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Red Sox at Astros lineup: Drew or die?

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The team looks to put game one behind them against former AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Red Sox enter this afternoon’s ALDS game two against the Astros with their backs near the wall, less because of the 1-0 game lead than Houston’s scalding-hot bats, which have now been a problem for more than a week. Today, as he did so often this season, Drew Pomeranz will look to right the ship.

The big lefty was Boston’s biggest surprise in the rotation this year, posting a 17-6 record with a 3.32 ERA — marks not entirely different from those of Rick Porcello in 2016, which earned him the Cy Young Award. Pomeranz won’t take the hardware, but he can stop the bleeding today, and that’s all we can ask.

He’ll be opposed by former American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, who’s pretty reliably good when he’s healthy enough to pitch. He went 14-5 this year with a 2.90 ERA despite missing considerable time early in the season, and ought to be a formidable challenge for the often-challenged Red Sox offense.

While more than one good Red Sox writer named Matt thinks John Farrell was too slow with the hook yesterday, I can’t fault him for keeping Chris Sale in a playoff ballgame, hoping for a rebound that never came. Hopefully Farrell won’t come to the same bridge today with Pomeranz, but if he does, I expect a much quicker trigger finger with a bullpen that includes David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez, Carson Smith and Craig Kimbrel, among others.

Injured Eduardo Nunez is out of the lineup, obviously, having been replaced on the roster by Chris Young. Young DH’s today against the lefty, with Hanley Ramirez at first base and Rafael Devers sitting out to start. Christian Vazquez is back behind the plate, while the Astros run back yesterday’s lineup. Here’s the full slate:

ALDS Game 2, October 6, 2017 at Astros

Batting Order Red Sox Astros
Batting Order Red Sox Astros
1 Xander Bogaerts, SS George Springer, CF
2 Dustin Pedroia, 2B Alex Bregman, 3B
3 Andrew Benintendi, LF Jose Altuve, 2B
4 Mookie Betts, RF Carlos Correa, SS
5 Hanley Ramirez, 1B Evan Gattis, DH
6 Chris Young, DH Josh Reddick, RF
7 Christian Vazquez, C Yuli Gurriel, 1B
8 Deven Marrero, 3B Marwin Gonzalez, LF
9 Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Brian McCann, C
SP Drew Pomeranz, LHP Dallas Keuchel, LHP