The new and improved (or old and just as good depending on where you set the standard) Rick Porcello takes the mound for the Red Sox Friday night as they attempt to play spoiler against--wait, no, beating the Blue Jays means helping the Yankees and...and...dammit.
|BOSTON RED SOX||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Mookie Betts - RF||Ben Revere - LF|
|Brock Holt - 3B||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|Xander Bogaerts - SS||Jose Bautista - RF|
|David Ortiz - DH||Edwin Encarnacion - DH|
|Travis Shaw - 1B||Justin Smoak - 1B|
|Rusney Castillo - LF||Russell Martin - C|
|Blake Swihart - C||Ryan Goins - SS|
|Josh Rutledge - 2B||Kevin Pillar - CF|
|Jackie Bradley - CF||Cliff Pennington - 2B|
|Rick Porcello - RHP||Marcus Stroman - RHP|
So this is a conundrum, but not a new one. We've faced this before, the race is still close, and .500 isn't really all that possible anymore. Here, then, are the priorities, in order:
- Rick Porcello being as good as he has been since returning to action.
- Jackie Bradley Jr. remembering how to hit. (And, seriously, where's that day off?)
- Everyone else who will play in 2016 doing reasonably well.
- Losing the game
How do we achieve this?
Ryan Cook for the seventh, eighth, and ninth.
Get it done, Red Sox.
First pitch is at 7:07 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.