Monday's Five Cuts
Thoughts on the Indians-Red Sox matchup and more
Posted: Tuesday October 9, 2007 1:22AM; Updated: Tuesday October 9, 2007 11:39PM
Taking my cuts . . .
1. The Red Sox got what they wanted: an ALCS matchup against Cleveland rather than yet another exhausting Armageddon with the Yankees. But you can bet Boston wanted Cleveland to have to use ace C.C. Sabathia in an ALDS Game 5. Now the Indians can match a rested Sabathia with Josh Beckett in ALCS Game 1 on Friday -- Sabathia is 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA at Fenway -- and Fausto Carmona -- who threw nine innings of three-hit ball against the Yankees last Friday night -- against Curt Schilling in Game 2.
2. This is why it was not going to be the Yankees' night: New York phenom Joba Chamblerlain was hit by a thrown ball during batting practice on his right triceps and immediately required treatment from trainers, who iced the muscle. Curiously, Chamberlain was not used during New York's 6-4 defeat, though a team source said he "probably" could have pitched in the game if called on.
3. Beckett will take the ball for Boston in ALCS Game 1 with eight days of rest. Is that a bad thing? Not for a power pitcher and not at this time of year and not when you've been as good as Beckett has been with extra rest over his career. In 24 games with six days of rest or more Beckett is 14-6 with a 2.39 ERA.
4. The Indians unsuccessfully protested the Yankees' ability to replace Roger Clemens on their roster with a fresh relief pitcher, Ron Villone -- and Cleveland had a valid point. Clemens, if healthy, would not have been available to pitch in Game 4 because of the 2 1/3 innings he threw in Game 3. So the Yankees effectively used a 26-man roster.
The rules change to allow in-series roster changes because of injury is a good one. But this particular scenario, in which a fresh arm replaces one that would not have been available, needs to be addressed by general managers.
5. Here's all you need to know about why the Yankees are 4-13 in their past 17 postseason games: In that stretch their starting pitchers are 2-8 with a 6.36 ERA while averaging 4 2/3 innings per start. Two wins from starting pitchers in 17 games, none in which they completed seven innings. The lack of pitchers who can give them length or the ability to strike out batters -- they averaged 5.9 strikeouts per nine innings -- has killed New York more than anything else.