Red Sox backing Houck with a pair of starters on Saturday

Jim Monaghan
Content Coordinator

Here's pretty much all you need to know about how seriously the Red Sox are taking this afternoon's game against the Washington Nationals.

Nathan Eovaldi Nick Pivetta will be pitching out of the bullpen.

Photo courtesy of the Boston Herald

Tanner Houck (pictured) will get the start and you have to figure that manager Alex Cora will have him on a relatively short leash. Considering that Houck has only pitched into the sixth inning twice in his 12 starts this year, it's really not much of a stretch to figure that he will probably only go through the lineup two, maybe three times.

It will be Houck's first start since September 15; he's come out of the bullpen three times since then for a total of 6.1 innings.

A win today might not erase the subpar performance by the team in August (their only sub-.500 month) or the wretched mess that happened in losing two of three to the godawful Orioles earlier this week. But it would certainly put the Red Sox in position to secure a Wild Card spot.

A Boston victory on Satuday guarantees playing past Sunday, either in a tiebreaker game or the American League Wild Card Game on Tuesday night. A sweep of the series with the Nationals guarantees a spot in the Wild Card Game.

It's all hands on deck time for these Red Sox.

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