The Red Sox look to advance to the ALCS after a wild Sunday victory over Tampa Bay when they take on the Rays tonight behind Eduardo Rodriguez (7:07 p.m., FS1).
HOOOOO BOOOOOY that was something, wasn’t it? A blown lead, a fortuitous and a (naturally) well-timed Christian Vázquez homer have put the Sox on the precipice of advancing at the expense of the first-place Rays, who figure to be frothing mad heading into tonight’s game. With both bullpens taxed, the Rays will turn to Collin McHugh to open things up and sort of string it together after that, while the Sox will hope E-Rod can pull a vintage #Ed performance out when they need it the most. After his relative dud Game 1, you could argue he’s due, and if he’s on his way out of Boston after this year, this is his chance to make himself a bona fide legend before switching jerseys.
Yes, the Sox can, fittingly, bounce the Rays after last night and after a two-year stretch of watching Tampa Bay ultimately rule the AL East. As happy as I am about this turn of events, it does illustrate why a best-of-5 series isn’t the fairest solution in the world, but since it benefits the Sox this time around, I’ll allow it. All that said, the Rays should, as previously noted, be raring to go tonight, with everyone from Wander Franco to Nelson Cruz eager to dent the monster and then some. It’s gonna be epic.
Of course, also, this being a delayed Marathon Monday, the Sox were faced with the decision to wear their yellow jerseys or not. Here was Alex Cora’s take, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com:
“I’ve got to talk to some people around here and see what we do,” Cora said before Game 3. “Whatever we wear, we’ll be fine. It’s different when you have those alternate uniforms. At one point, they go to some other stuff, like the (Red Sox Foundation), which is a great cause. I don’t know how many of the yellow ones we have around. Guys probably took it for granted and signed jerseys and gave it away and all that. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on. We’ve got red, we’ve got white. We’ll make a decision tomorrow, I guess.”
They decided against it. Sad.
The lineup is the same as yesterday’s except for a Christian Vázquez-for-Kevin-Plawecki substitution behind the plate, which is to be expected. The Rays have their righty-heavy lineup out there, but tonight figures to be a wild, substitute-laden affair. Let it end in victory for the good guys, and we shall party well into the night.
ALDS Game 4 vs. Rays
|Lineup spot||Rays||Red Sox|
|Lineup spot||Rays||Red Sox|
|1||Randy Arozarena, RF||Kyle Schwarber, 1B|
|2||Wander Franco, SS||Kiké Hernández, CF|
|3||Brandon Lowe, 2B||Rafael Devers, 3B|
|4||Nelson Cruz, DH||Xander Bogaerts, SS|
|5||Jordan Luplow, 1B||Alex Verdugo, LF|
|6||Yandy Díaz, 3B||J.D. Martinez, DH|
|7||Austin Meadows, LF||Hunter Renfroe, RF|
|8||Mike Zunino, C||Christian Vázquez, C|
|9||Kevin Kiermaier, CF||Christian Arroyo, 2B|
|SP||Collin McHugh, RHP||Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP|