Craig Breslow is starting the penultimate game of the season for the Red Sox, which would be cause for much derision...had he and the bullpen not put together a shutout the last time they had to tackle all nine innings.
|BOSTON RED SOX||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|Mookie Betts - RF||Francisco Lindor - SS|
|Dustin Pedroia - 2B||Mike Aviles - LF|
|Xander Bogaerts - SS||Jason Kipnis - 2B|
|Travis Shaw - 1B||Ryan Raburn - DH|
|Rusney Castillo - LF||Carlos Santana - 1B|
|Brock Holt - DH||Yan Gomes - C|
|Deven Marrero - 3B||Giovanny Urshela - 3B|
|Sandy Leon - C||Abraham Almonte - CF|
|Jackie Bradley - CF||Jerry Sands - RF|
|Craig Breslow - LHP||Corey Kluber - RHP|
A winning season is off the table. Even .500 is as well. All that's left is...well, the two most meaningless games of the season. They'll determine how third-through-fifth shakes out in the East, but in the end, nobody in Baltimore, Tampa, or indeed Boston will call third that much better than fifth. In the end, each season will simply be...mediocre.
Still, the Red Sox aren't completely blowing off this game. The absence of Blake Swihart is likely in anticipation of giving him the final start of the year in Sunday's day game, and other than him, David Ortiz is really the only man missing from the lineup aside from what you might call the late-season starting nine. No Allen Craig or Josh Rutledge here.
Mostly no Allen Craig. We just don't need to think about that situation any more.
First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.