Rolling Dice for Game 2?

Tony Massarotti from the Herald — who is a thoroughly reliable reporter — just came out with the news on the newspaper’s website that it will be Dice-K in Game 2 and not Schilling.

Interesting. I suppose the theory is that you get Schilling as much rest as humanly possible this time of year and try to get Dice-K to keep up the momentum he had in that last start.

I’d be comfortable with Dice-K pitching a winner-take-all Game 5. Then you’d have Schilling lined up for the ALCS opener.

Your thoughts?

Ian.

78 Comments

Given how good the Angels are, I don’t think you can do any planning with an eye toward the ALCS. Schilling has shown the last few months that he can still dominate a game for 7 innings. While we all know Daisuke has the talent (and will probably be even better next year), most of this year has been him pitching six innings, five of those being very good and one of those being a clunker (he just loses it at times and gives up like 3 walks and 3 or 4 hits). If the Angels series has to go 5 games, I’d rather throw Schilling twice. If you then get to the ALCS, and Daisuke pitches the opener, that’s still pretty good. But you have to get there first.

-Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

i like it personally. i don’t think it has anything to do with planning the alcs. it gives you your 2 most exp pitchers for 2 the road games. assuming they need them.

smckinny, you called it in your earlier post. Yeah, I like it too for the exact reason you mentioned. Francona is a different manager since the Sox clinched the playoff berth. In hindsight, Francona’s “don’t care about the division” mentality may not be totally absurd. But we shall see.

I like this move too, it’s not easy pitching at the Angels homefield so it makes sense to put your veteran, big game pitcher on the mound there. Also it keeps Dice-K’s momentum going from his last start.

Matsuzaka was 8-4 with a 4.86 at home, only giving up 8 homeruns at Fenway. Plus the Angels have not seen him yet and we all know how effective Dice can be vs. teams the first time through.

I really like our chances in Game 1 with Beckett on the mound vs. Lackey (pitching in his own personal house of horrors, 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA) so I’d say the entire ALDS hinges on how effective Dice-K can be.

It’s a tough call but I think it’s probably right. The downside for me is having Dice K pitching a possible Game 5. It is a lot to ask of someone. I don’t have the stats but I guarantee there have been very few rookies starting a deciding game in a Championship series.

To those doubting whether Wake should be on there, I don’t think this is a pity thing, I think we really need him on the roster. First, if a starter gets shelled (for example, and most likely, Dice K), we need somebody to eat innings to make sure we don’t exhaust the buppen in the first couple of games. Second, if a game goes to extras, he could be invaluable. We would not have the same fond memories of 2004 if not for Wake in Game 5, when he pitched 3 scoreless innings.

I don’t know how confident I would be in having Wakefield pitch against the Angels in any scenario. Anytime they reached first base they would automatically be in scoring position with the combination of their team speed, Wakefield’s slow delivery, and Varitek’s inability to catch the knuckleball.

I still would rather have Lester on the mound in the ALCS as opposed to Lester, especially if it’s against the Yankees. They have only seen Lester once and he was battling cancer (unbeknownst to everybody). They have a lot of lefties in their lineup and they own Wakefield.

If Wakefield’s primary role in the ALDS is to eat innings, I think that job could be done by Tavarez. At least he holds on runners extremely well and that would directly interfere with the Angels’ running game.

*Lester as opposed to Wakefield vs. NYY

It might make sense looking only at games 2 and 3 in that Schilling has “been there” and might be more comfortable starting on the road than Daisuke. So you start Daisuke at home. Fine. But if you find yourself in a Game 5, everything on the line, needing one pitcher to dominate for you, who would you rather have? Short series, it’s better to have the option of throwing Schilling twice.

-Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

Both sides make valid and persuasive arguments. I like Dice K as a #2 pitcher, among other things, is that he is simply a better pitcher than Schil at this stage of the game. Schil has been there and has more experience, but that does not automatically translate into being effective. Willie Randolph was thinking the same thing about Tommy Glavin.

007Chow, you said:

“[Daisuke] is simply a better pitcher than Schil at this stage of the game.”

What?? Are you looking at JUST Daisuke’s last start? Because other than that, he has gone 1-4 with a 7.09 ERA in eight starts since August 4. Meanwhile, Schilling has been dominant, pitching as good as he has since 2004. I can see you making the case for starting Daisuke in Game 2 instead of Schill. But I don’t see how anyone can possibly say Daisuke is a better pitcher right now.

-Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

i don’t know that you can EVER be confident with wake pitching. he’s always 50/50 IMO. which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence for me personally. i just think schill would/will be more comfy pitching on the road at this point in their respective careers than dice. esp if they split in boston and game 3 takes on a lil more significance. against the yankees ( if that happens ) lester is def a better option. i still think cleve will beat NY though.

Zachary – just a further point on your comments on Schill’s excellent post season figures. That also includes one start against the Yankees where he had that torn tendon and was nowhere near 100%. If that start was taken away I’m sure his figures would be even better again.

I think I would rather have Shilling pitch the second game because he could go in game 5 if needed. He has the playoff experience and has had proven success in the playoffs where as Dice-K has not been all that reliable this season

Dice-K’s ERA is deceiving. How many times when he left at 7th with runners on and the relief pitchers could not hold the lead or strand the runners. Francona and John Farrell must know something that we don’t.

I think the decision to start Dice-K in game two is a good decision. The Angels haven’t seen him yet, and Dice-K is quite effective the first time facing a team.

Shilling on the other hand got bombed by the Angels the last time he faced them.

Let’s not forget that Dice-K was considered a big-game pitcher in Japan, be it the high school tournament (equivalent hype of the Final Four over here) where he was unreal, the Japanese playoffs, or the World Baseball Classic.

Hopefully we watch him elevate his game to another level.

I know that all of you guys have the stats to back up your reasoning as to which pitchers should face the Angels batters. I don’t have any stats, all I have is a gut feeling. Matsuzaka is a good, bordering on great, pitcher. He does seem to tire in at least 1 inning each game. I think that Lester would have been a good choice, the only thing he is lacking is post season experience but that doesn’t guaruntee anything.
I think that the Baseball Gods are on the side of the Sox this season. Just my feeling.

Zach, I hope that you’re right, but I don’t know. I don’t really see the WBC as a really accurate measuring stick for any player.

i’m not sure i like this move, but go joshua in game 1!!!

Also, Francona said Schil’s velocity is not as good as it used to be as of now. Schil needs more rest to get back to his form.

Ellen, even though the WBC might not boast better competition than the World Series, the fact that Matsuzaka performed on that type of stage while representing an entire country speaks volumes about his willingness to rise to the occasion.

I’m sure Japan will be following his every move during the playoffs so it’s nice to know Dice-K doesn’t shy away from pressure.

I think a better measure was when he was pitching for the Hams. Wasn’t that a National Championship team??

I truely believe that Farrel and Francona having worked incredibly hard with Dice-K over the past month preparing for this moment. Also if Dice-K blows up, we have the vetrean pitcher in Schill going next to wipe up the mess and polish and dents.
If anyone is watching the Rox v. Friars game Don Orsillo is an anounncer, makes me feel as though I’m at home, watching a Sox game. I hope he’ll do most of NL games, gives me a reason to watch.

3-0 Rockies top 3, bases chucked with Padres though, Peavy is getting hit hard.

I would prefer to see Schilling take the hill for game 2. That means he could possibly get 2 starts. Schilling is a big game pitcher. Dice K when facing a team for the first time is usually a good thing. I expect Dice K too come up big for Boston on Friday night, shutdown type of performance!!! This why the Sox paid all that $$$ for him, to win big games in October. He will embrace it!!! Either way the Sox will be looking good for this series. My confidence with them against the Angels is very high!!!

Lackey going game 1, he has gotten bombed at Fenway in the past.

I do agree with Orsillo doing the game tonight in Denver, it seems like a Red Sox game for sure.

Let’s hope the Sox playoff games aren’t done by any stiffs.

**** Stockton/Bob Brenley is one of the tandems and I would love to have them do the Sox series.

I absolutely hate watching games in Denver. You could square around to bunt and hit a homer!!! LOL….

That is why I don’t think Matt Holliday should win the M.V.P. He is a great hitter, don’t get me wrong but those numbers are a little high!!!

3 HR already tonight,

Solo by Helton

Solo by Torrealba

Grand Slam Gonzalez

Now that some crazy stuff.

Remy would be better though.

The last game Lackey pitched at Fenway was Buchholz first career start, was that when Ortiz started to turn it on as a hitter? (hitting more homers).

All things being equal, and they aren’t, I think Schilling would have been the better choice for Game 2. He’s got experience, consistency in recent starts and is arguably one of the greatest post season pitchers of all time. Dice-K had a nice start last time out, but has been very inconsistent all year. My biggest concern is that if he doesn’t do well in Game 2, what might that do to his confidence for a Game 5? Schilling would be much more prepared to deal with that.

However, the most important game is Game 1 and Beckett needs to win that one. Dice-K enters Game 2 with a lot more confidence being up 1-0. In fact, if Beckett were to lose the first game, it would not surprise me to see the rotation change.

I understand that TBS is carrying the playoff games, right?? I CERTAINLY HOPE THAT THEY’VE GOT SOME BETTER ANNOUNCERS IN MIND!! Otherwise I won’t need my ambien sleep aid, Oh my God are they boring!!!!

rs, Where are you watching the game??? on Rockies Tv or what??

Orsillo sounds good but whoever he’s with STINKS!!

is tbs gonna have orsillo for all of the playoffs? that’d be nice :)

it’s better than having to hear joe buck & tim mccarver on fox lol

Orsillo is going to be doing all of the NL games so don’t count on him covering the Sox. Hearing his homerun call on Hairston’s 2-run shot in the 13th was odd. He tried to have the same tone and excitement as he would if it was Papi going yard, but it just didn’t sound right.

For as much grief as everybody loves to give Buck & McCarver, I really don’t mind them too much. Buck is good at building tension and saying the right things at the right times. I get enjoyment out of hearing McCarver call players by the wrong first name (ie: Brandon Arroyo, Joey Cora instead of Alex).

Steve Stone (former Cubs announcer) will be doing color commentary for the Boston series, with either **** Stockton or Ted Robinson doing play-by-play. Could be worse.

Instant replay anyone?

Ridiculous that a playoff game can be decided by a horrible call by the home plate ump. Holliday didn’t come close to touching home on that play.

Actually Holliday came very close to touching home plate but at the replay we can perfectly see that he didn’t. Weird hesitation by the umpire before calling him safe. That should’ve been an 8-8 game with 2 outs and nobody on in the bottom of the 13th.

Instead the Rockies will play the Phillies in NLDS.

As far as announcers go on televised games, I normally turn the volume down or click on the mute button.
I don’t see why they don’t have instant replay, at least for the playoff games. They could have an umpire in the booth who would see the same replays we see on TV and instantly override an erroneous call.Tonights game could have been difficult. Once the erroneous safe call was made–the fireworks went off and the fans stormed onto the field. It would have been interesting.

Well kudos the Rockies for their, I think, first post-season. Questionable call, but with MLB not having instant replay, there’s not much that can be done.

Correct me if I am wrong, but is the ENTIRE post-season on TBS? Somehow, somewhere, I saw that while the NLDS and ALDS are both on TBS, NLCS is on TBS, BUT the ALCS is on FOX.

Somebody want to see if I’m not hallucinating? :-)

As for FOX, I like Buck cause he’s really good at building the drama. McCarver and the rest, I don’t care about at all.

Stinks that Orsillo’s not doing any of the Sox games. But hey he did a great job; weird to see him getting excited about the Rockies but he’s good at what he does.

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

Ah never mind I just found it on MLB.com :-)

ALCS is on FOX while TBS gets the NLCS.

Weird, ain’t it?

Ah and a personal fact check, it’s a first in the playoffs for the Rockies since 1995.

Hooray for the internet. :-)

Ted Robinson and Steve Stone will be the guys calling the Angels-Sox series. Let’s hope they watch 3 Red Sox wins!!!

I’d like the AL announcer to be (wouldn’t mind Joe buck) Don Orsillo, BUT CAN’T STAND MCCARVER.

Steve Stone is ok, I’m not familiar with Robinson

Btw, I’m getting all my “stuff” ready for my hospital stay, and my husband walks through the door last night with a book for me to read… “BIG PAPI””!! He does know my tastes!! The writer that Ian spoke of at the beginning, TonyMassarotti,was his ghost writer on that. I’m looking forward to it.
And I’m glad that Fox has the ALCS for at least one reason, I know for sure that the hospital has Fox on their Cable system!!! I WON’T MISS A THING!!!

I agree that Joe Buck is very good at building drama. He simply has a ” playoff voice “. You can feel the tension when he’s at the mic. As for McCarver … oh boy. Let’s just say that Buck will miss Troy Aikman on Sundays.

Ellen, i hope the Sox ease your recovery by winning ALDS. Does the hospital also have internet connection ? Brownie Points, that could be good medicine. Twice a day or as needed. Doctor’s order. :-)

Take care.

The umpire was in horrible position to make that call at the plate and his mechanics in making the call were just as horrible. He should have been on top of the play and he should have pointed to the spot that Holliday touched. If he did that, there would be no questions.

I don’t think instant replay would have helpted in that situation. I did not see anything on that conslusively determined whether or not Holliday touched the plate. From every angle they showed, he appeared to be out, but I couldn’t say for sure whether or not he actually touched the plate. If the umpire didn’t see, and I mean actually see him touch the plate, then the correct call would have been to call him out, no matter what it looked like.

Rsox: I’m hoping to borrow a laptop for that!! But if not that’ll give me something to catch up on when I get home!! Y’all will just have to keep the Cheerleader Squad going in my absence!!lol

gsm,

I agree with you about the play last night. McClleland was not in position to make that call. He was very slow to make that call as well ( no surprise there ) His balls and strike calls behind home plate are always delayed. Every year he is regarded as the best balls and strikes umpire. He was the home plate umpire during the pine tar incident with George Brett. Bottomline with the Padres, they blew it. All they had to do was win 1 game and they couldn’t do it. Peavey got lit up and Trevor Hoffman in a big spot blew it. Hoffman might have all these saves but when he pitches when the games get really big, he seems to get racked!!!

You’re right Brian, the Padres really have nobody to blame but themselves, which is probably why you didn’t hear any griping about the call at the plate. Hoffman took responsibility, I like that. If it were me managing that team, I’d have gone with him too. It was set up perfectly. Sometimes perfect isn’t so perfect.

I do agree with you about Hoffman. He took the blame and didn’t run from it. Some people do as we know. Just like Eckersly back in 1988, game 1 and gave up the biggest homer in the post-season since Fisk. He stood by his locker and answered all the questions. That speaks volumes of there character!!! Accountability and responsiblity go a long way in life.

Baseball, IMO, is the only sport that you can watch with the volume off, just watching umpires calls and the plays will give you interptation of the game.

i’m not watching TBS though. It seems to casual, too mushy. The Art of Pitching with TRevor Hoffman and. . . . Alyssa Milano, what? I feel it appeals to the average baseball fan, the one who doesn’t have much knowlegde of it, but enjoys the game.

From what I have observed everyone who posts regularyly on this blog, is serious about the Sox and baseball

You have to give the Rockies credit. They hit Hoffman HARD. And their bullpen hung tough until Julio crumbled. And we can’t assume that the Pad’s would have won if the call was “out” at the plate. I think the Rockies would still have won.(Not that anyone said the Pad’s got robbed).
Holliday said this morning he didn’t know if he touched the plate. So I assume from that that he did not. But the umpiring has been suspect all year at times IMO. The strike zone especially.

Who knows, maybe we’ll see Sox vs. Rox this fall. Go Sox.!

Good luck, Ellen.

It’ll definitely be an interesting NLDS considering that baseball’s two hottest teams (the Phillies + the Rockies) will be facing off.

The D’backs have no shot against the Cubs, in my opinion. Too much power in their lineup even though their rotation is a little shaky, Zambrano included.

I haven’t really known what to do with myself for the past couple of days with no meaningful Sox games. I’m just about ready for 6:30 pm on Wednesday to be here.

arnie:

I’m not so sure your assumption is correct. He looked like he jammed his hand into the catcher’s spikes pretty hard. I was surprised he didn’t break a finger when I saw the replay. I’m not surprised at all that he doesn’t know if he touched the plate. I still haven’t seen a replay that shows that he didn’t actually touch it, although I haven’t studied them that hard.

I’m headed west on Friday to go to Game 2 of the Yankees-Indians series. Now before you scratch your head and say “Huh? I thought he was a Sox fan,” let me explain. My brother and I have a sick friend in Rochester, and my brother lives in Cinci, so it’s really a whole lot easier for us to take Steve to the game in Cleveland than one at Fenway. So I’ll wear my Trot Nixon Sox t-shirt and root for the Indians. (Unfortunately, Pettitte is pitching Game 2, so Trot will probably not start, but maybe he’ll pinch hit or something.)

Good point, Rob. And I agree about the broken finger, I was also surprised he did not hurt his hand. When I saw the head-first slide I was cringing. I thought he’d bowl the catcher over. I bet that mouthful of dirt wasn’t so tasty.

wake left off the roster for the 1st round due to his “back”. that really surprises me. i’m not disappointed but surprised nonetheless. also surprised they’d carry 3 catchers as opposed to another position player but i don’t suppose it matters a great deal.

zach. i saw where there is a chance of rain wed and friday in boston so you might wanna keep your fingers crossed.

I don’t see the logic of the two back up catchers, particularly with Wakefield not on the roster. Is there a reason for this? It’s not like either is on there for their ability to pinch hit. Even then, we have plenty of other options when it comes to pinch hitters. I would have Tavarez on there instead of Cash, or maybe even ahead of Mirabelli. Apart from anything else, Lester is completely unproven out of the bullpen. If we fall behind by a starter getting shelled, we need someone who is proven as a long relief man to keep us in a game. It seems like a gamble to me.

Yes, there is no logic to carry two back up catchers, especially Wake is out of the roster. Lopez is more effective aginst righties than lefties. It is scary to see Lopez pitch with runner(s) in scoring position.

i suppose that barring an injury it’s unlikely any of them would do anything but play an inning or 2 of defense or pinch run. but it is an interesting choice ( cash ).

While Lopez was probably kept on the roster because he is a lefty, I think they would have been better off if they kept Buchholz.While they reasoned that they did not want to overstress Buchholz I think he earned/deserved the spot and could have been used as a spot reliever.Lopez is frightening and I hope that ,if he is used it would be for only one or two batters at most.. I agree they should not have kept Mirabelli on the roster since they excluded Wakefield (which I thought was a good move). Cory would have been the better choice to remain.

I guess the reasoning for carrying 3 catchers is if the following scenario comes up: Varitek gets on base with Boston trailing or tied in the late innings, Ellsbury can pinch-run for him and then Mirabelli can catch the following innings. We all know that Doug isn’t exactly the picture of health so if he gets injured or can’t stay in the game, Cash is next in line behind the plate. Another scenario is if Mirabelli gets on base as the winning or tying run later in the game, Cora or Kielty can pinch-run and Cash can come in to catch. Unlikely scenarios? Yes, but still possible and it gives Tito free ranger to get some speed on the bases late in the game.

I can’t say it’s a horrible decision because if you end up being forced to have a position player behind the plate against the Angels, you can kiss that game goodbye because they will steal every base in sight. Let Lester mop up any game that gets out of control but I don’t foresee that being an issue in the first round.

And smckinny, don’t say it’s going to rain, that will put me in a foul mood. It seems like the Sox have one postseason game at Fenway rained out per year and getting amped up for a playoff game and than having to wait another 24 hours is tough.

Leave it up to smckinny to say it will rain.

Where I’m at it is raining kool-aid….lol…

It is tasting very good lately….lol….

Cash making the roster was a surprise for everyone. Come to think about it, makes sense to have him there, just in case.

I’m surprised with Cash making the roster. I would not have been surprised if it was Cash and not Mirabelli. Cash is a good defensive catcher with by far the best arm of the three. He could be a late inning replacement.

Zach: You’re a Sox fan, right?? You know I am. I think that the majority of the people here are. I have to take issue with the statement you made about Arizona having no shot vs the Cubs. Let’s go back to 2004 and the ALCS. It should be coming back to you now,right?? We (as you well know) were down 0-3, right?? Everybody, including most of us said that there was no way we had a shot. I think that they have more of a shot with the Cubs than we had of coming back to win 4 in a row. I know, what’s my point??
NEVER SAY NEVER. And watch out for the ones that you discount, they’ll come back to bite you right in the butt!!!!

Who is the 3rd catcher, we know Tek, Cash and who else??

sox are gonna loose to the angels.

hi ya’ll i’m from NY NYY that is. so hope your team looses very well tomorrow.

10 reasons why sox will loose

1.Francoma leaves pitchers in

2.Manny cant rebound in 3 games (angels sweep sox)

3.need more catchers, cant win with just three, c’mon

4. red sox, terrible september, no momentum no drama, no nothing

5. angels well rounded team

6. sox bats are very, very unpredictable, some days they all combine for 3 hits

7. Vlad is better than that medium/overweight PUPI

8. Boston was lucky, very lucky to have made it this far.

9. Dice-K is very darn hittable, angels know that, read there blogs

10. schilling is the worst cheater in the game.

now i will check back with you t’mrrow so will talk again.

OOps my blonde that is three DUH!!!

Must be the pre-op medication kicking in early!

redsoxLOOSE: Is that supposed to be LOSE?? Losing is something that as RedSox fans we know a LITTLE something about. It doesn’t scare us. But, baby, not happening this year! I guess your spelling is about as good as your prediction-making.

It’s really sad that this person took the time out of his day to create an account in which he spells the word “lose” wrong. My favorite reason as to why Boston will lose is #9. Apparently the Angels get their scouting report from the MLB Blog?

Ellen, I guess you’re either a Diambondbacks fan or a ****** for underdogs. The Cubs are just a better team overall, they have a good manager and a lot to prove. I think their offense is going to be tough on Arizona, especially considering the weak-hitting NL West that the D’backs are used to. But anything can happen, I just really don’t see it.

Besides, I don’t plan on the Cubbies completely choking until at least the NLCS.

It’s probably sentinel in disguise again. Get a life, idiot.
And a spelling class.

go angels, run them dirty sox out of the playoffs and in the laundry room.

angels sweep sox, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

okay bosox. in a weather related miracle the sun will shine 24 hrs a day in bosotn for the next 3 weeks. positive enough for ya? just reporting the weather report i saw not making predicitons.

make that boston.

What’s the over/under on the amount of “Dice” puns Ian has used in the headlines for his blog over this past year?

I’d go with 12.

BTW. time to put the kool-aid down. hopefully you can try a new flavor next week. if i were a bettin man ( and i am ) i’d say sox/indians and phillies/az come outta the alds.

No,not a D’Backs fan but as a true underdog torch carrier, I am just truly, primarily, and forever yours, a Proud Card Carrying member of the REDSOX NATION. I couldn’t be a RedSox fan without being a fan of the Underdog!! No matter how well we do, people (not our fans) are always expecting us to CAVE..

Zach, I’ll go with 37.

NEW BLOG!! LET’S GO!

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