I don't know. ... I honestly don't know. If you have Gonzalez hitting fifth, most likely you're going to have Gonzalez-David-J.D., so I don't know if I want to do [three lefties in a row] either. We'll see.Francona has gone with Ellsbury-Pedroia-Crawford at the top of the lineup when all three have been starting. That was the case on Monday, with Kevin Youkilis batting cleanup. David Ortiz batted sixth, after AG.
If everyone is healthy, it's not going to matter much where Gonzalez hits. And Francona knows that: "If we're swinging the bats like we're supposed to, it's not an issue. And if we're not, everyone will want you to change it. That's always the way it is."
Daisuke Matsuzaka, in his first outing since altering his between-starts routine, threw five shutout innings against the Tigers, allowing only two hits and one walk. He struck out five sand kept the ball on the ground (six groundouts versus three flyouts). And his fastball was back up to around 93.
Jacoby Ellsbury hits his second home run in three days. He is hitting .414 and slugging .724. Since March 7, he is 10-for-20, with two doubles, two home runs, five runs, five RBI, two walks, and one stolen base. He also made a nice catch on a long fly ball by Miguel Cabrera today to help Matsuzaka out of a jam.
Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield faced off in a simulated game on Monday. Buchholz said he worked on his curveball, "flipping them first pitch and then switching arm angles and then throwing it in the dirt. I accomplished that ... so I felt good." On Tuesday, Buchholz was playing with a remote control helicopter, having it fly around the clubhouse. (PeteAbe: "If this were last year, it would have hit somebody and put them them on the disabled list for two months.")
Both Buchholz and Wakefield will pitch on Friday, as the Red Sox have two split-squad games. Before that, though, Jon Lester will face Atlanta tomorrow and John Lackey draws the Mets on Thursday. On Saturday, Josh Beckett will pitch against the Pirates.
(Tony Massarotti's on-going obsession with Mark Teixeira -- which is contrary to all known facts -- is (as one SoSHer puts it) more annoying/pathetic than interesting/controversial. Another SoSHer: "Is he writing a book called Curse of the 'Whipped Horseface'?" ... With Mazz, CHB, and Cafardo on the Globe's baseball beat, Peter Abraham is the only reason to read (or click) the paper.)