 3.791 runs per game. (You can see which batting order's were the best and the worse here.) That ain't good. In fact, that's kinda bad. This is what I deem to be our regular lineup when everyone's healthy:
  1. Youkilis, 1B
  2. Loretta, 2B
  3. Papi, DH
  4. Manny, LF
  5. Trot, RF
  6. Lowell, 3B
  7. Tek, C
  8. Coco, CF
  9. Gonzo, SS
That lineup is expected to score between 5.973 and 5.552 runs per game. (You can see which batting order's were the best and the worse here.) That's a massive difference from yesterday's lineup. Just massive.

I know Youk's only got a stomach virus and is expected back shortly, that Manny isn't on the DL, that the return of Tek is soon upon us and everything else. So what's my point? It's that right now we're sporting a lineup that would need great pitching to be able to win a lot of games. Our team ERA is 4.81, good for 26th in all of MLB. We don't have great pitching. Without our offense, we're kinda screwed.

Until our lineup is back to something that at least vaguely resembles our regular one, we're going to have to downgrade our expectations a bit. When Manny, Youk, Tek and Wake have all returned, we've got an OK shot at making the playoffs. Until then, we're kinda screwed. And we're running out of time.