Daniel Nava is in right field and Joe Kelly on the mound Sunday night as the Red Sox try to avoid their first sweep of the season at the hands of their biggest rivals in the New York Yankees.
|NEW YORK YANKEES (15-9)||BOSTON RED SOX (12-12)|
|Jacoby Ellsbury - CF||Mookie Betts - CF|
|Brett Gardner - LF||Dustin Pedroia - 2B|
|Alex Rodriguez - DH||David Ortiz - DH|
|Mark Teixeira - 1B||Hanley Ramirez - LF|
|Brian McCann - C||Pablo Sandoval - 3B|
|Carlos Beltran - RF||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Chase Headley - 3B||Daniel Nava - RF|
|Stephen Drew - 2B||Xander Bogaerts - SS|
|Didi Gregorius - SS||Blake Swihart - C|
|Adam Warren - RHP||Joe Kelly - RHP|
The "what's Boston's problem now" index currently sits squarely on the lineup after a pair of disappointing performances against CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi. While it's the quality of the pitching that's in question more than anything else, the part of the team that's threatening to sink the ship seems to switch back and forth from day to day.
In Toronto, it was the pitching. 17 runs allowed in three games, but somehow clumped well enough to result in two wins as the Red Sox offense put up a more consistent 16 of their own. Now, with Miley, Masterson, and the pen coming together to hold New York to just seven runs in the first two games of the season, the lineup has produced...four. The heart of the problem on Friday was as much luck as incompetence. On Saturday, it was the waste of Mike Napoli (and more generally the hole in the lineup he, Brock Holt, and Xander Bogaerts formed).
Napoli remains in the lineup along with Bogaerts today, with John Farrell reaffirming their faith in the first baseman after last night's game. Brock Holt, however, is on the bench in favor of Daniel Nava against Adam Warren. It's not a terribly intimidating matchup when you consider that Warren has spent the last couple years relieving, and was not a prospect of any particular note when starting in the minors. But he did hold the Red Sox to just one earned run over 5.1 innings of work when he faced them earlier in the season, and while Joe Kelly is still piling up the strikeouts, he's definitely hit a speed bump these past couple games when it comes to keeping runs off the board. He needs a big start tonight to keep this bump from snowballing on him.
First pitch is at 8:05 p.m. ET with broadcasts on ESPN, ESPN Radio, and WEEI.
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