PHILADELPHIA – The lineup today looked a little weird, but once again it’s a reflection on manager Terry Francona who probably knows his personnel as well as any manager in the league.
Francona has always had a great knack of when to rest players he feels are “beat up” as he puts it. Today, it’s Dustin Pedroia (4 for his last 38), who went 1-for-12 in the Yankee series, took an 0-for-7 Friday night and 1-for-6 last night. Francona never likes to take Pedroia out of the game because “he such an influence on all aspects of the game.” But in this cae, even Pedroia wasn’t fighting it. “Tito always seems to (know when to sit) at the right time,” said Pedroia. “I’m not getting a lot of hits. I’m trying to find consistency. I haven’t found that swing that I maintained all of last year, but I’m not worried about it.”
Nick Green will go back to his natural position – second base.
Francona has Julio Lugo in the leadoff spot. Red-hot bat. Four-for-five last night, big pinch-hit in Friday’s extra-inning victory. Lugo is getting good face time in front of major league scouts at today’s game who will be watching a Lugo on the upswing, rather than a Lugo on the downside. That can only help trade value.
J.D. Drew was hit with a pitch last night and has a bruise on the right and sits out today.
Francona didn’t want to tax 37-year-old catcher Jason Varitek on a day game after a night game. Varitek will now get today, tomorrow’s off-day and Tuesday vs. Florida (Tim Wakefield) off to rest his body.