Results tagged ‘ Division Series ’
Under cloudy skies, everyone at Fenway Park is getting ready for Game 1 of the Division Series against Matt Moore and the Rays.
Here is manager John Farrell’s lineup:
Ellsbury; Victorino; Pedroia; Ortiz; Napoli; Gomes; Salty; Drew; Middlebrooks … with Jon Lester starting.
No earth-shattering news in the pre-game hours. Felix Doubront made the final spot on the pitching staff over Matt Thornton.
Rays manager Joe Maddon had a great line, talking about how John Lackey helped pay for his daughter’s wedding in 2002. Lackey won Game 2 of the World Series that year for the Angels, the team Maddon was serving as bench coach for. Obviously Maddon’s postseason share increased greatly with the Angels winning the World Series,
Big Sunday here at Fenway, with the Red Sox in a win or go home scenario.
Not much else to say at this point. Will the bats wake up? If not, the playoffs will be over before they started.
In other news, Dice-K has been keeping himself ready in relief if needed, particularly with Lester a lock for Game 4.
“Well, what we’ve done is he’s gone out and long tossed early and we told him that we’re not going to bring him in in the middle of an inning, bases loaded,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “That’s not in his best interest. I’m sure he has some anxiety about that, but we’ve re-assured him, ‘hey, if we use you, it will be clean innings’, things like that.
“The biggest thing and, again, we were pretty open about what we wanted to do in this series. We wanted to use Lester [in Game 4]. But again, we wanted to protect ourselves in case Lester had a ball off his leg or a long outing. And we told Dice that going in. He knew kind of what to expect. What it does, it does a couple of things aside from him pitching. It frees us up to use some other guys because he’s sitting there maybe behind somebody with a lot of length.”
As for the schedule, which included a 7:43 a.m. ET landing in Boston on Saturday and a noon game Sunday, Francona basically said it is what it is.
“It’s part of the postseason. Thankfully, we’ve kind of become accustomed to it.” Francona said. “Life is crazy. If you’re fortunate enough to get all the way through the World Series, by the time you’re done, there’s no time schedule. The one thing I think we did learn, and we’re so routine oriented, is you have no routine in the postseason. If you understand that, you move on. I was thinking about that getting on the plane the other night. There were all these people getting on that I didn’t know. We’re such creatures of habit. You get on, you claim your own territory and spread out, we all have our thing. It was like, who are these people. That’s just the way it is. It’s not bad, it’s just different. If you can accept it, it helps. And we’ve been through it a lot, so just get used to it.”
Finally a gameday! It feels like we’ve been waiting a long time for this one.
Some interesting nuggets from the day so far. Red Sox manager Terry Francona has been feeling under the weather the last two days. He did not come out for pre-game introductions but was in the dugout for the start of the game. Francona was joking around on Wednesday about a bad experience with Del Taco. “I like Del Taco, but it doesn’t like me,” Francona quipped.
Pedro Gomez of ESPN reported that Francona had food poisoning. We will try to get that confirmed for you after the game.
In other news, Hideki Okajima, who has pitched just once since Sept. 23 because of a strained right side, seems to be doing much better.
“I think we’re really pleased with how quickly he’s come and how strong he feels. They cranked him around pretty aggressively yesterday. He didn’t feel anything,” Francona said.
The Sox will have a loaded bullpen tonight, one that includes Paul Byrd and Daisuke Matsuzaka as long men, and the usual crew of Okajima, Daniel Bard, Billy Wagner, Takashi Saito, Ramon Ramirez and Jonathan Papelbon.
Here are the lineups for both teams.
One bit of postseason news this morning, as it was officially announced that Tim Wakefield will not participate in the Division Series. However, the Red Sox recommended to Wakefield that he not have immediate surgery on his back in case they need him for subsequent rounds.
“Great,” said Wakefield. “I’ll be ready.”
Other than that, the knuckleballer did not feel like chatting with the smattering of reporters who tried to catch him this morning.