Brock Holt is on the sidelines again, and is joined by David Ortiz on Patriots' Day as the Red Sox try to take the series win over the Blue Jays with some early morning baseball.
|BOSTON RED SOX||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Mookie Betts, RF||Michael Saunders, LF|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Josh Donaldson, 3B|
|Xander Bogaerts, SS||Jose Bautista, DH|
|Travis Shaw, 1B||Edwin Encarnacion, 1B|
|Hanley Ramirez, DH||Troy Tulowitzki, SS|
|Chris Young, LF||Russell Martin, C|
|Josh Rutledge, 3B||Ryan Goins, 2B|
|Christian Vazquez, C||Kevin Pillar, CF|
|Jackie Bradley Jr., CF||Ezequiel Carrera, RF|
|Starting Pitcher -- Clay Buchholz||Starting Pitcher -- J.A. Happ|
So John Farrell is having a bad 24 hours. First he sits Holt against Sanchez because he wants to get Young at bats ahead of his two starts vs. LHP. Then he neglects to pinch-hit Holt for Young in the late going because he wants to get Young an at-bat against a less dominant righty than Sanchez was, thus implying that the at-bats he got earlier were not terribly worthwhile, while at the same time suggesting this last at bat was worth more than the chance to actually win a game the Red Sox were making a late push in.
And now he's got Josh Rutledge in for Holt despite the former showing minimal splits in his career and Holt actually hitting lefties better than righties. And worth mentioning that Shaw, based on what we've seen this year, is actually probably better at 3B than Rutledge. But this is where Young should start, make no mistake. That part, at least, is perfectly fine. You just wonder what having him in to go 0-for-4 yesterday really did for him in terms of getting locked in against J.A. Happ.
I won't say all will be forgiven if the Red Sox win today. Because these sorts of things do add up in the minds of fans, and it's why Farrell has such a bad reputation for game strategy. And besides, with Buchholz on the mound...that's far from being a given in the first place.
First pitch is at 11:05 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN, WEEI, and the MLB Network.