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Red Sox at Nationals lineups: It’s coming home

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With a win today behind Chris Sals, the Sox will host the wild card game at Fenway Park.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles
This is why he is here.
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 Boston Red Sox, six months removed from the start of a season with middling expectations, two months removed from a sustained run in first place in the division, and mere days removed from their third or fourth profound funk, can clinch a wild card berth this afternoon again Washington behind Chris Sale (3:05 p.m., NESN).

This, to put it mildly, is what it’s all about. There’s a reason baseball has kept a grasp on the culture as life has gotten faster and faster, and it’s everyone slows down for for the game at the same time, and not just some of us. Today, that’s literally true: Every game starts at 3 p.m. Eastern. In baseball every pitch matters over the course of a 162-game season, but not every pitch always matters. Today they do.

Yesterday they did too, as the playoff-precipice Sox played maybe their most excruciating and ultimately exciting game in a September full of them, a game defined by a Christian Vázquez triple and a war of words between Austin Davis and Juan Soto that was defined by about three millimeters of wood. That much more on it, and it would have been a redux of the previous Saturday’s Stanton Slam, but such is baseball. There’s always tomorrow.

Until there isn’t. The Red Sox cannot be eliminated from contention today, but a win eliminates any doubt about where their next game will be, and what it will be for. A loss and they’re looking at a potential play-in game, the scenarios for which you can see here. Abaci recommended.

The Sox throw out the the exact same lineup as yesterday. Let’s get the same result. Let’s get NASTY!

Game 162 at Nationals

Lineup spot Red Sox Nationals
Lineup spot Red Sox Nationals
1 Kiké Hernández, 2B Lane Thomas, CF
2 Kyle Schwarber, 1B Alcides Escobar, SS
3 Xander Bogaerts, SS Juan Soto, RF
4 Rafael Devers, 3B Josh Bell, LF
5 J.D. Martinez, RF Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
6 Alex Verdugo, LF Jordy Mercer, 2B
7 Hunter Renfroe, CF Alex Avila, C
8 Christian Vázquez, C Carter Kieboom, 3B
9 Chris Sale, P Joan Adon, P
SP Chris Sale, LHP Joan Adon, RHP