Who knew? Jim Leyland is a fan of alternate realities.
After refusing to answer questions on the subject, and despite all the proper things being said by Leyland and Rick Knapp, it looks like Benoit will no longer be Joaquin to the mound in the 8th inning.
Who will replace him has not been specified. In light of yesterday’s rainout, it would make sense to bump Porcello back one day, move Coke back to the pen to be the 8th inning guy, and bring up Andy Oliver to take over Coke’s rotation spot next time around.
Yet, there he is, Phil Coke, today’s starter. He is a lefty, which is useful against Boston’s lefty-heavy lineup. But this is the 2nd time Rick has been skipped in the rotation; and, plus: Porcello vs Youkilis. C’mon, who doesn’t want to see this? At any rate today will feature Phil Coke vs the suddenly hot Clay Buchholz, weather willing.
Today’s Player of the Pre-Game: Al Alburquerque
With Coke starting, Captain QuerK stands a good chance of being the 8th-inning guy du jour. A good outing against the Red Sox could make it tempting to leave him there.
Today’s V-Mart Returns to Fenway Lineup: