It needed to happen, and lest we forget that Terry Francona manages his club differently in the postseason, it’s happening tonight: the lineup has been shaken. J.D. Drew is leading off, Coco Crisp is batting seventh, Jed Lowrie is batting ninth. This essentially plugs two holes from yesterday, when Dustin Pedroia had zero offensive threats hitting in front of him. For that matter, one could argue replacing Varitek with Kevin Cash might actually be an offensive upgrade at this point, as well.
This is great news, in that Francona isn’t sitting on his hands while the Sox continue to waste Pedroia’s continued hot streak. What it doesn’t do, however, is fix who’s starting — Tim Wakefield, he of the 6.36 postseason ERA, he of the 9.00 postseason ERA since 2003.
Hey, anything can happen. And Wake does have four dominant postseason starts under his belt. I’d just be breathing better if any of them had come since Mark Bellhorn was the team’s starting second baseman.