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Red Sox Vs. Pirates Lineups: J.D. Drew, Josh Reddick Start In The Outfield

It's starting to seem like the Red Sox' biggest weakness against lefties is one guy who never even sees an at bat against them: Terry Francona. After a 1-for-7 night for Darnell McDonald and Mike Cameron--the latest in a series of failures from the two right-handed outfielders--the Sox will send out J.D. Drew and Josh Reddick Saturday against right-handed Jeff Karstens.

The only hope is that this will still be the starting outfield on Sunday when the Sox come up against another southpaw.

What remains the same from Friday's lineup is the top-4, as David Ortiz will again take a seat and wait for a call to pinch-hit while Adrian Gonzalez gets the start at first.

Boston Red Sox (44-31)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. J.D. Drew, RF
  6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  7. Josh Reddick, LF
  8. Marco Scutaro, SS
  9. Tim Wakefield, P
With Tim Wakefield returning to where it all began so many years ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates have made few changes to their starting nine. The only difference will be Garret Jones getting the call in right field.

Pittsburgh Pirates (38-37)
  1. Jose Tabata, LF
  2. Chase d'Arnaud, 3B
  3. Garrett Jones, RF
  4. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  7. Ronny Cedeno, SS
  8. Mike McKenry, C
  9. Jeff Karstens, P
Pitching Matchup: Tim Wakefield (4-2, 4.26 ERA) Jeff Karstens (4-4, 2.54 ERA)

There's no other way to put it: Jeff Karstens is having a breakout year. The question is, what changed him from a middling piece in the Xavier Nady trade to, arguably, Pittsburgh's ace?

One of the most important parts of Karsten's game is throwing strikes--he's one of the best in the business at putting the ball in the zone--but that's always been the case. The difference now is that he can get batters to actually chase out of the zone, which has caused his walk rate to drop and his strikeout rate to get that extra needed kick. With his secondary offerings having developed nicely, and with his focus shifting from his slow four-seamer to a more deceptive two-seamer, Karstens could prove quite troublesome for a Red Sox team that loves to walk and hates to swing early.

While Tim Wakefield is also far from being a flamethrower, the contrast between Karstens' precision and Wakefield's wild knuckleball is interesting. As per usual, the experience against Wake's knuckleball is limited for the National League lineup with only Lyle Overbay (30) and Ronny Cedeno (3) having had any plate appearances against it. Typically this is to Boston's benefit, but then again, there's not much the advantage of unfamiliarity can do to save a floating Knuckleball.