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Red Sox Vs. Mariners Lineups: Jarrod Saltlamacchia Behind The Plate For Tim Wakefield

The Red Sox will aim for a sweep of the Seattle Mariners with Jarrod Satlalamacchia behind the plate to catch Tim Wakefield, who takes the mound Sunday afternoon looking for win number 199. 

Though he picked up a key base hit Saturday, the other half of the Sox' catching duo has slowed down in recent days--Varitek has hit just .185/.241/.333 since July began--but Saltalamacchia has continued to provide a solid power bat at the bottom of the lineup. While he's not been as impressive as he was in June, Salty's three homers in the month have been enough to make up for his high strikeout totals. The Sox would certainly love to see a few more hits or walks, but beggars can't be choosers, and the Red Sox were certainly beggars when it came to catching this year.

Surrounding Saltalamacchia will be the typical Red Sox linuep it seems we can expect to see for much of the rest of the season.

Boston Red Sox (61-37)

  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. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  9. Marco Scutaro, SS

The Mariners will have Miguel Olivo back in the starting lineup against Wakefield, while Chone Figgins gets the start at third.

Seattle Mariners (43-57)

  1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
  2. Brendan Ryan, SS
  3. Dustin Ackley, 2B
  4. Miguel Olivo, C
  5. Justin Smoak, 1B
  6. Mike Carp, LF
  7. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
  8. Jack Cust, DH
  9. Chone Figgins, 3B


Pitching Matchup: Tim Wakefield (5-3, 4.80 ERA) vs. Michael Pineda (8-6, 3.24 ERA)

The last time Tim Wakefield tried to pull within a win of 200, he went through one of the implosions that Sox fans so dread when he takes the mound. His ERA was preserved some by the sequence of things as an error extended the inning in question, though had it not, Wake would likely have just found himself in greater trouble in the next frame. In fact, aside from a strong May, Wakefield has been having a tough year.

One of the reasons for this might be his decreased use of the "fast"ball. By using his four-seamer only rarely, Wakefield managed to turn a 73-MPH heater into one of the more effective pitches of its type. This year, he's using it even less, relying on the Knuckleball almost exclusively. His fastball is certainly not going to carry him, but a few more sprinkled in could keep hitters a bit more off-balance.

Michael Pineda is just about as far from Tim Wakefield as it's possible to get. His four-seamer sits in the Mid-90s and, coupled with a strong slider he throws about a third of the time, has been enough to allow the 22-year-old to dominate opposing hitters. Things have been a little difficult for Pineda of late, however, as starts in Toronto and Los Angeles have lead to 12 earned runs in fewer innings, and boosted his ERA from 2.65 at the beginning of the month to 3.24 entering Sunday's game. The Sox will just have to hope he doesn't use their deficiencies against the Slider to get himself back into form.