Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ellsbury out; Drew, Ortiz still in

Here's Terry Francona's Game 5 lineup; you'll notice that a certain designated hitter remains entrenched in the No. 3 hole. Several other spots, though, have been shaken up:

Coco Crisp, CF (switch-hitter, similar numbers from both sides)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH (left-hander)
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Jason Bay, LF
J.D. Drew, RF (left-hander)
Jed Lowrie, SS (switch-hitter, better as a right-hander)
Jason Varitek, C (switch-hitter, better as a left-hander)
Mark Kotsay, 1B (left-hander)

"We're a little bit left-handed for a guy who does well against left-handers," Francona said. "Lefty-righty against Kazmir is just so distinct in the difference. ... It's a vast difference."

* It's interesting that Ellsbury is still out and Drew in; that tells you something about Francona's confidence level in his center fielder. Ellsbury is a better matchup against Scott Kazmir than Drew, so Francona clearly believes Ellsbury is in a slump out of which he's not going to break today.

"You try to take everything into consideration," Francona said. "We're trying to win tonight's game. That's about the best way I can put it."

* Mark Kotsay is 4-for-17 in the series and is a .143 career hitter against Kazmir (2-for-14, including 0-for-2 in Game 2). He remains at first base for his defensive abilities, but it's clear no one's expecting much out of his bat, either.

* Coco Crisp did not hit leadoff in Game 4 because there wasn't going to be much of a chance for the Red Sox to run against Andy Sonnanstine. For what it's worth, opponents were 7-for-10 in stealing bases against the left-handed Kazmir this season. The infield is going to be muddy, though, which makes base-stealing even more difficult.

"Kazmir is certainly a guy that the league has run wild on, but at least are some attempts," Francona said. "Speed can come into play where it didn't against Sonnanstine."

No comments: