The Red Sox will have Jacoby Ellsbury back in their lineup Tuesday night for the first time since Friday, when he was hit by a pitch in the back towards the end of a game against the Royals.
Ellsbury's return comes at just the right time, just one day after the Sox were blanked by C.J. Wilson. With right-hander Colby Wilson on the mound, Ellsbury will also have a favorable matchup right off the bat.
Whether or not the return of Ellsbury alone will be enough to make a difference for the Red Sox, however, remains to be seen. After all, it was the failure of the whole team, not any particular individual which sunk Boston's offense Monday. A one-man fix would be pretty impressive.
Boston Red Sox (77-50)
- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
- Marco Scutaro, SS
- Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
- Dustin Pedroia, 2B
- Josh Reddick, RF
- Jed Lowrie, 3B
- Carl Crawford, LF
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
- Ryan Lavarnway, DH
The only change in Texas' lineup will be the addition of left-handed Endy Chavez in center to face the right-handed John Lackey.
Texas Rangers (74-55)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B
- Elvis Andrus, SS
- Josh Hamilton, LF
- Michael Young, 3B
- Nelson Cruz, RF
- Mike Napoli, DH
- Mitch Moreland, 1B
- Yorvit Torrealba, C
- Endy Chavez, CF
Pitching Matchup: John Lackey (11-9, 6.02 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis (11-8, 3.83 ERA)
John Lackey hasn't exactly been on fire of late, but he's still be pretty reasonable over his last few games, so it's probably not too much to ask for a decent out--
John Lackey career ERA in Arlington: 6.78
John Lackey career vs. current Rangers .356/.407/.557
John Lackey career OPS vs. Josh Hamilton: 1.469
John Lackey career OPS vs. Ian Kinsler: 1.428
Oh God no...
So the Rangers will probably do pretty well tonight.
As for Colby Lewis, well, he's pretty bad against lefties this year, with a .824 OPS against them this season. That, at least, plays into the Red Sox' strengths. Typically, the same can be said of his fly balls. Unfortunately, he does have a good slider, which the Sox can have trouble with, and there's just the fact that he's a good pitcher in general. And, when you take Lackey's numbers against Texas into consideration, he looks like a monster, plain and simple.