The Red Sox season has moved along like the NBA playoffs to this point — a day on, a day off, repeat. It hasn’t done wonders for their health, though. The lineup they’ll throw out today for the Tigers’ home opener — the first of four 1 o’clock games in the Motor City in as many day — doesn’t look like your typical Game 3 lineup, but, uh, you go to war with the army you have.
The big shifts are Brock Holt, \o/ batting leadoff and DH’ing, pushing Dustin Pedroia in the-two-hole and Hall of Famer Andrew Benintendi to third. Mookie Betts still has the plague, Hanley Ramirez has it now too and and Xander Bogaerts is on the bereavement lists; Mitch Moreland, Chris Young and Marco Hernandez will take their places. Steven Wright, he of Spring Training’s best photograph, will start. How do you feel about that, Steven?
The Tigers enter the game at 1-1, having split a pair of games with the White Sox in the early going. They’ll start reigning American League Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer, while the Sox will counter with Steven Wright. Eduardo Rodriguez, who was supposed to pitch yesterday’s rained out game with Pittsburgh, will start Saturday instead.
There are interesting connections between these teams, not the least of which is that Dave Dombrowski was the architect of trades for the arguably best players on both of them; he, of course, acquired Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins for Detroit and Chris Sale from the South Side for the Red Sox. Justin Verlander finished second in the Cy Young Award voting last season, leaving his fiancée, Kate Upton, mad online; he, of course, finished behind Rick Porcello, who was acquired by Boston from Detroit. Finally, in Fulmer vs. Benintendi, we have the standing ROY versus the ROY favorite, a battle of guile and facial hair versus genius and glorious, flowing locks.
Here’s the full lineup. No rain in the forecast. Let’s get it on:
Game 9: April 13 vs. Pirates
|1||Jordy Mercer, SS||Dustin Pedroia, 2B|
|2||Starling Marte, CF||Andrew Benintendi, CF|
|3||Andrew McCutchen, RF||Mookie Betts, RF|
|4||Gregory Polanco, LF||Hanley Ramirez, DH|
|5||David Freese, 3B||Mitch Moreland, 1B|
|6||Josh Harrison, DH||Xander Bogaerts, SS|
|7||Josh Bell, 1B||Marco Hernandez, 3B|
|8||Phil Gosselin, 2B||Christian Vazquez, C|
|9||Chris Stewart, C||Brock Holt, LF, \o/|
|SP||Chad Kuhl||Eduardo Rodriguez|