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Red Sox at Astros ALCS Game 6 lineups: It’s all up to Nathan Eovaldi

When it comes down it, it’s exactly how it should be.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox look to push the American League Championship Series to a seventh game and prolong their slapstick up-and-down season behind Nathan Eovaldi—who else?—tonight in Texas against an Astros team searching for their third World Series berth in five years (8:08 p.m., FS1).

One game after Chris Sale quote-unquote left his balls on the mound in a Game 5 loss, the Sox are officially one game from having the 2021 season end just short of the game’s biggest stage. It’s altogether fitting that the season comes down to Eovaldi, because he’s been this year’s beacon of positivity and if they’re gonna go down, they might as well do it behind him. If they survive, the series isn’t over, of course, but as Kevin Millar well knows, anything can happen in a Game 7. Memo to Houston starter Luis García: Don’t let us win this one.

This being an elimination game, all hands will be on deck, which means we will probably (finally) see relievers used when or before we even want them, and not see the ones we’d prefer to avoid. If Martín Pérez pitches tonight, it means we’re probably looking ahead to 2022. That or it’s 2 AM, or in the 22nd inning, or both.

The Sox obviously have a history with various iterations of Games 6, which in general tend to be the most dramatic games in baseball playoffs, and which echo through generations. Tonight’s game isn’t just huge for us, right now: It’s huge for us in 5, 10, 20 years. 172 games into their wild year, the Vibes Sox look to bring the party back for another nine innings tomorrow night, and if they do, we’ll never forget it.

The lineup is a little shuffled from the last time they faced a righty, but not considerably so. Kevin Plawecki is in there for Eovadli. The Astros run out the same nine except, again, for their center fielder. All of these are known knows. The unknown knowns start with the first pitch. Let’s shock and awe them. Please.

ALCS Game 6 at Astros

Lineup spot Red Sox Astro
Lineup spot Red Sox Astro
1 Kyle Schwarber, 1B José Altuve, 2B
2 Enrique Hernández, CF Michael Brantley, LF
3 Rafael Devers, 3B Alex Bregman, 3B
4 Xander Bogaerts, SS Yordan Álvarez, DH
5 J.D. Martinez, DH Carlos Correa, SS
6 Alex Verdugo, LF Kyle Tucker, RF
7 Christian Arroyo, 2B Yuli Gurriel, 1B
8 Hunter Renfroe, RF Chas McCormick, CF
9 Kevin Plawecki, C Martín Maldonado, C
SP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP Luis García, RHP