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On Terry Francona, Jed Lowrie, And Sample Sizes

Jed Lowrie will be out of the lineup Sunday against Matt Palmer in favor of Marco Scutaro. This isn't such a big deal as all that. Even though Lowrie spent most of the start of the year wasting away on the bench, he has played in nine straight games, and the team has always loved giving starters the day off before an off-day to maximize their rest.

So if Lowrie was sitting purely for rest purposes, it wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, before the game, Terry Francona provided us with this gem:

[Palmer] is a little tougher on LH than RH; I want to get Scutaro in a game today. Jed's played bunch in a row.

(via Sean McAdam)

Here's where we run into a problem.

Again, the last part of this statement is just fine. No problems there. But the first half is so blatantly incorrect that it's frightening that Francona might actually believe it to be true.

Here's what's true: Matt Palmer has held lefties to a line of .222/.273/.333 this year--much better than his line against righties.

Here's what's also true: That comes with one walk, zero strikeouts, and in a total of eleven plate appearances. In Matt Palmer's career, lefties have done far better against him than righties. They have a .788 OPS against compared to the .701 of righties, including a huge .391 OBP.

I'd like to think that this is just Francona basically fudging the truth to get Lowrie a day off, but then there's Mike Cameron, complete with his massive splits, hitting sixth in the order, and I can only assume that Terry Francona wholeheartedly believes his own story.

And that's scary.