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Red Sox vs. Astros lineups: Ryan Hanigan faces the knuckleball

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Tonight the Red Sox fight for .500, and the mental health of their entire damn fanbase.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

With Blake Swihart in the minors, Ryan Hanigan will once again take on the task of handling Steven Wright's knuckleball as the Red Sox try to bounce back from an ugly Thursday loss against the Astros.


Lineup

BOSTON RED SOX HOUSTON ASTROS
Mookie Betts, RF Jose Altuve, 2B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B George Springer, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS Carlos Correa, SS
David Ortiz, DH Colby Rasmus, LF
Hanley Ramirez, 1B Tyler White, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B Evan Gattis, DH
Brock Holt, LF Carlos Gomez, CF
Ryan Hanigan, C Luis Valbuena, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Erik Kratz, C
Starting Pitcher -- Steven Wright Starting Pitcher -- Collin McHugh

It's...extraordinarily hard not to feel utterly miserable about the Red Sox right now. The Rays series was as much of an atrocity as a 1-2 series can be. That the loss where David effing Price gave up the big early lead is arguably not even the worst loss (I would be one to make said argument) is pretty telling.

But I'm going to try. I'm going to try really damn hard. And it's the lineup that's going to give me some small chance to do that. Because if the Rays series was absolutely terrible, it still saw many of the bats that had been struggling to start the year--the ones this Red Sox team were really expecting to rely on--begin to turn things around. That's more important than a couple wins in April, and if you have any faith that Rick Porcello and Steven Wright are proving themselves viable secondary starters to David Price, and that this bullpen can't possibly be as medicore as it's looked, then the pieces of a viable Red Sox team are showing themselves.

There, that's me trying. It's the best I can do, because honestly, even thinking about baseball has made me a little nauseous since yesterday. Coldly calculated hope kind of defeats the purpose of hope in the first place, and on an emotional level, this team is downright lethal right now.

If you're willing to give them the chance to make up for some of the misery of this past week, first pitch is at 8:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN, WEEI and the MLB Network.