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SI.com's writers make their picks for Game 7

Posted: Wednesday October 20, 2004 4:22PM; Updated: Wednesday October 20, 2004 6:10PM
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John Donovan
You can talk about momentum and magic and history and all that jazz, but what ultimately will decide Game 7, as is often the case, is a swing or a pitch or a single performance, good or bad. Both the Yankees and the Red Sox are sucking fumes at this point. They're both going with starters who won't be anywhere close to their best. Both have bullpens that have been absolutely abused. They both have hot players and cold ones and hitters capable of changing the game with that single swing. But forget the statistics. Aaron Boone was hitting .125 with a pair of singles when his homer won Game 7 for the Yankees in last year's ALCS. I like Boston's bench (and the Sox have used their bench better). But I like a fairly fresh Mariano Rivera at the end of the Yankees' bullpen (though the Sox have beaten him). I don't think that anyone can keep Johnny Damon (.103 in the ALCS) or Derek Jeter (.192) down much longer. Kevin Brown and Javier Vazquez as long guys on the mound, or Derek Lowe and Tim Wakefield? Take your pick. In the end, I like Boston -- the scrappy, history-smashing Sox -- in a herky-jerky game that won't be over until 3 a.m. And the partying in Boston will go on a lot longer than that.
Score: Red Sox 9, Yankees 7
 
Don Banks
It's all gravy, right? The Red Sox can't lose at this point, because they're not even supposed to be here. It's not the curse that always gets Boston, it's the burden of expectation, and let's face it, none of us expected this. Not after the Yankees went up 3-0. On the other hand, I know it's a set-up. The ALCS has all the makings of yet another classic Red Sox tease. Still, I want to believe. Because somewhere deep down inside, there is that undying flicker of hope that some kind of unfathomable karmic payback could be unfolding here. The Yankees blowing a three-game lead, after being just three outs and a Mariano Rivera save away from a sweep Sunday night at Fenway? Be still my beating heart. What are you going to try and sell me next, a Kerry landslide? (Talk about your tough choices). As someone who lucked into being at three of Boston's four home playoff games so far (thank you, Patriots), I long to see the party in Kenmore Square that would transpire if the Red Sox complete their miracle comeback. Even the World Series might seem anticlimactic. C'mon Red Sox. If not now, when?
Score: Red Sox 5, Yankees 4
 
David Sabino
One of the between-innings activities in Yankee Stadium is ?Buzzword,? an inane contest in which a fan must guess a word or phrase based on hints given on the video screen by a Yankee player. If it was up to me tonight's Buzzword would be ?redemption? and the first clue would be ?Kevin Brown.? Although his 10-6 record and 4.09 ERA don't look that bad on the surface, Brown was disappointing nearly all season and was not at all effective in Game 3 of this series, yielding four runs (three earned) in two innings. He's been sidelined by a parasite and a punch and although I seem to be in the minority, I expect him to give the Yankees the boost they need. His biting sinker is awfully hard to handle on a cold damp night, exactly the conditions expected this evening in the Bronx. K.B. has both the big game experience and toughness to get the job done at least until Joe Torre calls on a rested Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera. And if I'm wrong, there's always El Duque.
Score: Yankees 5 Red Sox 3
 
Albert Chen
Derek Lowe in this situation definitely scares me for the Red Sox. Kevin Brown can give New York six or seven good innings and then Joe Torre can go to a rested Mariano Rivera. It's probably going to come down to Rivera and Keith Foulke and I'll take Rivera in that situation. Boston has the momentum right now, but that was on the Red Sox's side last year too and look how that turned out. The ghosts always come out in big games at the Stadium, and tonight will be no exception.
Score: Yankees 6, Red Sox 2

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