May 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Axelrod (33) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Clean Sox face off against Sox soaked in disturbing amounts of blood - Lineups 5/20

They were only a laughable blimp crash of disappointment but for a year, yet the Boston Red Sox have snuck up on everyone by becoming a dominant force in the AL East again. Oh how people forget.

Before he was old, hitterish, and beset with achilles injuries, David Ortiz was merely old and hitterish, and is now again. He’s OPS’ing over 1.000 and had eight hits this past weekend. I might have had eight beers.

Before he was bad at pitching, tonight’s Red Sox starter Jon Lester was quite great at pitching and has become so again. He has a 2.72 ERA, so some things have been going right for him this year, I would gather.

Alongside their legions of distressingly pervasive fans, the Red Sox will descend upon the South Side starting this Monday night and threaten to outclass their brothers in linen. Dylan Axelrod has already faced up against Cy Young winners Felix Hernandez and David Price this season, so Lester presumably looks like Happy Gilmore’s caddy to him, but concerns about the ability of his peripherals-defying nibbling to navigate an offense averaging 4.93 runs per game are in effect and throbbing in our collective, shared temples.

White Sox lineup

1. Alejandro De Aza – CF
2. Alexei Ramirez – SS
3. Alex Rios – RF
4. Paul Konerko– 1B
5. Adam Dunn – DH
6. Dayan Viciedo – LF
7. Jeff Keppinger – 3B
8. Tyler Flowers – C
9. Tyler Greene – 2B

Dylan Axelrod, SP

In light of the left-handed starter, Robin Ventura has sat the fading Conor Gillaspie, pushed up supposed lefty-killers Dayan Viciedo and Jeff Keppinger and spaced out the two remaining lefties in his batting order as much as possible without slighting Adam Dunn in any way. Of course, this means Paul Konerko is the cleanup hitter, which means the most important run-producing slot in the batting order will be draped in self-directed disgust until further notice. For him to be anywhere else, however, would be just as heartbreaking as his struggles.

Alex Rios is hitting .301/.363/.558 for a 144 wRC+. He should run for office.

Boston Red Sox lineup

1. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
2. Shane Victorino – RF
3. Dustin Pedroia – 2B
4. David Ortiz – DH
5. Mike Napoli – 1B
6. Daniel Nava – LF
7. Will Middlebrooks – 3B
8. Stephen Drew – SS
9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia – C

Jon Lester, SP

Boston was the victim of perhaps the most dominant Dylan Axelrod start of all-time last year, when he struck out eight batters over 6.2 innings of one-run ball, before having his work ruined by Leyson Septimo.

Anything can happen what the hell do we know?!’ is the tone I shoot for in all of these game previews, but that is especially true with Axelrod. He struck out David Ortiz last season and used the video as the centerpiece of a clip about his work with cerebral palsy patients, but he could easily allow a home run to him tonight that flies out of the stadium, above the clouds, and punctures Jupiter, sending the gas giant flapping through the solar system like a deflating balloon.

Technically, Ortiz could do the same off Chris Sale, but–WAIT NO HE COULDN’T THAT’S CHRIS SALE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT, BUDDY–it would just provoke a different type of reaction.

Where to Watch: CSN

 

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Tags: Chicago White Sox Dylan Axelrod Jon Lester

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