Thursday, October 18, 2007


This is it, Part I.

The Sox have dug themselves a huge hole and now we all get the pleasure of watching them dig themselves out. Josh Beckett and his back problems will pitch for Boston with the season in the balance. A good performance from a starting pitcher should be a good step towards a win, but the Sox haven't had one of those (a win or a good performance from a starter, take your pick) since Beckett last pitched in Game 1 of this series.

So, for fun, lets construct a scenario where the Red Sox come back and beat Cleveland. Here's what happens and why:

Game 5: Sabathia has thrown 250.1 innings on the season, and his arm is tired. He is moderately effective early, but tires in the middle innings. Manny does some damage and the Sox take a 4-1 lead. Josh Beckett's back tightens up and he is out after 7 despite pitching well. Okajima and Papelbon come on to preserve the game. Sox win, 4-2.

Game 6: The series returns to Boston where Curt Schilling faces Fausto Carmona. Carmona threw 102 innings last year, and so far this year he's thrown 228 (post season plus regular season). He was less effective last time out and that trend continues here. The Sox hit him hard and he doesn't last through the fourth. Schilling himself is less than perfect, but he goes six and leaves with the Sox up 7-3. Cleveland mounts a comeback against the back end of the Boston pen, but Papelbon comes on (again) to save the day. Sox win, 8-6.

Game 7: Matsuzaka vs. Westbrook. Westbrook's sinker doesn't sink as much, and the Sox hit him hard too. He doesn't get out of the fourth. Matsuzaka does his typical dance with death, but ends up throwing five decent innings. He leaves with the Sox up 5-3. The Indians come back to tie it up off of our middle relief, but Manny and Big Papi make sure that the Sox win this one. Sox win, 7-5.

Seems plausible, right? We take the first step tonight. This one isn't over. Not by a long shot.


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