Saturday, September 29, 2007

AL East Champs and Now The Playoffs...

Ok, so the LAA come to Boston next week for the playoffs. I am guessing:

Beckett v Lackey
Daisuke v Santana
Schilling v Escobar

Does that sound about right?

I am also guessing the lineup goes back to something like:

Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Manny LF
Drew RF
Lowell 3b
Tek C
Youk 1B
Lugo SS

Of course, Youk might move back to the top, but Francona loves the left/right/left/right thing...and Youk hasn't gotten back to form quite yet. And I think the Sox send Ellsbury and Lugo a lot to keep the pressure on.

Without sounding too confident, I fully expect the Sox to get to the ALCS where I would rather face Cleveland, even if Cleveland has the home field...

But back to this series...The Sox are coming in healthier than the Angels. The Angels are sub-500 on the road. Vlad and Matthews are hurting. And the Sox tend to knock the Angels ace (Lackey) around. One caveat for the Sox is that if the series goes 5, I think that the Angels take it. I think the same team seeing Daisuke twice in a short span will be more likely to get to him the second game.

Also, if you are Francona, how do you manage these next two games? Do you rest Papi or let him keep getting his swings? Do you pitch Wake for five today and then let Snyder pitch a few innings regardless of how he's throwing the ball? Then Schill and Tavarez the same plan on Sunday?


  1. No way Santana even sniffs a start. He probably does not even make their roster.

    Escobar has had a balky shoulder, but I expect him to be there number two and Weaver to be the number three. I can't imagine the Angels taking a shot with Colon.

    That being said, the Sox could opt for the shorter series and force one of their really weak starters to the hill. And that would CLE in the position of using CC and Carmona twice (but allows NY to use Wang and Pettite twice). I think that move would be overthinking it a bit. Plus we really want to maximize bullpen innings from Papelbon and the extra off day will help that.

    And in the Sox rotation, I think Schill has made a case for himself to be the number two guy. I know dice k was great last night and has big game experience in JPY, but I can really see Tito giving Schill the ball in game 2. Of course that will have writers screaming "you paid $100 MM for this guy..."

    But if it goes 5 and Dice K pitches the fifth, it will be DiceK on 4 days rest and he has pitched much better with 5 or more days.

    The big guns probably get the day off today and then play half a game tomorrow - don't want them resting too much since they will have Mon and Tues off as well, with no travel. That being said, the best record in baseball and home field is still at stake.

    I agree, though. I really like the Sox vs the Angels. It would be nice to finish them off in 3 and have the other series go 5 as to mess up their rotation for the LCS.

  2. I have a feeling the Sox have home field advantage already. The Yanks beat CLE and the Sox get it in the ALCS.