« Red Sox Lineup, Game 1 ALDS
Red Sox Bullpen »
October 3, 2007
Now that Manny Ramirez has shown he is healthy enough to return to the cleanup spot, Boston manager Terry Francona had a batting-order decision to make.
Mike Lowell had become very comfortable in cleanup spot in Ramirez's absence. Ramirez suffered a strained left oblique and had to come out of the lineup on Aug. 28. Lowell batted fourth in most of those games when Ramirez sidelined and drove in 25 runs over the final month-plus.
Ramirez, though, is the Sox' number four hitter, so it's no surprise Francona is batting him behind David Ortiz tonight in Game 1 of the ALDS. But last season and for most of this year, Lowell has batted sixth, with J.D. Drew batting fifth. That order allowed the Red Sox to have a left-right-left-right quarter in the batting order, beginning with Ortiz, making it more problematic for the opposition to make situational late-game pitching changes.
But with the success and consistency Lowell has had down the stretch, Francona has opted to keep Lowell as high in the order as he can, in this case, fifth, even if it does create a situation where Boston has back-to-back right-handed hitters in the middle of the order.
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 4:28 PM | Permalink