Results tagged ‘ lineup ’

Game 1 of the Grapefruit League

The Red Sox play their first game against Major League competition today, as the Rays roll into town for a 1:35 p.m. game here at JetBlue Park

Here is the starting lineup.

Ellsbury CF

Pedroia 2B

Victorino RF

Saltalamacchia C

Gomes LF

Drew SS

Middlebrooks 3B

Overbay 1B

Sweeney DH

Lackey — first start since September 25, 2011.

The Sox will spend the next two days on the road, going to Jupiter on Sunday to face the Cardinals, and on Monday, split-squadders at Port Charlotte vs. the Rays, and in Dunedin against the Jays. The Dunedin game will be a knuckleball fest, as Steven Wright faces R.A. Dickey with Tim Wakefield on hand to watch.

Ryan Dempster will take his first start for the Red Sox on Tuesday, when the Cardinals come to town.

Lowell, Hermida, lineups, etc.

Quiet morning in Sarasota, where the Red Sox were preparing to play their final road game (excluding Saturday’s exhibition at Washington) of the spring.

One thing has become increasingly clear is that Mike Lowell is more  likely to start the season as a Red Sox backup instead of getting traded. Lowell is making the start today at third base. Manager Terry Francona credited the way he is handling his situation.

“I can only tell you how he’s been around me. he’s been professional, like he always is,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “I think the challenges start more when the season starts. again, you look up at the schedule here and you know when you’re playing or when you’re supposed to play. You’re trying to get ready. Quite honestly, I’m sure there will be some challenges presented. That’s part of it.”

Jeremy Hermida (tight right hamstring) is making progress and could play Friday at home against the Nats.

Does manager Terry Francona have his lineup combination in place for the start of the season? He seems to just about there, but is leaving some wiggle room in case he has a change of heart. For now, it is looking like Ellsbury-Pedroia-Martinez-Youkilis-Ortiz-Drew-Beltre-Cameron-Scutaro. Francona’s only hesitation with that combination is the way the lefties and righties are stacked up in the last five spots, But he also seems to think it’s his best combination right now. 

Game 3 of the ALDS

Big Sunday here at Fenway, with the Red Sox in a win or go home scenario.

Not much else to say at this point. Will the bats wake up? If not, the playoffs will be over before they started.

In other news, Dice-K has been keeping himself ready in relief if needed, particularly with Lester a lock for Game 4.

“Well, what we’ve done is he’s gone out and long tossed early and we told him that we’re not going to bring him in in the middle of an inning, bases loaded,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “That’s not in his best interest. I’m sure he has some anxiety about that, but we’ve re-assured him, ‘hey, if we use you, it will be clean innings’, things like that.

“The biggest thing and, again, we were pretty open about what we wanted to do in this series. We wanted to use Lester [in Game 4]. But again, we wanted to protect ourselves in case Lester had a ball off his leg or a long outing. And we told Dice that going in. He knew kind of what to expect. What it does, it does a couple of things aside from him pitching. It frees us up to use some other guys because he’s sitting there maybe behind somebody with a lot of length.”

As for the schedule, which included a 7:43 a.m. ET landing in Boston on Saturday and a noon game Sunday, Francona basically said it is what it is.

“It’s part of the postseason. Thankfully, we’ve kind of become accustomed to it.” Francona said. “Life is crazy. If you’re fortunate enough to get all the way through the World Series, by the time you’re done, there’s no time schedule. The one thing I think we did learn, and we’re so routine oriented, is you have no routine in the postseason. If you understand that, you move on. I was thinking about that getting on the plane the other night. There were all these people getting on that I didn’t know. We’re such creatures of habit. You get on, you claim your own territory and spread out, we all have our thing. It was like, who are these people. That’s just the way it is. It’s not bad, it’s just different. If you can accept it, it helps. And we’ve been through it a lot, so just get used to it.”

Lineup today:

Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Martinez C
Youkilis 1B
Bay LF
Ortiz DH
Lowell 3B
Drew RF
Gonzalez SS

Buchholz SP

Sometimes there is nothing like a comfy couch

What did Red Sox manager Terry Francona do after a rain-filled night that ended at midnight with a noon game looming today? Naturally, he slept in his office.

Even though Francona lives relatively close to Fenway, going home made little to no sense. Believe me, I would have done the same thing if I had four things he had — an office, a couch, an accessible shower and a change of clothes.

Was the couch comfortable? “Noooo,” Francona said. “I got a lot of work done though. It was good. By the time you shower and drive. then you have to wake up and turn around. I got a ton of the Anaheim stuff done.”

Francona then revelaed a funny story.

“I’ve got to tell you, I went up to the food room at about 2:30 [a.m.], ran into [assistant equipment manager] Pookie [Jackson] coming out of the shower. That’s about as bad a nightmare as you’re going to see,” Francona said.

While Francona spent the wee hours getting ready for the start of the Angels’ series on Tuesday night, most of his lineups had already been decided upon.

He went with an interesting mix in Game 1. David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, J.D. Drew and Alex Gonzalez all got the game off against Matt Garza, who has given the Sox fits the last couple of years.

Ortiz is 2-for-21 against Garza, with both hits being homers. Lowell? 3-for-20. Drew is 3-for-19, and got a very rare start off against a righty. Jason Bay made his first start with the Red Sox as a DH. V. Mart is getting the nod behind the plate, while Tek will catch Lester in the nightcap. Casey Kotchman is starting Game 1 at first base, with Josh Reddick in left and Nick Green at short.

This couild be a monumental day in the Wild Card standings. The Rangers also have a doubleheader. This means that there’s at least a chance Boston’s lead could be as high as five games by the end of the day or as low as one game.

Full Circle with the lineup

Why is tonight’s Red Sox starting lineup — Ellsbury-Pedroia-Youkilis-Ortiz-Bay-Drew-Lowell-Varitek-Lowrie — significant?

The obvious answer is that it marks the return of Jacoby to the leadoff spot, where he has been slotted just once sinceMay 31.

But the true answer is that this is just the third time all season — and first since the third game of the season on April 9 — that the Sox have had this combination of nine players in the lineup.

Obviously the Lowrie injury is the big reason why. But the order is also similar. It’s almost as if Tito has come full circle.

Only differences between today and Opening Day? Ortiz (third on Opening Day) and Youkilis are flip-flopped, as are Drew (fifth on Opening Day) and Bay.

The Red Sox obviously need to get a spark offensively, where they have struggled to have consistency of late.

Looking for spark, Tito switches lineup

With the Red Sox doing close to nothing offensively in the five games that preceded Sunday’s finale in Toronto, manager Terry Francona switched around the lineup to try to change the results.

Dustin Pedroia was moved to leadoff. Jacoby Ellsbury moved to eighth. And for the first time in his Red Sox career, J.D. Drew batted second. This, with lefty Ricky Romero on the mound for Toronto.

Youkilis is hitting third, with Jason Bay in the cleanup spot, followed by Mike Lowell, David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, Ellsbury and Nick Green. Lugo is on the bench again, with Tito feeling that Green’s range is necessary with Lester pitching on turf.

And for all of you Tweeters out there — or Twitterers — or whatever you want to call it — I am now a member. Check me out at IanMBrowne.

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