With Boston's lineup failing to produce, John Farrell has shuffled the order, with Dustin Pedroia batting cleanup as they hope to find some more runs.
|BOSTON RED SOX||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Mookie Betts, RF||Guillermo Heredia, LF|
|Xander Bogaerts, SS||Franklin Gutierrez, RF|
|David Ortiz, DH||Robinson Cano, 2B|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Nelson Cruz, DH|
|Jackie Bradley Jr., CF||Dae-Ho Lee, 1B|
|Aaron Hill, 3B||Kyle Seager, 3B|
|Travis Shaw, 1B||Mike Zunino, C|
|Ryan Hanigan, C||Leonys Martin, CF|
|Bryce Brentz, LF||Shawn O'Malley, SS|
|Starting Pitcher -- Drew Pomeranz||Starting Pitcher -- Ariel Miranda|
So we've got Pedroia batting cleanup which has been one of those odd configurations the Sox have turned to for brief periods in the past when they didn't quite have their full personnel and things were going poorly in the standings and at the plate. And it has proven successful, at least for Pedroia. Realistically, the actual difference lies less in the strategy of having a certain batter profile in a certain spot and more in the hopes that any shake-up will help bring the lineup to life. And so long as the best batters are still at the top of the order (as they are here), that's probably about as likely to change things as any other plan.
What's annoying is the absence of Andrew Benintendi, particularly in wake of his two-hit night on Wednesday. The Red Sox, we know, are platooning him and Brentz. They shouldn't be. Now more than ever the Sox should just be starting their best players, particularly when there's no real indication that Benintendi has significant problems with same-handed pitching.
First pitch is at 10:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.