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Red Sox vs. Rays lineup: Rafael Devers returns

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But it could be another long night with a lot of pitchers.

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

At 6-11, the Red Sox’s season is slipping away from their grasp fast. You could argue that it already has. If you look at their Roster Resource page, they only have three starters penciled into the rotation and one of them is Zack Godley, who’s toeing the rubber tonight. Godley’s been a breath of fresh air in his stints as a starter and a bulk guy, which is saying something considering he’s averaged fewer than four innings in his outings. If he can work into the fifth inning, he will have surpassed my expectations, which speaks to a larger problem that the team is facing: They don’t have enough arms to fill innings.

Clay Buchholz, Andrew Cashner, and Bartolo Colón are three examples of starters who are on the market and are ready to eat innings. It’s clear this team isn’t going to compete in any meaningful way, so the best course of action would be to stop running out the likes of Jeffrey Springs for 51 pitches and to put that burden on someone who has experience shouldering that load.

Theoretically, a team can run out a parade of geeks to get hammered around the yard until you record 27 outs. This is harder in practice and why each team needs innings eaters. The Sox can run out Dylan Covey, Robert Stock, Jeffrey Springs, and Josh Osich for a while and shuffle some of those guys out, but eventually they’re going to hit a wall. You won’t be able to run Austin Brice out there forever. They could easily remedy this by signing some pitchers with starting experience for the prorated minimum so we don’t have to suffer through half-hour long slogs where an interchangeable, back-end of the roster reliever fails to get major-league hitters out.

Anyway, the Red Sox face Blake Snell tonight and the lineups are below.

Game 18

Lineup spot Tampa Bay Rays Red Sox
Lineup spot Tampa Bay Rays Red Sox
1 Austin Meadows, DH (L) Kevin Pillar, RF (R)
2 Brandon Lowe, RF (L) Rafael Devers, 3B (L)
3 Yandy Díaz, 3B (R) J.D. Martinez, DH (R)
4 Ji-Man Choi, 1B (S) Xander Bogaerts, SS (R)
5 Joey Wendle, 2B (L) Christian Vázquez, C (R)
6 Yoshi Tsutsugo, LF (L) Michael Chavis, 1B (R)
7 Willy Adames, SS (R) Alex Verdugo, LF (L)
8 Kevin Kiermaier, CF (L) Jackie Bradley Jr., CF (L)
9 Michael Perez, C (L) José Peraza, 2B (R)
SP Blake Snell, LHP Zack Godley, RHP