Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I believe the Red Sox have to win tonight if they want to have a reasonable chance to continue their season. If the Sox lose tonight, I'm sure we'll hear a whole bunch about the 2004 Sox and how being down 1-3 isn't as bad as being down 0-3. I'd like to bet the first one to head this off at the pass.

The 2004 team was great, one for the ages, but this is not the '04 team. Its a completely different group of guys, for better or worse.

I won't go into the many differences in any detail here (much less hitting, much more bullpen this season), but these are different teams with different strengths and different weaknesses. Just because they both had "Boston" across their chests when playing road games doesn't mean they are remotely similar teams.

As unlikely as the '04 team's comeback from down 0-3 was, I'd say it was more likely than a comeback from down 1-3 by this year's Sox. This year's version of the Red Sox needs to simply win. Drama and 13 inning homers aren't what this team does well. Winning 5-3 with a bunch of singles, walks and a few doubles while keeping the game in hand with solid pitching in the late innings is what this team does well. Strangely enough, its what they need to do tonight.


I missed yesterday's game entirely as I was traveling from Dallas and Houston back home to Philly. As such, I don't have much to say about the Red Sox performance in Game 3. I will say in light of Daisuke Matsuzaka's recent performances, the Sox will have to reconsider how much they allow Matsuzaka to throw both in and between starts next season.

It was a complicated situation when he came over from Japan because of the workload that he was used to in and between starts. The Sox did not alter Matsuzaka's routine too often and allowed him to throw on game days before and sometimes before and after starts (unheard of in MLB) which he had done in Japan.

Next season, rest will need more emphasis. The fact that the MLB schedule requires pitchers to throw on four days rest compared to six days rest in Japan means pitchers throw more pitches in higher stress situations in a MLB season than they do in a Japanese league season.

Throwing more games in a season with less rest between each means that Matsuzaka put a massive strain on his arm compared to what he is used to. Right now he's probably just tired. Worst case, he's hiding an injury. Its also possible its a bit of both, though with the rigorous medical testing the Sox put their pitchers through, I'm guessing he is just tired.


Tonight, the Sox have to win. There is a huge difference between being down 3-1 and being tied 2-2. Huge.

The Sox should be able to hit Paul Byrd, but the Indians will likely be able to hit Tim Wakefield as well. Terry Francona will likely have Wake on a short leash, though his options for replacing him in the early innings don't look promising considering the back end of the bullpen's performance in Game 2.

Maybe the Sox can take a page from the Yankees book and use a starter to throw an inning or two should Wake falter. It should be Schilling's throwing day and so he would regularly be scheduled to pitch a few innings on the side.

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