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Red Sox Vs. Padres Lineups: John Lackey Takes The Hill In Rubber Game

For a third straight series, the Red Sox face a rubber game. Unlike with the Rays (David Price) and Brewers (Yovani Gallardo), however, they won't have to beat an ace to take this one.

Which is probably a good thing, since every time Mike Cameron and Darnell McDonald make an appearance, Red Sox fans die a little on the inside--especially with Josh Reddick proving himself every time he's given an opportunity. One wonders if Terry Francona is going to let the promising young outfielder actually get a shot against a lefty, or if he's just decided platoons are in this year.

Boston Red Sox (44-29) 

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Darnell McDonald, LF
  7. Marco Scutaro, SS
  8. Jason Varitek, C
  9. Mike Cameron, RF
The Padres will once again make just the one change in their lineup, as Will Venable of the .301 OBP gets the start in the leadoff spot.

San Diego Padres (31-44)
  1. Will Venable, RF
  2. Jason Bartlett, SS
  3. Chase Headley, 3B
  4. Ryan Ludwick, LF
  5. Jesus Guzman, DH
  6. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  7. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  8. Cameron Maybin, CF
  9. Nick Hundley, C

Pitching Matchup: John Lackey (5-5, 7.02 ERA) vs. Clayton Richard (2-9, 4.35 ERA)

While the name John Lackey still strikes more fear in the hearts of Red Sox fans than the opposing team, the veteran righty has actually been a lot better since returning from the disabled list. A 5.03 ERA belies much-improved peripherals. So far, Lackey has mostly faced some of the tougher offensive teams in the league, so hopefully a start against the Padres will do him some good.

On the one hand, Clayton Richard is exactly the kind of lefty the Sox don't want to see: one with big splits and a strong slider to explain them. More than any other pitch Sox lefties seem to have issues laying off sliders breaking away from them. On the other hand, Richard is exactly the kind of lefty the Sox do want to see: not a terribly good one. Richard rarely strikes batters out, and walks more than his fair share too. After leaving 11 men on base last night, the hope is that they'll be out for a little bit of vengeance against Richard.