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Red Sox Vs. Indians Lineups: Erik Bedard Makes Boston Debut

On Sunday afternoon, Erik Bedard went from last, to first. Having spent the first six years of his career with the Baltimore Orioles before moving to the Seattle Mariners, Bedard had seen all of one winning season.

Now, with the Red Sox, he finds himself staring the postseason in the face--the Sox would have to drop nine games in the standings to even pull into a tie for the wild card--and part of a team in desperate need of his help in an ailing rotation.

If that change wasn't enough, though, Bard will have to deal with the sudden shift from having the league's worst offense behind him, to having the league's best. It's hard to imagine he'll mind too terribly.

Boston Red Sox (68-41)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Carl Crawford, LF
  7. Josh Reddick, RF
  8. Jason Varitek, C
  9. Marco Scutaro, SS
He will have to start in a park where he's not had many good results, but then again, he's always had to face the Sox here. Against the Indians, things might be very different.

Cleveland Indians (54-54)
  1. Ezequiel Carrera, CF
  2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  4. Travis Hafner, DH
  5. Carlos Santana, C
  6. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
  7. Matt LaPorta, 1B
  8. Austin Kearns, LF
  9. Jason Donald, 3B

Pitching Matchup: Erik Bedard (4-7, 3.45 ERA) vs. Justin Masterson (8-7, 2.56 ERA)

In his first start back from the disabled list, Bedard was hammered for five runs in under two innings. He'll do his best to prove that was just a matter of rust tonight. For the rest of the year, Bedard has been very effective for the Mariners, using primarily a low-90s fastball and hard-breaking curve to put up front-line starter numbers. Bedard has generally been pretty good at putting the ball in the zone, but that can lead to some home run trouble at times. Of late, that's been what the Indians have excelled at, so hopefully he can dodge that issue tonight.

Justin Masterson is making the Indians look awfully smart for their part in the Victor Martinez trade. While the Sox were happy to get Victor's bat for a year-and-a-half behind the plate, the expectation was that they were giving up a solid swing-man or back-end starter, not the ace that Masterson has become. What's worse, Masterson seems to overperform against his former team, allowing just three runs in over 21 innings against the Red Sox between 2010 and 2011. It's possible this is the night the Sox solve him, but just as likely that they'll need Bedard to really bring it for as long as his limited pitch count will allow.