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Red Sox at Mariners lineup: A first chance to make a second impression

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Eovaldi got this.

World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Three Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Given that a hefty portion of this readership is presumably The Youth, I will show off the ad from which I have reversed this post’s title:

The difference between the Red Sox and your single friends is that the Red Sox get many chances to make a relevant impression. A terrible start by a perhaps-unready Chris Sale is just a terrible start by a perhaps-unready. Chris Sale. Last year’s opener, which was blown by the Sox bullpen, felt much worse after one game, and given how non-representative it was of the season (at least by result), I was determined not to let a bad outcome yesterday bring me down. Turns out I feel just as bad as I do after any eight-run loss, which actually makes it feel less special.

But now we move on to our regularly scheduled programming, which means 10 p.m. games on the West Coast, which are bad. The good part is that folk hero Nathan Eovaldi makes his season debut and he should be better than Sale, because it would be hard not to be. The Mariners will send Yusei Kikuchi to the mound for the second time this year and first in the Western Hemisphere. He went 4.2 innings in his first start, allowing one run, and displayed obvious talent, as you’d expect for a “rookie” who’s actually in the prime of his career. He’s got a hitchy windup like a lot of Japanese pitchers, and like them he is good.

Today, however, he will face his most difficult challenge in an impressive international career: Grapefruit League titan Sam Travis. Travis will make his first start of the year as Steve Pearce’s backup in the first base platoon, and hopefully he can help welcome Kikuchi to the U.S. in extremely rude fashion. Here are the full lineups:

Game 2 at Mariners

Lineup spot Red Sox Mariners
Lineup spot Red Sox Mariners
1 Andrew Benintendi, LF Mallex Smith, CF
2 Mookie Betts, RF Mitch Haniger, RF
3 J.D. Martinez, DH Domingo Santana, LF
4 Xander Bogaerts, SS Jay Bruce, 1B
5 Eduardo Núñez, 2B Edwin Encarnación, DH
6 Rafael Devers, 3B Tim Beckham, SS
7 Sam Travis, 1B Omar Narváez, C
8 Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Ryon Healy, 3B
9 Christian Vázquez, C Dee Gordon, 2B
SP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP Yusei Kikuchi, LHP