Winner goes to the World Series

And that headline is all you need to know about the League Championship Series, which in my mind, is the most exciting playoff round of them all.

I find the World Series to be a more festive occasion. Let’s face it, that is the last round you can play in, and as much of a cliche as it is, both teams are really happy to just be there.

But to fail in this round is to make for a long, disappointing winter for teams who set the bar high. The Red Sox are one of those teams. And the Indians, considering they haven’t tasted a World Championship in how long? – are equally hungry, even if their market isn’t nearly as intense.

We start out with a dream pitching matchup — Beckett against Sabathia. Let’s see, last two times Beckett had a matchup against a fellow Cy Young candidate, he outpitched his opponent by a lot. I speak of the Sept. 15 matchup at Fenway against Wang and the Yankees and the Game 1 ALDS matchup against Lackey.

I think Beckett is just on such a mission this year. It seems like, in his eyes, anything less than carrying this team to a championship is a failure.

The Red Sox start this series healthy, rested and confident. If David and Manny stay hot at the same time like they did last round, this could be a short series. Personally, I think it’s going to be a long series. I think the Indians have a lot of guts and a lot of underrated talent. If there’s a better player in baseball — pound for pound — then Grady Sizemore, please find him and let me know about it.

The Red Sox have one big advantage in this series and that’s at the closer position. Let’s face it, if the Sox have a lead entering the ninth and Paps comes in, everyone is pretty much assuming game over. If Borowski and his 5 ERA come trotting in, I think the Sox will feel confident they can make something happen.

Perhaps that ends up being the difference, at the end of the day, between two 96-win teams.

Bring it on! It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve had a baseball game. Fenway will be rocking I’m sure.

Game 1 lineup:
Pedroia 2B
Youkilis 1B
Ortiz DH
Ramirez LF
Lowell 3B
Kielty RF
Varitek C
Crisp CF
Lugo SS

Beckett SP

Get your trot cheers out during pregame intros because no Nixon in the Cleveland starting nine:


Sizemore, CF
Cabrera, 2B
Hafner, DH
Martinez, C
Garko, 1B
Peralta, SS
Lofton, LF
Gutierrez, RF
Blake, 2B

Sabathia, SP




Beckett’s confidence is sky high and his team-mates feed off of that. Let’s hope that is the case tonight. Sabathia is just as nasty and the Indians I am sure are trying to play that underdog role. Almighty Boston against poor little us. They’re a big market team and we are not. Of course they’re not going to talk about thru the press but behind closed doors they are.

Sabthia was gassed after 5 vs N.Y. Let’s hope Boston does the same thing. Make the big fella work, that will be the key. Indians do strike out quite a bit and that could be a good thing. Especially if runners are in scoring position, that is when you need a strikeout in the worst way.

I’m sure Ramirez would love to stick it to his former team. Cleveland’s fans are going to be all over Ramirez when he goes to the city by the lake.

Sox in 6 games!!!

My A.L.C.S. M.V.P.–Who else, Manny Ramirez!!!

I agree that Sizemore is the best player in baseball, and not necessarily pound for pound. He’s the best, period. And they might have a better 1-9 lineup than the Sox.

But we got the best 3-4-5 trio in baseball, the best ace, a slightly better pitching staff, a better defense and yes, Ian, a better closer.

Not to mention that little thing called experience.

Sox in 6.

ALCS MVP : Big Papi

Oh and the winner of that series wins the WS. Just like the Angels or the Yankees would’ve won it too. The AL is just too strong this year, imo.

Tonight will be a true match up between two genuine Cy Young contenders. Carmona is a more formidable pitcher than Sabathia. Schil has to repeat his ALDS Game 3 performance to win. I hope Magadan has instructed his hitters to be patient and lay off Carmona’s low sinker balls. Has to get Carmona’s pitch up to hit.
Yeah, Sox in 6.

rsox, I wouldn’t underestimate the Rockies in the WS. They are the hottest team in baseball right now by a large margin. I don’t see the Dbacks making it in, their best pitcher got lit up last night by CO.

First things first though, and that’s taking care of Cleveland. This is going to be a tough series, but an extremely exciting one. These teams match up so well, other than at the closer position, which should really work into the Sox favor. Because, in the words of Joe Torre, “no lead is ever safe in this park”. Unless you have a closere who can dance a mean Irish jig.

Peter Gammons reported that if Tim Wakefield cannot go in Game 4, Jon Lester will start in his place.

I’m not opposed to this at all unless Boston is losing (2-1, 3-0), in which case you need to get Beckett back on the mound. But I really don’t foresee us being down after 3 games.

How many times will the Sox walk-off on Borowski? If Cleveland has a 1-run lead in the 7th, it’s going to be hard not to look ahead in the lineup and see if Big Papi will be coming up in the 9th.

I wouldn’t put the winner of the A.L. as World Series champs. Have you seen the Rockies? The Marlins of 2003 in my opinion. A team you don’t want to play in the World Series. D-Backs should bounce back tonight/this a.m. for us folks on the East. Rockies will win the N.L.

Yankees had the right approach against Sabathia in game 1, they ran him after 5 innings. Of course they should have scored more runs!!!

If I was Francona or Wedge I would play for a run early.

Lester did pitch well back on July 23 at Jacobs Field for his return to big league level. This stage would be alot bigger but the kid went battled cancer, safe to say a bigger opponent. I have more confidence in Lester than Wakefield. Wakefield is hurt and that is not a good thing for a man his age. We shall see when that approaches but I am on record as saying I would rather have Lester on the hill than a injured Wakefield.

I really hope the D-Backs win. Beyond the whole “Brothers Drew” thing, Colorado is not the team I would want to face, simply based on their hot streak. In the end, I do feel whoever wins the AL will win the WS.

Focusing on the important thing though, I can’t wait for tonight’s game. I have never been so thrilled and so anxious in all my life. I’m so sick of facing the Yankees, and the hype of that series. This, as Bauman said, will be a breath of fresh air. It’s probable games one and two will be classic pitchers duels, nail biters to the end. I’m interested to see how play changes after the first two. I’m hoping Dice-K shines again for his start. I think that’s the most delightful thing about routing for the team this year. It has been incredible to route and to hope, without doubt in the back of my mind. I think this is one of the best Sox teams ever. I’m hoping Sox in 6. LET’S GO SOX!!!!

Good one about the irish jig, rob. That’s what a title will do to you ! LOL

I know the Rockies are hot, really hot should i say, and i can see them destroy guys like Dice-K, Paul Byrd or Jake Westbrook in less time we need to say ” she’s gone “. But i dunno, i’m still not convince they would lit up guys like Beckett, Schill, Papelbon, Sabathia, Carmona or Perez.

Call me naive, but i still think that pitching wins championships and that aspect of the game belongs to the Sox and the Indians.

But my statement of whoever wins the ALCS wins the WS is more of a follow up of something i said here at the end of the season : the 4 playoff teams in AL are better than the 4 teams in NL. So i’ll stick with it. But those Rockies, …. they sure can hit a baseball.

*light up

Hello Everyone,

First time poster here. Originally from Boston but now live in The Caribbean. Can’t wait to watch the game on Fox tonight. The Sox seem to be peaking at the perfect time. Let’s go Josh!

bosox. didn’t even get an AB. figure she must have been headin to the airport for a sat game or heading down i-85 back to the a-t-l. oh well if wake keeps winning she’ll be back. I HOPE. if nothing else she’ll get back for basketball.

i’d rather have lester ( or anybody really ) pitch than wake in game 4 but if beck doesn’t pitch it’s a HUGE mistake IMO.

and i don’t feel like typing all the names but grady sizemore ( while he’s very good ) is nowhere near the best player in baseball. i’ll give you one. A-rod. like it/him or not that discussion starts and ends there IMO. there are probably at least 15 – 20 more who are better than sizemore.

The keyword here is PLAYER, not just HITTER. Defensive skills and baserunning must be in the mix as well.

15-20 players better than Sizemore ? No way. But hey, it’s just me.

Sizemore is a good ball player, but the best in baseball? I don’t think so. In fact, given Sizemore and Ellsbury, if I’m starting a team next spring, my center fielder is going to be Ellsbury. It’s going to be a competitive series Ian, but let’s not get carried away.

I give the Indians the advantage at catcher, shortstop (barely), center field and maybe #2 pitcher. In every other matchup, I think the Sox have the advantage, with huge advantages in LF, 3B, 2B, 1B and DH and bullpen. Of course, if you match the Sox and the Yankees, it might look the same way in favor of the Yankees, and we know where they are.

Everything points to starting pitching as being a huge factor. The real question is whether the Sox will be able to get into the Indians bullpen. You know if they’re pitching well, Beckett, Schilling, Dice-K, CC, and Carmona are all going to give you 6-8 good innings. If things hold true to form, Sox starters will last longer than Cleveland’s. So I really think the bullpens will be the real determining factor, and there, I think the Sox have a distinct advantage.

Cleveland had a better team era for the second half-3.56 to 3.96. I think their starters-overall are better than Bostons, the relievers as a group are better. Where Boston has the edge is closer-with Papelbon-who’s the best there is. Cleveland has the edge in mid relief and late inning relief other than closer. Advantage-Cleveland.

Boston has the best 3+4 hitters, but is weak from 6 though 9. Cleveland’s lineup is strong and well balanced from 1 to 9. There’s only one Manny and David who rise to the occasion-advantage-Boston.

When Cleveland played NY, their hitters were better prepared and more disiplined than any team I’ve watched play the Yanks. If they continue that disipline, they will be tough.

One way or the other, I think it goes 7, and it’s a toss up who wins. I think these two teams are so well matched, the series win might get down to an umpire call or lucky break.

Good luck to Boston!!!


I love Ellsbury as well but I would take Sizemore over Ellsbury. Sizemore is defintely not the best player in the league. As Ian wrote pound pound for pound yes I say he is.

The one player for the Tribe I really like is Victor Martinez, one of the best hitters in the game.

This series will not be decided by a umpire’s call. The players on the field and the coaches in the dugout will decide this series. In a 7 game series, the team that plays the best will win.

One thing the Indians do not have is a dominant guy in late in the game. That is the biggest difference between these 2 teams. I don’t see no Papelbon coming out of the Indians pen. Papelbon can blow you away, he is one focused guy when he comes out of the pen. He wants to be on the mound when the game is in doubt, that is what makes him shine!!! He embraces the tight situation, late in the game!!!

Always great to here from the Caribbean. Drink a good one for me at a local tiki bar.

Any Sox fans down that way?

gsumner. it was pretty easy to be disciplined against the yankees the way they were pitching. boston has a better overall ERA so i’m confused as to how you would think cleveland’s staff is better. personally i think across the board pitching is a wash. just like it was against the angels. the key to the series again will be offense. they ( boston ) got by without too much prod from 6-9 against ana. i’m not sure that will/can happen again. of course i don’t expect cleve will continue to hit .400 or what ever it was against NY with RISP either. unless they’re really off boston’s staff is too good for that. on paper boston has better offense, defense, and pitching. they SHOULD win. but then again az. shouldn’t even be in the NLCS based on those numbers. so i’m sure it’ll be much more interesting/closer than on paper it should be.


gsumner was telling us about a month ago that the Red Sox pitching was falling apart.

He also stated that A.J. Burnett was a better pitcher than Josh Beckett. ENOUGH SAID I GUESS…

Hi, All:

Just wanted to let you know the live chat feature on Sox and Pinstripes is up and running again. Feel free to use it during the game. By no means am I trying to pull people away from this site. I enjoy this site very much, along with an assortment of other Sox and baseball sites. During the season, there were times that I would have the live chat page open on Sox and Pinstripes, and the Brownie Points page open as well – posting comments on both. You won’t find me on the live chat tonight since I am the head of Red Sox Nation Orlando, and we are gathering at a New England-themed bar to watch the game. But feel free to use that chat feature. Good luck to the Sox tonight!



Perhaps Orlando resident Johnny Damon will join you. He has some time on his hands now. His team is DONE!!!


Yeah, there are lots of Major League players who live here or are from here. Varitek, Bellhorn, Wakefield and Damon to name four related to the Sox and Yankees.

Damon’s brother plays in the baseball league I mentioned. I guess Damon bought their uniforms!

i hope he does SOMETHING positive but i still can’t believe BOBBY KIELTY is starting this game. that is the ultimate definition of rolling the dice!

I just have a couple of thoughts:
1) The Sox are going to kick some Indian butt tonight, and


Florida is certainly a place where alot of players live. No state tax of course and the weather.

I’m quite happy that the game is right around the corner.


How is your back? I hope it is well. I have experienced some minor back pain and it was not fun.

I don’t mind seeing Kielty in the lineup. I would rather see Ellsbury in there but maybe later in the game for a stolen base.

gsumner, the blue jays fan, was telling us a couple of weeks ago how the Sox would not win the division. OOOPPPSSS!!!

As a Cleveland-based member of Red Sox Nation, I think you have to recognize the job that the Indians have done building their ballclub basically from within. In fact, the Sox have a valuable member of their squad who was nurtured within the Indians program — CoCo.

Its been funny how much approbation I get walking around with my Sox hat. Its the only time in my life that I have been mentioned in the same breath with a sportsstar like LeBron!!

I also think you have to recognize that Grady Sizemore is the real deal, the replacement for CoCo. That’s not to say that Jacoby Ellsbury won’t become the real deal, but he has only had a month to show off his stuff.

Ultimately, I do believe that these are two evenly matched teams. When that is the case, don’t you go with the home field advantage, especially when it is as big an advantage as the Fens is?

I am confident that Manny and Papi will perform well in this series. To get past the Indians, I do believe they will need some help, from Dustin, Julio, CoCo, Tek, JD, you pick it.

Someone needs to rise up and be this year’s Marty Barrett.

Go Sox!!!!

Sox in 7. Then on to the World Series, the Beckett main stage!!!!!!

Please smckinny, no “rolling the dice” analogies.” We get enough when DiceK pitches. lol

GAME TIME!!! Go sox……..

Crisp spent most of his minor league career in the Cardinals system. He was in the Chuck Finley trade. Finley who was beat down by his wife, some of this stuff you can’t make it up.

Crisp would love to show the Indians they made a mistake in dealing him away.

RSN, game on !
Have a nice one, everyone. Should be fun.

Both aces got off to a rough start. I would assume they will now settle down and get themselves into a groove.

It will be the pitcher’s duel we expected.

the kielty decision looks solid so far huh! they better hope 1-5 can carry them again i suppose i just ain’t feelin it for 6-9. i know CC is good but most of those pitches were right down the gut. bobby did get jobbed on strike 2 though.

Kielty sure looked rusty up there. I would agree about strike 2 smckinny. Sabathia looked like the dominating pitcher he is. In the 2nd he overmatched those guys.

I have confidence in Lugo, if he gets on he can jumpstart an inning. A sparkplug of some sort.

Beckett had 1 mistake and that has been it so far. Tribe strike out alot anyway. Sizemore didn’t have a chance. He was totally overmatched.

Lugo might have gotten a triple if that one didn’t go in the stands.

Lugo is another leadoff hitter. He had a TERRIBLE month of June and that killed his average.

I would have liked to see Pedroia swing away.

The score might be tied at 1-1. The Sox made Sabathia work in the 1st and now the 3rd. Beckett with 1 mistake and Hafner hit it a mile.

That one got away from Sabathia. Just what Sabathia wanted to do, pitch to Ramirez with the bases loaded. NOT!!!!

Ramirez is totally locked in at the plate. That is plate discipline there. What a great eye at the plate.

Great news for Sox fans when Ramirez is locked in. Bad news for Cleveland pitching!!!

Guitterez was very cautious out there in r.f.

I can see Nixon out there tomm night. He kind of tip toed out there. Sabathia is in BIG TROUBLE!!!


What is your prediction?

Does Varitek have a monster mash?

Will the long inning effect Beckett? We shall see. I wouldn’t think so.

bosox. what does it say about tek that they walk KIELTY to get to him! NO he has nuthin. that’s prob the first time bobby has ever had an int walk in his life. i know 1B was open but still. tek is just sad with MOB. hopefully beck can be his usual self and that will be enuff for tonite. i should have said i’m not feelin it for 6-8. ha!

Hey, how about all those nice things the announcers were saying about Tito. Must be a different Tito Francona????

Looks like the Sox are not suffering from the long layoff. GO SOX!!!!

All I can say right now is: KEEP THIS LEAD GOING!!!!
And I forgot yo say in my 1st post tonight: LET’S GO REDSOX!!

You gotta love these guys!!

6-8 hitters are a non threat for sure. At least with Varitek, he does a great job in handling the pitching staff. Crisp plays a great c.f. so those 2 help out, just not at the plate.

Francona isn’t going to win manager of the year. The team spent how much? We were all expecting the Sox to be where they are at. The Tribe had a chance when the season started. My vote for manager of the year is for Wedge.

Francona does a great job in juggling the lineup, keeping all the ego’s happy. You never here about players complaining, certainly not the case with Red Sox players in the past. Remember the old saying, 24 players 24 cabs. Those days are over!!!

Beckett is making a good lineup look very average.

Beckett has matured beyond his years this year.

Beckett is in total control of this game!!!

I think Kielty had a intentional walk during the Cape Cod league..LOL….

Drew will be out there for his defense, probably around the 7th inning.

OBP for Papi and Manny after 6 ABs : 1.000 !

If you listen closely, you can hear Kate Smith singing.

This one is OVER!!! Game 1 that is, the series is far from over.

Well, sorry for all the negative thoughts Bobby. Seems like you do bring something to this lineup after all. Our bad.🙂

Hey, RSN – this girl from Maine is LOVING LIFE!!! GO SOX!!!!

The Sox are definitely firing on all cylinders. That’s 19 runs in the last 2 games. My favorite stat from the FOX guys tonight:
Manny and Papi have been on base 29/36 at bats in the post season – against some good pitching staffs.

They look pretty much unstoppable tonight. Tomorrow brings…oh yeah. Another Cy Young candidate. No problem! All in a days work the way the Sox are playing right now.


We totally crushed C.C. tonight. That was just awesome😀

Tomorrow should be fun.

And somehow, I feel back to normal with the FOX announcers. Granted I still don’t like McCarver, but I’ll take Joe Buck any day of the week (24/7 if I had to) over the TBS announcers we had for the BoSox/Angels ALDS.

1 game down, 7 more to go!


For all of the piling on Tito for his managing skills, one thing we tend to forget, at least some portion of his managing skills played a bit in the Red Sox getting back in the ALCS in 2004 and then winning it all.

I think he’s learned a lot from that. Granted he makes questionable moves, but who doesn’t?

Did I miss something, but was there a ALDS MVP or do they not have that?

Carmona takes the mound tonight under some pressure against maybe the best post season pitcher in history who I know is well rested, and I’m sure well prepared. I like the Sox chances to go 2 games up.

I keep seeing posts about how the Indians are so strong 1-9 in the batting order but I watched them against the Yankees, last night, and I look at their stats and I’m just not seeing where they are so much stronger than the Sox. Certainly, 1-5, they are no match for the Sox. Then 6-9 they have a couple of players hitting better, but it’s not like it’s lopsided. I just don’t see it. I know stats don’t mean all that much, but Crisp and Lugo don’t have to do very much to become very productive when the order turns over.

No question, the Indians are a very good team but I think kicking their arses with their ace on the mound has got to have them thinking a little. I think this would be especially trus since this is CC’s second substandard post season performance in a row and he’s doing uncharacteristic things, like walking people.

The Sox go into tonight with Schill and if he can give them six good innings, they have the best of the pen waiting. It’s a perfect pitching situation.

See you tonight!

I agree, Garry, about your comment regarding Sabathia. The Indians need Sabathia and Carmona to excel since Westbrook and Byrd are decent, but not “shut down” pitchers. If the Sox can take Saturday night’s game, even if it’s 2-1, I like their chances to win the series in 4 or 5. Westbrook and Byrd are certainly very hittable. Hopefully, Schilling maintains his reputation as “Big Game Curt” and keeps the Indians bats silent. Delcarmen, Okajima and Papelbon are rested, which is good news. It is nice to get Game One, especially the way it was accomplished – with solid pitching and lively bats.


If I had a vote for Manager of the Year, it would be Wedge. Francona is a good manager, no doubt about that. I feel confident with Francona, Epstein and John Henry. But, as Brian said, the Sox should be in this position. There is no excuse for them to not make the playoffs and at least win a series. They are taking care of business at the right time.

Gagne pretty much proved tonight he doesn’t deserve to be on the roster. Or at least in any game with less than a 7 run lead. Seriously! What is his deal? You’d think with all the extra sessions/time off in the past month, he would have worked this **** out by now. But no, he decides to have the bases loaded for his last out. Granted, that wouldn’t have lost us the game, but still….why the f**k can’t you just get three outs?? What is your problem??? Seriously, I don’t want him back in any close games until he gets that sh!t figured out. It’s unacceptable at this level of the game.

well they certainly weren’t overwhelming but 6-9 did pick up 4 rbi’s. that’s an improvement i suppose. even though thwere a combibed 4/17 i believe. and tek only left 6 MOB!

pulling beck in the 6th would sugg to me that he will prob pitch game 4. at least you have to hope so. good move IMO.

wedge will be MOY. probably by a large margin. torre will get more votes than tito. boston was a popular choice to be here. cleveland, not so much. plus even though they accomplished the ultimate goals the sox didn’t generate a lot of style points with the way they played down the stretch. they have looked good so far in the post season though. tonite will be a bigger test IMO. carmona is just disgusting if he’s on. hopefully he’s so jacked the sinker won’t sink.

gsm. i think most people just look at the indians vs. yankees when they’re making tha call about the indians order. they might have a lil more pop 6-9 IMO over the course of the season but overall it’s pretty even.

fisher. how you really feel about gagne? ha! couldn’t agree more BTW. he is an e-ticket ride every time he pitches.

Before I read any comments, I’d like to post mine:
While I’m very excited about the win, I’m diappointed at the lopsideness of it. I watched quite a few Cleveland games this year, and saw a very different C.C. Sabathia. He just didn’t have it at all last night. I was absolutely expecting a classic pitching duel.

The other thing that sticks out is that Gagne could have given up the game!! I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone have as faith in me as the mngmt has in him!!

Anyway, it’s 1-0 and I really shouldn’t complain but….. I guess if you gave me the world, I’d want a fence around it!!!! You know, always looking for more!!!

Let’s Go RedSox!!!

I remain convinced that Gagne has no business in the mound despite a 7 run lead (unnecessarily made Oki, Pap warming up)and its a complete waste of a spot in the roster. The spot should go to Tavarez or Corey. Manny’s shoestring catch seems to me he trapped the ball. Two Tribe players were struck out swinging on obvious ball 4. It could turn out to be a disastrous 9th inning.
I was little surprised to see Papi, Youk, Pedroia in late innings with a huge lead. I would let Hinske and Cora play.

I do not expect Carmona to fold tonight. The Sox should be patient and selective AB make Caromon to get his pitches up.

Sizemore batted .277 and was second in the league in strikeouts. I’m getting tired of everyone saying how great he is.

I like the way Francona keeps using Gagne in mop-up situations, so its clear he can’t be trusted in a real situation.

How many of you out there would prefer to see Ellsbury over Crisp? Crisp is pretty much worthless at the plate, why not give someone a chance who cares AND is a big part of our future?

Rayman – I think it a stretch to say that because Crisp hasn’t done much at the plate, he doesn’t care. Anyway, he is more in there for his defense.

Smckinny – rather than talk about the men left on base by Tek, I thought you could have focused more on the inspired move by Tito of putting in your favorite person to hate (Kielty), who went 1 for 2 and drove in two important runs. Great move by Tito, yes? I think what he did was give the team the best chance to win by having him in there at the start.

Rayman – THANK YOU for your comments on Sizemore. Good player, but far from the best in baseball as has been alluded to here. I’ve had about enough of talk on him as well.

I also agree in giving Ellsbury a shot out there. Why not? Crisp has been non-productive and Ellsbury is as good, or better defensively. However, I would agree with Brendan in that I don’t think it’s because Crisp doesn’t care.

Well, great afternoom of College Football, NOW onto the REALLY IMPORTANT stuff!!!

Let’s go kick some MORE Indian butt!!

Let’s Go REDSOX Let’s go!!!!

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