The brink has arrived

What started in Fort Myers some eight months ago has the chance of ending in, of all places, Cleveland on Thursday.

How did things go this sour this fast for the Red Sox? Once Curt Schilling struggled in Game 2, the air seemed to come out of the Red Sox in this series. Dice-K again didn’t have command in Game 3 and the bats just seemed to be tight in the early innings of Game 4. Then there was that utter disaster of a fifth inning.

So now it comes down to this. The Sox are down 3-1 and a loss sends them golfing or fishing or hunting or whatever else.

Josh Beckett will try to pitch them to another baseball game on Thursday. The good news is that he’s absolutely the first person the Red Sox would want in a situation like this. The bad news is that C.C. Sabathia might have been the only pitcher in the game as effective as Beckett this season and that’s who the Red Sox face in this one.

Can Sabathia be mediocre for a third straight postseason start? Can the Red Sox finally get something going offensively?

The Red Sox have nine innings to get this season back to Boston and Beckett will try to make it happen. But what the Red Sox need is some early offense. All year long, the Red Sox have played their best when they set a tone. That’s what they need to do against Sabathia.

You get this thing back to Fenway where the crowd will be crazy and who knows what might happen.

It no longer matters how the Red Sox got into this predicament. They now must find a way out of it or it will be a disappointing winter.

Is the off day a good thing or a bad thing? I think maybe a day to get away from it all will help them entering Game 5. We shall see.

119 Comments

It is all up to the Boston bats. If they continue to disappear, they will lose on Thursday night.

Beckett can’t win unless they score for him. No pitcher has never won a scoreless game.

Beckett has been the ace all year. Perhaps the team can feed off of him and get there bats going. We can only hope!!!

Can we look at some much needed changes in the outfield. Lets switch it up because it’s not working as it is! There is a few studs sitting on the bench chomping at the bit.
Shane

bosox. the bet thing was intended to be rhetorical. and this team has struggled against pitchers like westbrook and byrd all year. so i for one saw it coming.

the only change you’ll see in the outfield is kielty playing for drew on thurs. that’s tito being tito. he won’t deviate from his plan. right or wrong.

It’s terrible, for some ungodly reason the Sox are not being patient at the plate. For the past two games, hitters haven’t been running up the counts like they usually do. So what if Westbrook and Byrd throw first pitch strikes, then watch the first pitch. Atleast make them throw more than two or three pitches to get you out. Like every other Boston fan, we’re on the edge and about to pushed off, I still have faith. I still believe this can happen. The only way to win now is for a sox starter to go more than 4 and 2/3 innings and the bottom of the line up to do something…anything to get on base. Ellsbury would be great to put in now.

jeff. you are correct about this team’s core being back next year. that’s both good and bad IMO. drew while he’ll prob be better is never gonna be what this team needed. a power bat behind ortiz and manny. lugo should be a lil better you would hope but he’ll never be a force offensively and he’s marginally above avg. defensively. tek’s downward spiral continues. he’ll be a year older and is unlikely to get any better next year. so they’re going to have the core issue they’ve had all year this year IMO. other than the top 5 in the order where does the offense come from? the pitching will probably be pretty good again. although IMO they should sent wake packing and bring back schill. that’s not just based on last nite. he’s always a post season liability and all he does is beat teams like TB. one pitch pitchers are never a good thing. offensively though theo’s moves have put this team in a position where the only place they can really do anything to upgrade or get better is at third base. and barring signing a-rod or trading for cabrerra i don’t know how they can do that. obviously they’re commited to ells in CF. he figures to be at least a slight imp over coco off but you never know what he’ll do in a full season.

Bats, Bats, Bats. If you don’t clutch hit, you don’t win ball games even if Beck is pitching.
At least we have a reasonable degree of certainty that we will win Game 5 with Beck pitching (he has almost to pitch a complete game shut out). The Sox seems to hit Sabbathia well.

When Wake showed sign of trouble, it’s time for Lester to come in, not Delcarmen. Lester’s role is for long relief. This is not hindsight. I said it in my yesterday’s post. I am not a fan of Delcarmen. As always, I have been an advocate for Corey who could make the difference.

Is Beck physically allright? There is speculation that he may be slightly injured.

007. he’s not injured. that was spin control to justify not using him last nite. the fox guys were saying monday he was seen lifting weight that day. if he was injured i doubt he’d be doing that. maybe streching or running but not lifting.

and actually the time to use lester was inning 1. if beck wasn’t going to start lester should have.

I am cautiously optimistic that we can still win the series. The core pitching, Timlin, Oki, and Pap, remains healthy and effective. If our SPs pitch past 5th inning (Is it too much to ask?) with a lead, we shall prevail. I hope Schil and Dice-K have learned from their mistakes.

I always remember that Millar quote from 04. “Don’t let us win today, because we got Pedro in game 5 and Schilling in game 6. And then who knows what will happen in Game 7. Don’t count the Sox out, that’s all I’m trying to say”. That’s how they should be thinking. Give them Beckett tomorrow, Schilling in Game 6 and then who knows what will happen in Game 7. It’s not over yet.

Smckinny – no one but no one was calling to use Lester before the game. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. As for Beckett not being sore, I don’t quote get what you mean. You mean the Red Sox realized it was a mistake to pitch Wakefield and so were trying to use a Beckett injury to cover their *****?

to cover themselves so

smckinny, you’re right about Lester starting. I am not a fan of Wake either although I like him as a decent person. Most of the time, a hitter can work out a walk without having the bat leaving his shoulder like Guiterrez did in 2nd inning. Wake could fool the Tribe lineup once but not the second time around. Argh… pain…hurt..
T

I just don’t understand why Kielty and Ellsbury aren’t playing these games. Crisp and Drew have been useless at the plate, get some young fresh blood in there!! It’s so frusrating looking at these guys sitting on the bench!!
I have faith that Josh Beckett can win tomorrow–I’m just worried what happens in the two games after that.

brendan, I cannot comfortably say “Don’t let us win today, b/c we got Schil in Game 6 and Dice-K in Game 7.” But I still have faith in the Sox until it’s over.

brendan. your wrong about the lester situation it’s not hindsight. i’m pretty sure i said somewhere if they weren’t going to start beck it should be lester. wake is and has always been a terrible post season pitcher. he’s bad against good hitting teams period. but it’s irrelevent. and what i’m saying is tito made up his mind several days ago he was going start wake last nite and i’m sure they put something out there to suggest beck couldn’t go in game 4 to avoid being questioned about it so much. like i said if his back was sore/tight he would have been lifting. plus when he ( beck ) was asked y-day if he could go last nite he didn’t say no. he said ” i don’t get paid to make those decisions”. if you ain’t saying no you’re typically saying yes. he could have made the whole issue or debate go away by saying no but he didn’t. it’s conjecture of course but i read that as given a choice he wanted to go.

I still can’t believe we threw Wakefield out there… Great, we get Schilling and Dice-K some extra rest… like that worked in games 2 and 3? This is the last time I bring up this stat…

RedSox – 1st in pitching, 2nd in defense, 3rd in Runs.

Indians – 3rd in pitching, 6th in defense, 6th in runs.

Same number of wins, we’re losing in the playoffs.

2 simple places to look… coaching and ability to come through in the clutch. Anyone who could possibly think Francona has done a good job this year should have their head examined.

yeah 007. wake is a great ambassador for the sox. but IMO his playing days should be over. he always been a class act. but there is a reason there are no other knucklers out there. you can’t have 1 pitch starters. especially when that pitch travels at about 68 mph. even relief guys with great fastballs eventually have to learn/throw more than one pitch.

rayman. you disappoint me. you left out theo’s brilliant trade to bring in gagne!

Rayman – we had the best record in the AL. Of course he did a good job.

And your stats are somewhat meaningless. Compare the Phillies stats to the Rockies stats. I’m sure the Phillies are better. The stats mean more over a 162 game season. Playoff series are short enough for anything to happen. By your reasoning, Francona wouldn’t have to do anything this post season and we would just stroll our way to victory. Did the Cardinals have the best stats in 06? I would say every team in the post season had better regular season stats than them.

technically they still have a chance. in my heart i want to belive that. but as bad as CC and carmona were in 1 & 2 they still got a split. i just don’t think they’ll be that bad again. it’s likely if beck gives up more than 2 it’s over. that’s prob being optimitic. CC is due.

Can someone please tell me why Tavares was left off the ALCS roster in favor of Gagne? With Dice K and Wake you knew you needed long relievers, and we only had 1 Lester, and he “doesn’t like to come in in the middle of an inning? The correct move last night would have been to bring Tavares in. Coincidently, the same correct move would have been to bring him in game 2 as well. Did I miss something?

The Fat lady is about to sing!C.C.Will pitch great at home to clinch it!!Beck or no Beck.Indians are a talented team and finish it off at home.

May I add why Tavares AND Corey were left off the roster in favor of Gagne and Lopez?
Tavares has been a long reliever and spot starter since he joined the team. If you are not going to start Lester, why waste a spot in the roster. What were Theo and Francona thinking?

I have a few things to say, first of all I still think it should have been dice k in game 2 and schilling in game 3. I called the result ealier in a blog, but who’s to say if it were switched the result might have been the same. I dont think gagne should have been pulled in game 2 for the simmple reason he’s a strikeout pitcher and thats what they needed in that particular inning instead of Lopez. Im also wondering why francona has this allegance to crisp and drew…where’s ellsbury? He is the firecracker we need right now….for the first time ever I’m questioning Francona… on all of these things. And lastly…why did he bring in delcarmen last night…why not a more experienced pitcher like Timlin in such a crucial spot in the game.

dandri, you’re right. If the bats don’t show up, Beck or Cy Young won’t make any diffrence. Extraordinary time calls for drasstic action, bring in Cora, Ellsbury and Kielty in place of DP, the Cereal, and N. Drew.

This may sound crazy and I hope this isn’t true, but hear me out. I really think there is a power struggle going on between Theo and Tito, regarding who should be on the team and play. I think Tito (who is loyal to his players) is mad at Theo for signing Drew and getting Gagne instead of resigning Nixon and keeping Gabbard. But he has been told to shut up and play them. So he is doing what he is told and just letting this disaster go on. There is no other logical reason for these two to be playing in the postseason. OH yeah you can throw Lugo in there as well. Again I know this sounds crazy but it does make sense.

This sox team is not a 2004 model.That is in the past,same as past yankee teams.their incentive is already in the wallet.Just another day on the job.HO HUM

reinbold, in hindsight, it should have been and better off with Dice-K in Game 2. The pivotal 3 run HR surrendered by Schil is a HR in any park. I am not impressed by Lofton’s HR off Dice-K. It could a rontine long flyout in many ballparks.

Its tough to be this down on the Sox when that many breaks went against them. I counted 4 in that 5th inning alone, but hey when a team is as hot as Cleveland the breaks tend to go their way. If Wake either a. catches the ball or b. does not touch the ball, the innning is over and the Sox win 3-1 and the series is tied at 2.

The bats obviously frustrate us all, but IMO Wakefield pitched a brilliant game (5IP IMO and 1 ER). If Beckett can pitch as well as that I like our chances tomm. The game that scares me is saturday nite with Fausto against Schill.

The funny thing to me is the FOX announcers keep saying Terry doesn’t want to change the lineup b/c he doesn’t want to appear like he’s panicking. But to be honest shouldn’t it be time to do a little panicking??? Kielty and Ells for Drew and Coco. I don’t care that Ells is lefthanded he can’t do much worse than Coco. And get Pedroia out of the leadoff spot. He is NOT a leadoff hitter.

Momentum is a huge thing, Cleveland won 3 in a row, it is just as easy for Boston to do the same. The key is to score FIRST tomm and take some pressure off Beckett and have those fans take those stupid towels and stick them somewhere. I mean if a fan base needs towels to get them excited are they really fans?

Comparing the talent on the 2004 and 2007 versions of the Sox, 2004 was so much more talented. If you take away Manny, Ortiz, Schill and Tek who were on both, 2004 had a better RF, a much better CF and much better SS, better 3rd and 4th starters (Arroyo and DLowe over DiceK and Wake). Only positions this team is better are 3B and 1st starter (Beck over Pedro). 2B and 1B are a draw IMO.

Ok let’s all just relax for a second. I want to take you back to 03 against Oakland. We were down 0-2 and won three in a row. Essentially we had the same core or type of players. Ie. Bill Mueller to me is a less power hitting Mike Lowell. We had Wake, Papi Manny Jason all guys that have been through this. Beck and Lowell came back down 3-1 against the Cubs. They have done this also.

And we all know we have been in worse situations. Remember waking up on Sunday morning in 04 after the blow out. I remember saying we can win this and don’t forget we had to win two on the road at Yankee stadium. Uncock the Berreta and let me remind you of that series:

Game 1: Mussina beats Schill 10 to 7 at NY. Sox sown 1-0

Game 2: Lieber beats Pedro 3-1. Sox down 2-0

Game 3: Arroyo started and got shelled we all remember that Saturday night game 19-8 at Fenway.

Lets pause here. We are down 0-3 with two more games at Fenway. The yankees are going to throw El Duke, Mussina, and Lieber, and if the Sox some how get this to 3-2 the Yanks only have to win one of two at Yankee Stadium. Is that worse than where we are now? Absolutely. No team has had it worse than after 3 games in 04′

Game 4. Lowe v. El Duke. Roberts steals the base, Papi ends it in extras. Sox win 4-2 in 12. Down 3-1.

Game 5: At Fenway, late afternoon start with the shadows. Pedro v. Mussina. They pull it out 5-4 with Papi big single in front of 35,000 screaming fans.

Game 6: Bloody Sox Schilling v. Lieber. We win 4-2 and Schilling turns into a legend in New England. Series tied.

Game 7: The big Mo is with us and we blow out Kevin Brown on Lowes 2nd of 3 series clinching wins. Bellorn and Damon start to hit.

They can do this. The most important game obviously is Thursday night. Beck will be there, the question is will the bats. They win this one, we go back to Fenway. That place will be rocking. Schilling is a big game pitcher, this is what that huge ego lives for. He will pitch well. Then we are at a 7th game at Fenway. Have the Indians ever done anything like this before? Never. We did it to them in 99′ though.

Another thought. Batting averages for the 04″ ALCS: Bellhorn .192 with 11 Ks in 26 at bats. Damon .171 Trot .207. Horrible. Drew is batting better (I think) Every time the order came to the top during that series Damon and Bellhorn killed a rally. Like I tell people all the time aabout the ******** I represent. He is a ******** but he’s my *******.

Maybe I am chugging the kool aid here, but I’ve seen alot worse (Angels in 86′ remember that? down 3-1 to a good veteran Angels team) I just don’t believe this is over. I would not sit Coco. I would think about sitting Drew and play Elsbury in right. I say think about it, because I screamed to sit Bellhorn and I was wrong.

Keep the faith, you are a Red Sox fan, nobody asked you to be one, you chose it, you asked for it, now stop whining and get busy for what may turn into another great Sox weekend.

Don’t forget connor, Sox were also down 2-0 to the Indians in 1999. Blowout win in game 3, even bigger blowout win in game 4 and then simply put the “Pedro game” in game 5.

Oh, I have not forgotton Rizzo. That last win was at the Jake if I am remembering right. who was that right fielder we had? . . . Troy O’Leary. A guy who hit under .200 in that series but came up big.

Thats right, grand slam to take them from down 2 to up 2. That was the series where Manny went 1 for 18 against the Sox.

Amen, connor, I hope you’re right.
Let’s take one game at a time. Score some runs for Beck and go from there.

Just wanna add something to your 04-07 comparison, rizzo.

1- The bullpen is superior this year, imo, leaded by Pap over Foulke.

2- The opponents : while the Indians are a very, very solid team, they are NOT the 04 Yankees.

If they won 4 in a row against the 04 Yanks, with the last 2 at Yankee Stadium, they can win 3 against the 07 Indians, with the last 2 at Fenway.

Like Tito said that year : ” we only want to win 1 game : the next one. ”

They can do it.

Let’s take a step back. The fact that DP, JD, Tek, and Coco didn’t hit was perhaps they swung too hard at “soft” pitchers like Westbrook and Byrd. Those guys hopefully will have better luck with hard thrower like Sabbathia. I can see JD hit a HR with Manny, Lowell on board followed by Coco’s double and driven home by DP clutch 2 outs hit. Red Sox 4, Indians 0, top of 6th.

* … only NEED to win 1 game ….

Like I said earlier today…Keep the faith. The sox need a one game win to shift the momentum. Lets not forget it will bring the series back to Fenway. Indians fans are rowdy but 55,000 screaming Indians fans ain’t nothing compared to 35,000 screaming Fenway fans. The place will be rocking. We need to keep the quiet Thursday night

i appreciate everyone’s attempt at optimism,but:

a) this ain’t ’04. this team has far less power and simply isn’t as productive top to bottom as that team was.

b) the yankees had no one even close to CC and carmona in terms of pitching.

IMO if they were to come back and win this series it would be more impressive than ’04 for those reasons. that team had some guys struggling in the playoffs but by and large they had been very good throughout the year. this team has 4 starters who have just had bad years in total. i’ll be pulling for them but i’ll be very surprised if it get’s back to fenway. only so much beck can do. even if by some miracle it were to get to a game 7 we’ve already seen how dominant cy young/westbrook is!

mckinny you need to get a life and stop commenting on this blog…who are you anyways?

Had to admire THE MANNY SHOW after a solo shot!What a infantile!!!More incentive for Indians

mnweaver. i have a wonderful life just do this to kill time between hitting golf balls, etc. but thanks for the advise. who are you? al gore? didn’t realize you owned/invented the internet. my bad.

More incentive for the Indians?? How much more incentive do they need?? I hope they bean him in his first or second AB, that could be the spark the lights a fire under the Sox’s @$$es. I do agree though that he shouldn’t really be doing that down 4. I don’t like when he does it in general but I can live with it. However down that much just round the bases and act like you’ve been there before.

smckinny, I have to respectfully disgaree with you. If we can get by Thursday and force a Game 7 coming back from 1-3 deficit, the big MO shifts to the Sox and with the fans frenzy at Fenway. Also, Westbrook was not great and Dice K wasn’t that bad either. Advanatge: The Sox.

I hope the Sox pull thru tomorrow. However, looking back over the past season, I think there is a lot to look forward to for next season. Can’t wait for some of the young bucks to get regular playing time to show what they can really do. Thanks for the great season, Red Sox. Hopefully, we can go all the way next year. I guess it sounds as tho I think the boys are gonna lose tomorrow. Just hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. GO SOX!!!!

There was a buzz among fans and pundits before Game 4 that Beckett should be starting this game on short rest, a scenario that would have still put the ball in Wakefield’s hands — for Game 5 — but allowed the Sox to have Beckett lined up for a Game 7 on full rest.

What those people did not know, however, is that the Red Sox ruled out that possibility after Beckett came out of Game 1 after six innings. With that start Beckett pushed his innings total for the year to 215 2/3, a career high. More importantly, he felt slight stiffness in his back — nothing major, mind you, just wear-and-tear mileage that was slightly concerning to the Boston staff.

These two paragraphs are from the article below and explain why Beckett wasn’t sent out last night.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/tom_verducci/10/17/game.four.ap/index.html

007. i was being facetious re westbrook. he was not dominant. the sox just made him look that way. actually IF they did get it to a game 7 they should be favored. of course that was the case in game 3 as well and we know how that turned out. i hope they do but it’s HIGHLY unlikely having to beat CC at home and then carmona.

Remember04 sox had a lot of luck going for them.Not so in 07!!

IF, and it’s a big if, the Sox win tomorrow night, the Indians will be heading to Boston with the most ” uncomfortable ” 3-2 lead in history !

I’m kidding, but barely.

Actually, I am more concerned with Carmona – Schil matchup than anything else, if we get to game 6. But Schil can’t be bad 2 games in a row. You never know until the game time.

ultimately it boils down to one thing. i don’t have any doubt that the pitchers CAN pitch well enough to keep them in games. but if they can’t get production from someone other than the 2-3-4-5 guys it’s irrelevent. you’re not going to totally shut cleve down for 3 straight. i’d just liek to see tito do something to try and give this team a jump start. well something other than play bobby kielty. play ells for coco. switch the lineup around. just try SOMETHING different.

Francona’s back has to be against the wall with keeping Crisp in the lineup, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Ellsbury in there on Thursday. Once again, he hangs tough on lefties and will provide a spark.

And if this does happen, I’m sure we’d all like to see the following lineup:

Ellsbury CF

Pedroia 2B

Ortiz DH

Ramirez LF

Lowell 3B

Youkilis 1B

Varitek C

Kielty RF

Lugo SS

With Youkilis hitting 6th, you break up that string of seemingly automatic outs from the 6-9 hitters in our lineup and make turning the lineup over mid-inning more of a possibility. Too many innings have started off 2-3-4, Papi/Manny need a couple of batters ahead of them to get an inning going.

Also, I know you can’t count on Sabathia to continue to be wild but the guy has thrown almost 260 innings this year so it’s a possibility. If he walks Ellsbury, you have to put the runner in motion and let your best contact hitter (Pedroia) put the bat on the ball.

1st and 3rd, nobody out and the teeth of the order coming up would be a nice way to start Game 5, especially considering what Ian posted about Boston’s effectiveness with an early lead.

We all know Ellsbury should be in the lineup tomm night. He should have been in the lineup a while back, during the Angels series. When he is in the lineup, good things happen. He would provide a much needed spark to a team right now that is sagging. There confidence has to be shaken a bit. Francona needs to grow some you know what, put Ellsbury in there tomm night and if they win keep putting him in the lineup. It is moronic to have him watch the games like us the fans. Put him in the lineup and let him do his thing and the results will speak for itself.

1 Ellsbury
2 Pedroia

3 Oritz

4 Ramirez

5 Lowell

6 Youkilis ( has proven he can hit anywhere in the lineup )

7 Varitek

8 Kielty

9 Lugo

That would be my lineup for tomm night. Same as zachary and I am sure same as every other fan. The one that counts the most, Francona, probably no Ellsbury.

Where is Tavarez? After all he did for the Sox this season they sit him? He might have been able to give you a lot of innings down the stretch. He was pretty reliable this season. I think it’s a slap in the face to him. Give Ellsbury a chance as well for all he did too.

Actually, Brian, while i like your ( and Zack’s ) lineup, i’d go with this one :

1 Ellsbury

2 Youkilis

3 Ortiz

4 Ramirez

5 Lowell

6 Kielty

7 Varitek

8 Pedroia

9 Lugo

Youk seems to be better when he knows he doesn’t have to swing for the fence, just get on base for the big bats.

Kielty’s supposed to be a C.C. killer ? Great, put him in the 6th hole.

Pedroia is our best contact hitter ( with Youk ) ? Great, we need that at the bottom of the order.

One way or another, changes need to be made, we all agree.

I like that lineup as well. Kielty at six does look high up but I wouldn’t want any of the other options ahead of him. And Youkilis has a much higher average batting second.

For all the talk about Tavarez and Corey, I don’t think anybody knows. I think the whole conspiracy theory that smartpenn brought up earlier is complete conjecture. While it makes sense in a way, at the same time, there’s no logical reason for that to happen. However, there’s still no reason as to why Corey and Tavarez aren’t on the roster; at least none we know of.

My personal line-up for Thursday is the same as Zachary’s and bosoxbrian’s with one other change:

Ellsbury CF

Pedroia 2B

Ortiz DH

Ramirez LF

Lowell 3B

Youkilis 1B

Varitek C

Kielty RF

Cora SS

Tito needs to change it up for the sake of something different. Dropping Pedroia will take pressure off of him; we all know he can hit and I think he just needs to have the pressur of leading-off taken off of him. Neither Coco nor Lugo has been hitting so putting in Ellsbury and Cora are the only other options. Plus Ellsbury had a monster September; why not let him take anything that’s left of that momentum and apply it to leading off? Cora is simply there only because he’s proven he can get into a game sometimes provide a difference; most of the times he has played, he’s done something positive. Kielty’s in there obviously for his numbers against C.C. Sabathia.

Plus, giving Coco and Lugo another day off may help them get out of their mini-slump they’re in. While that may prove to be a moot point if there is no Game 6, it might help. Plus, say we’re winning Game 5 by a decent amount, Tito can just sub Coco and Lugo back in just to get them some ABs again. It’s one thing to be loyal to your players, but it’s another to be stubborn about it. Heck, what about the loyalty to the bench players? They’re there when the starters cannot produce and/or there’s an injury. And right now, some starters are not producing.

Just my two cents. Now back to my GRE reading. :-)

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

Hmm, rsox_34, your line up isn’t a bad idea either. Actually I kind of forgot how good Youk is in the number 2 hole.

So let’s update mine shall we:

Ellsbury CF

Youkilis 1B

Ortiz DH

Ramirez LF

Lowell 3B

Kielty RF

Pedroia 2B

Varitek C

Cora SS

That’s another option as well, and even though one may think Kielty is too high up there, his numbers against C.C. Sabathia are pretty good. Plus, if I remember correctly, he did got 1 for 2 in the first game with 2 RBIs.

Okay, NOW back to my GRE reading. :-P

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

Yup, put anyone heavier than 150 lbs in the 6th hole, except JD and Tek. :-)

It doesn’t matter to me whether Youk is hitting 2nd or 6th. As long as Ellsbury is in the lineup. It is very obvious to me that he should be in the lineup. Obvious to us the fans but not obviously to Francona. I just don’t understand his thinking. It makes no sense to me at all.

I like the lineup as long as Ellsbury is leading off. But it’s not going to happen. Francona said in WEEI today that Kielty will play right field. No mention that Ellsbury will play at center. Francona is staying with the veteran player.
Spectacular as Beck’s performances in the playoffs, I am afraid that tomorrow’s game can turn out to be his worst in the playoffs. I pray it won’t happen.

We just need a “bunch of idiots” to show up on Thursday night.

We still have a few of them left. Maybe they can recruit the rest!!

I think the off day will benefit the Sox. It gives Beckett an extra day of rest, and perhaps it will help the Sox to regain their focus and reverse the momentum. I hope that is the case because I’m not ready for four months without Red Sox baseball and 5 1/2 months until another regular season game.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

I agree with you Jeff. The extra day’s rest can help Boston. Also I’m not ready for this season to end as well.

Who else would we want on the hill other than Beckett?

Cleveland doesn’t want to go back to Boston. Will the Sox hit tomm night? That is the biggest question. Beckett can’t win the game if the team continue to hit the way they have.

One of us has to come up with an anti-withdrawl formulas. Something, with as few side effects as possible, but keeps us from “jones-ing” in the off season. Maybe patches shaped and printed like baseballs, bats or bases.

**formula

For all the advocates of bringing Tavarez back next year in a similar spot start/long reliever role (myself included), don’t count on it, at least not according to this article.

“Unfortunately, Tavarez’s days in Boston are numbered. The reliever becomes a free agent at season’s end, and the Red Sox don’t plan to bring him back.”

By the way, the article is about Dice-K and Tavarez’s relationship throughout the season, they are like the odd couple.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2007/columns/story?id=3064818

dandri: If you (can)remember, the “luck” didn’t start in the post season until game 4. I’ve only recently seen you here on the blog, but it’s obvious that there is no RedSox Nation card in YOUR wallet. Which team(s) is/are the “lucky” one/s that you pledge your undying love and alegience to??

***in 2004

Welcome back Ellen, its nice to see you posting . I will assume everything went well and hope it continues to do so ..take care …K

Wow, my prediction of the bats coming alive yesterday went horribly wrong somehow. Tomorrow, for sure.

This Red Sox team has a definite bi-polar personality, and I’m hoping the “good” Sox show up. The team that has enthusiasm and hits the ball and pitches well. Tito, don’t bring the team that sleepwalks thru the game. I want the team with fire and the killer instinct. OK Sox, take your lithium and beat those Indians!!

Pacol, I like your lineup. Tek batting 8th would take some of the pressure off and give Dustin a chance to do some damage if there are runners on base. I love Tek, but except for the late HRs sometimes, he has been struggling.

Arnie: Hey I can’t take all the credit for that line up. Gotta give Zachary, bosoxbrian and rsox_34 the credit as well :-)

You know what’s strange to me? Nobody else besides me has mentioned Cora…which is actually quite surprising considering how we all love his professionalism and such.

About Manny’s comments…I seriously could not help but fall over laughing. I just don’t know why, but when he talks, I can’t help but crack up. :-D

Three points of perhaps luck and/or karma we’ve got going for us:

1) Josh Beckett – He’s pitched in a similar situation before with the Marlins in 2003 and we all know that they won the NLCS.

2) Red Sox in 2004 – Say what you want about luck and how the 2004 team was better, etc. but a lot of baseball is about one’s mental state. The slow moving pace of the game, the days off, it’s very mental. If the Red Sox can keep their focus but remain relaxed and take that pressure and apply it to working harder, there’s no reason why we can’t win Game 5.

3) C.C. Sabathia’s Issues – He has yet to show he can thrive on the big stage. Even Carmona had a hitch in Game 2 (we just weren’t patient with him sadly). Sabathia has to prove he can not be erratic and even at home, I’m not sure he can do that. He might be good for say 5 innings but if he implodes in the 6th, everything else before that becomes moot (as we saw even in Wake’s outing yesterday).

The Red Sox may be the sleeping giant…we just need to wake up.

And back to Manny, like he said in his recent interview: “Hey, anything’s possible.”

Let us hope that anything is a win for Red Sox Nation.

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

Ellen, I don’t have a Red Sox Nation card either…

I lost it somewhere to be exact. :’-(

raj- the “card” comment, well that was just my ’round a bout way of saying that this Dandri commenter has less than good thoughts about our Sox.

Connorgrace: I LOVE they way you think!! I could not have put that any better than you did. And as for chugging the koolaid, pass the jug my friend!!!

and indigo, thank you, I’m getting better every day. I’m already walking without a walker, and making it around the block. I should be ready for the Olympics soon, or **** maybe they can put me in as a pinch runner in game 7.

all those lineup options look viable to me although i’d put tek in at least the 8 spot if not 9. i suspect we’ll see kielty hitting 6th and everything else status quo however. it’s pretty easy ti figure out why manny doesn’t usually talk to the media. a couple of harmless lil comments saying it’s not the end of the world if they lose and it get’s blown totally out of proportion. what’s he supposed to say? if we lose i’ll slit my wrists. you’d think he had predicted they would lose.

farrell was quoted as saying that in beck’s bullpen session on tuesday he looked as strong as he has all year so i guess there are no issues with his back after all.

You gotta love Manny and the interview he did and I think he’s exactly right. “We go out, we play hard, if we win, good, if we don’t, it’s not the end of the world. There’s always next year.”

There’s a guy saying, “Pressure, what pressure?” I love that. He’s going to go out, play the game, and have fun. It’s the only way he knows how to play. At this point, the rest of the Sox and most of us could take a lesson from Manny.

You can analyze all you want to, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and in this series, the Indians have been both. The Sox are a yardstick from being up 3-1. Game 2, Youk has an epic at bat with Ellsbury on second and finally scorching a liner to center field that Sizemore has to make a nice catch on. Game 3, Lofton’s home run gets out of the park by all of two inches. Game 4, the line drive back to Wake is an inch to the right, and it’s a double play because he doesn’t touch it. Did the Sox have other opportunities to win and do damage? Of course they did. But baseball is a game of failure and success is the exception, not the rule. What the Indians have accomplished with RISP and two outs is probably just short of miraculous, yet if those three plays went the othe way, they could be down 3-1, or even done. Baseball is a crazy game.

What ever nine bodies Tito throws out there tonight will give their best shot at winning. I think we all know that. I’d love to see Ellsbury playing (and I heard a rumor from the Navajo Nation that he might be playing). I’m excited about tonight’s game because with Beckett on the mound, I don’t care who is pitching for Cleveland, I think the Sox have a good shot at winning. If that happens, we take it back to Fenway and go from there. If not, it’s been a good year and we start petitioning the Sox front office to resign Lowell.

Manny, I hope you have more fun tonight than you’ve ever had before. If Manny’s having fun, Cleveland is in trouble!

The funny thing is that no matter what Tito does tonight, and no matter what the end result, the gloomanddoomers will be all over him.

I disagree Brendan, if Tito plays Jacoby over Coco and Ellsbury ends up going 0-4 with 4 strikeouts, nobody’s going to say, “I can’t believe he didn’t put Crisp in CF.” It’s not like anybody expects Coco to do anything offensively. Add to that the fact that our offense is struggling and Ellsbury has shown he is a good hitter, so why not shake up the lineup?

I think if Beckett has a game similar to his first two of this postseason, we can start to label him as a “big-game pitcher” without any doubts. He has already brought back one team (Marlins) from a 3-1 deficit, shut out the Yankees at their home field to win the World Series, and thrown another complete game shutout this year.

If he keeps Boston alive tonight and gets this thing back to Fenway, he’s going to have quite a resume.

Zachary – no, but they will say he should have put Ellsbury in sooner (saying Ellsbury never had a chance to get in gear with only one game or something like that) and that’s what cost us the division series.

Ellen, I’m glad you like the way I think and I’m glad you think the way I do. We have a lot of tense baseball ahead of us, so I think I’m gonna go to something a little stronger than kool aid tonight! Bring on Beck the Vodka and lots of tabacco.

what’s put this team in this position IMO is not bad luck or unfortunate breaks. it’s been the same weakness they’ve had all year and that’a a lack of production from the bottom 4 in the order. i don’t know that ells will have a big impact although i am all for giving him a shot over coco who is obviously struggling. the main thing to me is it would hopefully force him to put youk or even ped towards the bottom and maybe they can get something going.

connorgrace. i like the way you think!!

I just think that coco hit the ball hard a couple of times at people so he is ready to perhaps get going. The other thing is his defense is needed. Don’t underestimate that. If you put Elsbury in right then you upgrade on defense and perhaps get that magic that everyone has been hoping for from him.

Smckinny, may liver may disagree with you.

Ellen: Oh I agree with your comments about Dandri. I was just being silly for once, lol. So don’t mind me and my craziness.

Again, I’m hoping to see some form of lineup change for tonight; Kielty is a given, but specifically other things.

My question is this, say if Coco does play, how good was he leading off? I know he did a few times during the season but I’m not 100% sure as to how good he was at that spot. If he was good, the drop Pedroia to Coco’s current spot to get the pressure off of him and to inject some life in the bottom of the order.

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

Tonight would be the perfect night to officially replace Coco as our starting CF. If Beckett is on his game, we should win. That would give Ellsbury one game to get his bearings. That should help him out for the next 2 games. Crisp, Drew, and Lugo have been worthless pretty much all year long. Each had maybe 2-3 weeks where they got a few hits… but recently all they might be good for is a bases empty single. It’s just hard to believe Francoma is content to just let the ship sink.

You can’t even use the BS argument that… “I’m going with the guys that got me here”… we may not have even won the division without Ellsbury hitting .350 in 100+ at-bats. Francona is treating him like someone who was just called up and hasn’t played at all. We were scrambling the entire last month to hold onto the lead with Ellsbury in the lineup. Crisp has done nothing in 900+ at-bats… Why would Francona possibly have any loyalty to him? Just ridiculous.

There is 0% chance that Coco is our starting CF next season. Absolutely no chance. You can’t have a starting CF in this division with no power, no OBP, and a .260 average. That’s not even good for the National League.

Pacol, Coco was good for a while in the 1st hole when Lugo starts struggling (to say the least), but he was removed from that spot because :

1- He wasn’t getting on base enough.

2- Pedroia was. Big time.

Unlike a lot of my fellow Sox fans, i’m not a Coco hater. But i got to admit : he doesn’t belong in the first hole right now. He barely belongs in the lineup. Sad but true.

I just finished watching game 4 of 2004 ALCS (just the Sox ab’s). I believed then, and I still believe now. All it takes is one play to turn the tables. Oh, one other thing for now: Listening to McCarver was as sickening in 2004 as he is now, only this time I could fast forward.

unfortunately center field is really the only option to make any change with kielty already subbbing for JD. coco does a lot of great things defensively and WHEN he gets on base. i like him but personally i’d go with ellsbury just to shake things up. tito probably won’t though. he called coco the “best center fielder he’s ever seen” so i don’t know how you make that statement and then sit the guy. if the guys around him ( tek, lugo ) were doing anything offensively i’d tend to agree with him playing. but you certainly don’t have any other/better options at those spots. coco should win a gold glove this year but again, unfortunately, the way this teams is constructed and the way the guys in font of and behind him have performed at the plate his spot is the only viable option to make a change.

Ellen, i believe too. They can do it.
If they take that big one tonight, i think we’ll see some Indians shaky legs at Fenway on Saturday.

huh. torre turned down a 1 year heavily incentive based deal with the yankees. be interesting to see what he does and how it impacts them. guess that “yankee mystique” ain’t what it used to be. especially if/when a-rod opts out.

Oh, I have one request of you all: PLEASE let’s let the positive thoughts flow from here on in,*****, it can’t hurt for us to all put on the rose colored glasses for now. Tomorrow if need be we can take them off. The difference between Nationers and (almost) the rest of the baseball fan world is the way we feel about our team; EVEN in the worst of times. Ours is arguably the largest, most far reaching fan base in all of sports, our blog is just a small sampling of it. I ‘ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it until the day they put me in the ground or scatter my ashes:
I LOVE THE REDSOX,I LOVE BEING A MEMBER OF THIS NATION.

…AND I BELIVE!!!

Good Luck to our guys tonight.

I heard even God is a RedSox fan!!

bosox. better start saving up for your number 13 red sox a-rod jersey! ha!

ellen. after what happend in ’04 i think that’s ( god ) obvious. he could help them out a lil more often though. maybe a bases empty grand slam every now and then.

oops!! Belive=BELIEVE

The only way the SOX can pull it out now is Francona style — staying in the moment — there is only one game to win, that is the one tonight.

I had a erie feeling in 2004 that despite the horrible start, that they could still do it, cause they had fire-power and clutch hitting consistently through out the 2nd half.

But this year is different unfortunately, the weakness of this team all year has been consistent offense oddly enough against even weaker pitchers. Even game 1 when everyone was so high, was marked by lots of gift walks by CC. The SOX have brought to the playoffs exactly what got them there, the inability to out slug their opponent, and when pitching finally faltered, we can’t seem to score consistently for 7 games?

The trades of 2004 lifted the SOX to the WS title, the trades of 2007 are probably costing them the WS title.

Moving on and hoping I am wrong, I know how to fix both the Yankees and the SOX for next year? And before anyone takes me seriously, its a joke — but if I could fix the SOX, I might take a shot at A-Rod (move him to short) — expectations couldn’t be lower there — trade Coco, Drew, and Lugo somewhere for A-ROD — spend the most money conceivably in sports — but get rid of three weak backs and bring in one that can’t be weaker (until the post season – ha! ) Ellsbury to CF of course, and find yourself right fielder. I was holding out for Drew all year — but I can’t believe he seems to have tanked in the post season as well.

Hoping shooting my mouth off, has a reverse karma affect to night, and the SOX go on to win out.

Thanks for the pep-talk, Ellen.

There’s a new study out that shows Red Sox fans are the most loyal, well informed, most likely to be successful, 2nd most vocal, best-looking(thought I’d throw that in there) fans in all of sports. Oh, did I mention best-adjusted emotionally?

All kidding aside, Beckett can get the momentum back tonite and send the series back to Fenway where the momentum is always in the Sox’ favor. The key is to shut these guys down completely, or as close to completely as you can get. That means no Gagne, Del Carmen or Lopez, even as mop-up boys. Use Timlin or Oki if we don’t need Papelbon. In the first game Tito used Gagne as mop-up and the Indians scored against him. I thought that it was one of those subtle baseball momentum shifts that helped them in game 2. Don’t open the door even a little. These Cleveland guys will break it down in a hurry.

Go Sox!!!

i’d say that based on their respective years lugo and drew are a close to untradeable as possible! nice thought though. the only real question is IF they were to sign a-rod would they trade manny and move coco to left? otherwise coco is for sure the odd man out next year. they’ll use him to trade for a 3B IMO. probably cabrera from fl or atkins from colo. wouldn’t it be funny if they played colo in the series and wound up with their 3b? kinda like when they wound up with renteria after ’04. who personally i have always thought they bailed on too quickly.

I’m surprised this hasn’t been posted yet:

http://startjacoby.com/site/home.html

I signed it, and so should you all :-)

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

smckinny: You and I may be the only few people who felt that Renteria was bailed on too quickly. However, with that many errors, I’d have to say the pressures of playing in a big market definitely got to him. I just wished we gave him one more year to fix things.

Knee-jerk reaction to get rid of him if you asked me.

Some of the comments on the petition are completely killing the legitimacy of it.

Seriously…reading some of them makes me sad. :-(

Wow. Joe Torre is out. One of the few guys in the Yankees organization worthy of respect.

Yesterday on Sox and Pinstripes, I wrote a post about some superstitious habits I have regarding the Red Sox. One reader commented that he lights a victory candle before a big game. I suggest that we all light a victory candle before the first pitch. Of course, remember to extinguish it before you go to sleep. I will not be held responsible for any fires!

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

That petition is classic. Gave me a good laugh. I do agree that Ellsbury should start. I think he should replace Crisp and now Drew, since Drew has more offensive potential.

I meant Crisp, and not Drew….

Yeah, I just read about the Torre declining the one-year contract.

Personally, good for him. Good way of telling the boss off and that he’s tired of his garbage.

Time for the Yankees Manager Watch. My “money” is on Girardi (sp?)

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

anybody see where beck’s ex is singing the national anthem tonite? apparently they dated last summer. she’s pretty smokin to!

Jeff, I really have to take my hat off to you. I know that all of us are loyal to, and believe (there’s that word again)in the Sox, but your belief and loyalty to Drew is unwavering. I really love and reapect a fan that stands by a player. Good Job!!!

I really think that the Yankees “management support team” (as they keep calling them on ESPN) showed a huge amount of disrespect to Joe Torre. When you think of all the hours, days, weeks, months and YEARS that Torre and ultimately(sp) his family, gave to the Yankees and the Yankee fans, that offer was pretty crappy. I know it was still HUGE amount of money, but all the incentives involved make it seem as if they were still setting him up to fail.
The Yankee family and fans get my sorrow tonight.

Oh and the candle idea?? I’ve got my red candle on the entertainment center and it’s ready to go!!! Maybe it’ll light a fire under them!!

Torre got hosed. They knew he couldn’t accept that deal . So instead of manning up and firing him they gave him an offer he couldn’t accept. That way they don’t have to take any heat from anyone who states the obvious. “You fired your best manager in 50 years?” He won 4 titles in 12 years, 12 straight trips to the playoffs, 6 AL pennants…. Idiots!

Yeah I heard that smckinny on PTI about the Beckett and Peck thing. A little interesting how Cleveland plans for her to sing the anthem the night he pitches. Obviously it is a big coincidence but the conspiracy theorists will be out there.
Joba had to deal with the bugs, Beck has to deal with ex-girlfriends. I wonder which is worse, lol.

New blog, see you there!

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