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Red Sox vs. Rays: The last rotation

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It's one last time through the rotation, and then the 2014 Red Sox are over and done with.

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Justin K. Aller

The Red Sox will start their last trip through the pitching rotation Tuesday night, sending Clay Buchholz to the mound against the Rays.

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS BOSTON RED SOX
Ben Zobrist - CF Mookie Betts - 2B
David DeJesus - DH Xander Bogaerts - SS
Evan Longoria - 3B David Ortiz - DH
James Loney - 1B Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Wil Myers - RF Daniel Nava - 1B
Nick Franklin - 2B Rusney Castillo - CF
Matt Joyce - LF Will Middlebrooks - 3B
Yunel Escobar - SS Christian Vazquez - C
Ryan Hanigan - C Jackie Bradley - RF
Alex Cobb - RHP Clay Buchholz - RHP

As in any season, the order of the rotation has long since fallen apart. The loss of Lester and Lackey has left no obvious starting point for the six men now included. But, if you had to choose one, it would have to be Clay Buchholz based on seniority and results (past, if certainly not present).

The sinking feeling that sentence may well have induced? That's why the Red Sox need to sign a couple of starting pitchers this offseason. Not that you needed to be told that. We've all lived through these last few months. I'd say we should have T-shirts or magnets made for that, but a lot of fans of a lot of teams would be really, really annoyed by that suggestion.

Self-pity aside, if none of our six pitchers can really push their season into hugely successful territory with one last start, they can at least end on a good note. Then again, maybe we should be hoping they don't. Oh, sure, there's the draft position, but that's not what I'm talking about. At least not with Clay Buchholz. After all, Buchholz went into his final game of the 2012 season in resurgent fashion, and proceeded to implode in magnificent fashion against the Yankees. The next time he pitched, it was the first game of one of the best first-half performances this team has seen.

Granted, that means nothing, but if you're the superstitious sort...

First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for tonight's MLB games. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. You can join in now using this link.