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Take solace, Cleveland: You're the American League favorites in 2008.
Those probably aren't comforting words now, but the Browns return from their bye week on Sunday and the season for LeBron and Co. is just around the corner. You'll have other sports to watch as you wait until spring training. Rest up and get ready to migrate South for your final spring training in Winter Haven, Fla., before the move out west to Goodyear, Ariz., in 2009.
Because when the Indians do report in February, you won't have many new names to learn -- I only hope I've mastered the spelling of Asdrubal by then -- as nearly everyone is returning. Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com breaks down Cleveland's roster situation, and the future is bright on Lake Erie's south shore.
Of the key position players, only Kenny Lofton and Trot Nixon are potential free agents. Though both, especially Lofton, contributed plenty down the stretch, Franklin Gutierrez is deserving to be an everyday starter at one of the corner outfield positions, and the Indians could do well in platooning the other spot, like they did at times this year with Ben Francisco, Jason Michaels, David Dellucci, et al.
Of the pitchers, the team holds club options on Paul Byrd, Joe Borowski and Aaron Fultz, but everyone else is under contract next year, and there could be a more prominent role for a top prospect Adam Miller. One of GM Mark Shapiro's priorities this offseason needs to be extending the contract of C.C. Sabathia, who only has one year left on his deal. Rafael Betancourt has two years left, but guys like Fausto Carmona, Rafael Perez and Jensen Lewis are all under control through at least 2012.
In short, the Indians, who tied Boston for the best record in the majors this year, should only improve this offseason. This could be another Indians' run like they had in the 1990s, only with a little less power (Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez don't quite have the depth that a lineup with Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, David Justice and Albert Belle had) and a little better pitching (Sabathia and Carmona as a better 1-2 punch than Charles Nagy and Bartolo Colon).
Today rightfully is a day of mourning in Cleveland, and yes, no breaks went the Tribe's way last night, but 2008 will bring new promise.
Labels: Indians-Red Sox
ALCS: The Possible Dream
There may soon be a new generation of Red Sox fan. Children in New England under the age of six are growing up in a world where the Sox are thrill-seeking comeback kids, from whom no lead is safe.
And that’s just plain ridiculous.
In the post-October 2004 world, Boston is almost expected to rally. David Ortiz is baseball’s Mr. Clutch -– how did he end up on the Red Sox?
With Boston’s 12-2 blowout of Cleveland last night -– and Game 7 beginning at 8:23 p.m. tonight -– we’re looking at two franchises in the midst of reinventing their identities. With apologies to the Cubs, the Sox have gone from Choke Artists No. 1 to a baseball power that scoffs at 3-1 series leads. Crazy stuff for a team that went 86 years between World Series titles.
While the Yankees regularly trot out big-game heroes like Yogi Berra and Bucky Dent to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, it’s amusing to see the nouveau riche Sox try the same with active players and very recent retirees. Bill Mueller threw out last night’s pitch, and Kevin Millar is slated to do the same tonight. Will Dave Roberts be in the house?
The Indians, who haven’t won the Series since 1948, were a bumbling bunch in the ’80s, spawning the movie “Major League,” improved in the ‘90s to an elite team that just couldn’t quite win the big one and have the chance tonight to clear those hurdles and, with a young core of players, assert themselves as the Next Big Thing in the American League.
Who will rally tonight?
Suffice to say, J.D. Drew’s contract was money well spent. Well, that’s the revisionist history this morning in Boston after Drew connected on the second most-important grand slam in Sox postseason history last night, on the three-year anniversary of No. 1: Johnny Damon’s 2004 ALCS Game 7 blast off the Yankees’ Javier Vazquez. (Honorable mention goes to Troy O’Leary’s granny in 1999’s ALDS Game 5, also against these Indians.) He even proved he wasn’t robotic with a gentle fist pump near second base.
But Drew didn’t stop there, adding an RBI single and finishing the day 3 for 5 with 5 RBIs—and that $70 million tab slightly more justified.
As a columnist in the Maine Sunday Telegram writes, Drew is worth every penny.
Same goes for the $36 million handed to Julio Lugo, who chimed in with a two-RBI double in the third. Of Boston’s first eight runs, seven came on RBIs from the much-maligned Drew and Lugo.
Heck, even Eric Gagne pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
The biggest question for tonight, of course, is, Will Daisuke Matsuzaka live up to his reputation as a big game pitcher? The expectations are high and the pressure great.
Is Fausto Carmona hexed at Fenway? In his one regular-season start against the Sox in July – at Jacobs Field – he threw eight scoreless innings and got the win. But he’s far rockier in Boston. Last year he he gave up consecutive walk-off hits at Fenway in one of the worst weeks in baseball history.
And now in two ALCS starts this year, he’s given up 11 earned runs in six innings over two starts for a 16.50 ERA. It can’t be just the postseason pressure that’s getting to him – he was unhittable against Yankees, though he’s looked eminently hittable against the Sox.
One of Cleveland’s other young studs, Rafael Perez, had roughly the same thing happen to him, allowing three runs (two earned) in a third of an inning.
The Indians now turn to Jake Westbrook, whose pitch-to-contact approach was an effective counterpunch to the patient Boston lineup in Game 3. While Carmona’s sinker kept dancing out of the strike zone (four walks in two innings last night), Westbrook kept the ball in play and on the ground in his last start – a 14:3 groundball-to-flyball ratio. And he says he’s ready for tonight.
Labels: Indians-Red Sox
ALDS: A Night That Saw Everything
Here's all you need to know about last night's game: In the eighth inning Fox showed one of its "Right Now" graphics with J.D. Drew on third base, Coco Crisp on second and Julio Lugo on first.
The offensively-anemic trio has a collective postseason average of .209 and an on-base percentage of .256, yet somehow all three reached base in the same inning and all three scored in that inning.
Yep, it was that kind of night for the Sox.
Save for the home run that Manny Ramirez had taken from him in the third inning -– and Fox persisted in pointing out that he didn't run hard out of the box, later displaying a summary box mentioning Ramirez's 390-foot RBI single -– Boston had a banner night in Cleveland.
Josh Beckett brought a swagger that the Sox needed, and the offense started to come alive. While the top of Boston's lineup produced last night -– the top four went 7-for-14 with four runs, six RBIs, four extra-base hits -– Lugo and Crisp haven't hit worth a lick. Crisp couldn't even get down a sacrifice bunt in a key spot. It's time for Jacoby Ellsbury to get a crack in the lineup. He can't do any worse than Crisp and, with his speed, may provide a spark at the bottom of the lineup because, as it is now, there are several automatic outs in that order.
Lugo finally contributed in a meaningful way last night -– when he helped interview Manny, who has suddenly become a media darling.
Who better to rally Red Sox Nation than Rally Karaoke Guy? Kevin Millar –- who, mind you, is an active member of an AL East rival -– appeared on Fox's pregame show, urging Sox fans to "Cowboy Up" and reminding them that they faced worse odds in 2004.
While the Angels had the Rally Monkey in 2002, the Sox had Rally Karaoke Guy, a hilarious video of a teenage Millar dancing -– badly -– to Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A.
Clearly Millar loves Boston and wishes he never had to leave. I suspect that, whenever he retires, he'll have signed a contract within the hour to be a NESN studio analyst.
Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro admits he's nervous about the series.
Labels: Indians-Red Sox
ALDS: This One's For You, Josh
Talk about gamesmanship.
Seemingly unable to rattle Josh Beckett with their bats, the Indians are resorting to a different tactic: an ex-girlfriend.
Cleveland has tabbed country singer Danielle Peck to sing “God Bless America” at tonight’s game, and she just so happens to be Beckett’s ex. Indians spokesman Bob DiBiasio claims, “It's an incredible coincidence. Honestly.” Suuuure.
As one Deadspin commenter speculates, maybe the Sox will retaliate by “stacking boxes of Dunkin' Donuts in the on-deck circle, in plain view of C.C. Sabathia.”
While I can’t fault the selection of Carlos Pena as AL Comeback Player of the Year, Pena’s production, as massive as it was, came in the obscurity of Tampa Bay. The more impressive comeback player, as far as meaningful contributions to postseason teams, was Cleveland’s Jhonny Peralta.
While everyone likes to poke fun at his name – Bill Simmons asks if Peralta and Dwyane Wade ever considered a “Birth Certificate Bloopers” support group – there’s no mistaking his play this series, leading to yet another name comment: one article claims the misplaced ‘h’ stands for ‘hitter’.
Peralta, who enjoyed a breakout 2005 with a .292 average, 24 HR, 78 RBIs, slipped considerably in 2006, hitting .257 with only 13 HR to go with his 68 RBIs. But, as Ben Reiter wrote in SI’s baseball preview issue, Peralta went under the laser to have corrective eye surgery. His numbers improved a little – up to .270/21/72 – and they’ve taken off this postseason. Peralta is hitting .406 with a .750 slugging percentage, and two three-run homers against Boston. He’s a more-than-capable No. 5 hitter, providing strong protection in that lineup for Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez.
Let’s say this: He’s no Maicer Izturis. (Sorry, Angels fans.)
It’s no wonder Manny Ramirez almost never talks to the press. This postseason he’s opened up a little bit – and the media, as always, was quick to pounce. Newspapers across the country today ran headlines like Ramirez: It’s Not The End Of The World or articles basically telling Manny to get a clue.
While the Sox have visibly tensed up since Game 2, Manny was playful, showing a calm that the team needs. Boston didn’t come back in 2004 by saying the 3-0 ALCS deficit to the Yankees was the end of the world. Instead, it was clubhouse jokers like Kevin Millar who kept the team loose.
Manny obviously cares about this team. He’s batting .429 with four HRs and 11 RBIs this postseason and, along with David Ortiz and Josh Beckett, has carried the Sox this far. Yet as soon as Manny talks, the world jumps on him. Few papers cared to print a longer version of his remarks to show context:
“We're just going to go have fun and play the game,” Manny said. “That's it. If we go play hard and the thing doesn't come like it's supposed to come, we'll move on. We'll come next year. Why should we panic? We've got a great team. If it doesn't happen, good. We'll come next year and try to do it again.
“We're confident every day. It doesn't matter how things go for you. We're not going to give up. We're just going to go and play the game, like I've said, and move on. If it doesn't happen, so who cares? There's always next year. It's not like the end of the world or something.”
Labels: Indians-Red Sox
ALCS: Coulda, shoulda, woulda ...
If Tim Wakefield were a better fielder or a worse fielder, this could be a very different series right now.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, with one run in on Casey Blake's monstrous solo homer, Wakefield faced Asdrubal Cabrera with men at the corners and one out. His liner was destined for the right of the second-base bag when Wakefield reached to snare it. Had he caught it, he likely could have doubled up one of the runners to end the inning; had he not touched it all, the ball would have landed right in front of Dustin Pedroia who easily could have turned the double play to end the inning.
Instead, with Wakefield's decidedly mediocre fielding abilities, his glove deflected the ball into the no man's land behind the mound for an infield hit. The inning continues.
And here's where the underappreciated Indians deserve a world of credit: They've capitalized on almost every opportunity this series.
The Tribe has scored first in all four games, and last night in the fifth they piled it on, keyed by Jhonny Peralta's second three-run HR of the ALCS. Everyone is contributing: Six Indians had hits in that inning -– Blake had two and a seventh, Kelly Shoppach, added a walk -– as five players have at least five hits in the series, and all but one starter has at least three hits in the four games.
Cleveland is a complete ballclub. When it won in the first half of the season, it did so with the AL's second-best run-scoring offense through the All-Star Game while Cliff Lee, Jeremy Sowers, Jake Westbrook, et al. struggled mightily. In the second half, the offense lagged a little while the pitchers found their groove. And, now, in the postseason the Indians are combining the two.
So complete are they that a setup man ought to be the frontrunner for the ALCS MVP hardware. That man, of course, is Rafael Betancourt, whose dominance in the seventh and eighth innings isn't dissimilar from K-Rod during the Angels' World Series run in 2002 and Mariano Rivera in his pre-closer days with the Yankees in 1996.
Sure, Peralta is batting .353 with two HRs and seven RBIs and he undoubtedly will receive the actual award, but my vote goes to Betancourt. He has an aura of invincibility, so much so that Kevin Youkilis was quoted in the Globe today as saying, "The guy's got some magic ... or something. He just gets outs." Betancourt has appeared three times for 5.1 innings and given up just one base hit and no walks while striking out four. He's shortening games, and the Sox are looking defeated against him at the plate.
Even Joe Borowski has been steady thus far, and the breakout pitcher in that 'pen -– nevermind the Rafaels, Betancourt and Perez, who have excelled all year -– is Jensen Lewis. With Lewis making appearances in all four games this series, Indians manager Eric Wedge seems to be channeling Joe Torre, who overworked Scott Proctor so much that the reliever nearly challenged Cal Ripken for the consecutive games streak.
In the battle between postseason spokesmen with the initials D.C., Don Cheadle's spots for the NFL were a million times better than Dane Cook's MLB ads are.
Also, I was very perplexed by the Indians who brought a "Happy Birthday Tim!" sign to the ballpark. Who keeps track of Tim McCarver's birthday? He's not a very good announcer, but I guess Cleveland fans have had less recent reason to be offended by his postseason broadcasts.
Labels: Indians-Red Sox
ALCS: Sit Wakefield, start Beckett
An open letter to Terry Francona:
Come to your senses, and start Josh Beckett tonight. Your season rests upon it.
Starting Tim Wakefield, as you insist you're going to do, is putting a lot of faith in cortisone, history and baseball's most unpredictable pitch. Beckett, on the other hand, is the likely Cy Young winner, who has been dominant in two postseason outings; Wakefield hasn't pitched in 17 days and gave up four or more runs in each of his five September starts.
Terry, your players blew it last night with baserunning gaffes and horrific situational hitting, but you have the chance to put the Red Sox in the best position to win tonight's game, even the series and set yourself up for a run into the World Series.
Last night was not your fault. You managed the bullpen well, getting 3.1 scoreless and hitless innings of relief from Mike Timlin, Hideki Okajima and Manny Delcarmen. You didn't even have to use Jonathan Papelbon.
Your team lost the game in the first three innings. David Ortiz grounded into a double play in the first, hurting a chance to rattle Jake Westbrook in the first frame. Then, the real backbreaker: the top of the second. Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell did their jobs, drawing a walk and hitting a single, and J.D. Drew reached base about the only way he can these days: on a throwing error.
Then Jason Varitek, with the bases loaded and nobody out, was unable to get a run home. No base hit, no walk, no hit-by-pitch, no catcher's interference and not even a fly ball deep enough to score Manny from third. Nope, he flew out much too shallow. Then Coco Crisp, with one out, can get a run home by any of the same scenarios as Varitek. And instead? Crisp hits into a 6-4-3 double play.
In the bottom of the second, Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up a homer to Kenny Lofton of all people –- somehow, of his seven postseason HRs, four have come against the Sox -– but otherwise the Dice Man was OK last night. Not great, but better than he was against the Angels and good enough to win if the offense had been its usual self.
Again your hitters failed you in the top of the third. After the Indians took that 2-0 lead, your lineup went out on six pitches lasting just two minutes. The Sox showed some life in the fourth with Ortiz leading off the proceedings with an opposite-field double, but he foolishly ran to third on a groundball hit right to the shortstop and, in the least agile move by any professional athlete, he failed to avoid the ball and was called out.
By then the team was lifeless anyway, save Varitek's two-run homer, but Westbrook was grooving. Of the 20 outs he induced, 14 came on groundouts, and three each on strikeouts and flyouts.
Back to the Wakefield/Beckett decision: OK, Terry, before you protest further, I understand the counterarguments. Few pitches in recent years have performed well on three days rest in the playoffs (according to Tom Verducci, those pitchers are 30-41), and pitching Beckett tonight weakens the pitching matchups for Games 5 and 6. But here's what I say: The most notable exception to the pitching-on-three-days-rest rule is Beckett himself in the 2003 World Series, and there may not be a Game 6 if you don't win tonight. If you weren't thinking about this as a possibility, why did you take him out after 80 pitches in Game 1?
Besides, it'll still be C.C. Sabathia vs. Curt Schilling and Fausto Carmona vs. Dice-K in 5 and 6. Sure, both games favor the Tribe, but Schilling typically rises to the occasion and Game 6 would be back at Fenway, where you already knocked around Carmona.
So you're worried about Schilling pitching on four days' rest and think he needs an extra day? You could even start Wakefield in Game 5. What's most important here is getting as many Beckett starts as possible.
Need anything more, Tito? How about losing Varitek's bat by starting Wakefield? I know that the Captain isn't the hitter he used to be, but his has-been self is still much better than the never-was, Doug Mirabelli.
Plus, with the new-fangled playoff schedule, Beckett can come back in Game 7 on normal rest!
To me, it seems like a no-brainer, but I'm just an armchair blogger in New York. You say there isn't much difference between a 2-1 or 1-2 series. Your credentials are certainly more impressive (ahem, the first World Series win for the Sox in 86 years) than mine, but as long as Beckett wants the ball -– and I'd be shocked if a competitor like him didn't come to your office and ask for it – then I think you should reconsider.
Labels: Indians-Red Sox
ALCS: Stay up late
Forgive me, Tom Mastny.
In breaking down the playoff pitching staffs before the series, I wrote that the Boston and Cleveland bullpens were evenly matched, save the difference between the closers. But somehow I omitted Mastny.
Sure, the right-handed Mastny posted a 7-2 record this season but it was a pretty unremarkable year for the guy, who scraped by with a 4.67 ERA and 1.65 WHIP. Though the 26-year-old had been on the Indians' roster since the beginning of the season, manager Eric Wedge -– with good reason, mind you -– had bumped Mastny from his role behind Rafael Betancourt and Rafael Perez in the setup chain of command in favor of Jensen Lewis, just 23 and with 29.1 career innings under his belt. Those were, however, 29.1 career innings of 2.15 ERA, 1.23 WHIP pitching.
So out trots Mastny in the bottom of the 10th on Saturday night, Wedge having already used Lewis earlier in the game. His mission: keep the game scoreless until the 11th when Eric Gagne, who has been nothing of a disaster for Boston, takes the hill. Oh, did I mention that Mastny had to face David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell?
Quick statistical interruption:
This season the heart of the Red Sox's order (i.e. Ortiz, Ramirez and Lowell) batted .318 with a .409 OBP, 76 HR, 325 RBIs.
In the playoffs, before Mastny's 10th inning, the trio was batting .537 with a .512 OBP, 6 HR, and 22 RBIs in five games. And don't forget that Ortiz and Ramirez didn't make an out in 10 plate appearances in Game 1.
Yet, with all that going against Mastny, he retired them easily in the most pressure-packed of situations, with a grounder and two fly balls. He even fell behind Ortiz with a 3-1 count and Ramirez 2-0, the big sluggers perhaps trying too hard to end the game with one swing.
A lot of ink and megabites have been devoted to Gagne's meltdown and, yes, Betancourt pitched a spectacular 2.1 innings of relief earlier in the game -– longer than any of his 68 regular-season outings -– but it was Mastny's scoreless 10th that put Cleveland in a position to win the game, tie the series and put serious pressure on the Sox to win tonight.
As much as a Game 3 can be a must-win game of a 1-1 best-of-seven series, tonight is just that for the Sox because of Tim Wakefield. The Boston Globe's Gordon Edes writes that the Sox will pitch Wakefield no matter what in Game 4. After Josh Beckett threw 80 pitches in his Game 1 win, there was speculation he might return on three days' rest -– a la Game 6 of the 2003 World Series -– to pitch in ALCS Game 4, which would set him up to also pitch Game 7 on normal rest.
Wakefield hasn't pitched since Sept. 29, just had a cortisone shot in the back of his right shoulder and was hurting too much to even be put on the ALDS roster. On good days, he's the best No. 4 starter in baseball; on bad days, well, those are really bad days. Of course, with the right Lake Erie breeze tomorrow night, maybe the knuckleball will be dancing around like he never stopped pitching, but he's facing the ever-steady Paul Byrd who showed again against New York that he's the type of pitcher who'll usually be good enough to win.
If the Sox win tonight, they are almost playing with house money in Game 4. As long as it's 2-2 entering Game 5, the series becomes a best-of-three with Beckett pitching, followed by two home games.
Of course, this all may be moot: the Rockies won't ever lose again.
Labels: Indians-Red Sox
ALCS: Manny & Papi Show
If you believe anything I wrote yesterday, Josh Beckett is your 2007 American League Cy Young. Congrats, Josh.
But as the game fell far short of the expected pitchers’ duel -- hello, 10 runs, 12 hits and 8 walks for the Sox -- Boston’s Dominican Duo again stole the show. The two did not record an out. In 10 plate appearances, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez reached base 10 times: four hits, five walks, one hit by pitch, three RBIs, four runs.
For the postseason, Papi is now batting a robust .778 -- .778! – while Manny, by contrast, is batting a “paltry” .500. What a slacker, right? So scared did C.C. Sabathia seem of Manny that in his bases-loaded walk, Sabathia threw six pitches nowhere near the strike zone. Manny, seemingly still smitten with the stardom from his walkoff HR against the Angels in ALDS Game 2, at first appeared overanxious, hacking wildly and missing two balls to fall behind 0-2.
Then Manny became normal Manny, the cold, calculated, patient killer with a baseball bat, and worked a walk. As FOX flashed multiple reminders of Manny’s track record of grand slams, second only to Lou Gehrig all-time, Sabathia seemed to be watching the broadcast, that’s how worried he seemed.
The Sox are locked in better than they have been all season. That makes it more curious that Dustin Pedroia made a sacrifice bunt in the third inning with Kevin Youkilis and the big boppers following them. Wait, did I mention that Manny and Papi didn’t make an out all game? It could be a very short series, though very long for the Indians ...
As always, Manny and Papi keyed the offense, writes Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe.
Let’s not forget, though, that Beckett did pitch very well, save a fastball left up to Travis Hafner.
Meanwhile, maybe Sabathia isn’t an ace. It wasn’t his finest outing.
Labels: Indians-Red Sox
ALCS: Six Appeal
If only postseason pitching factored into the Cy Young race, tonight's ALCS Game 1 would be a one-game playoff of sorts. We know how exciting Rockies-Padres was last week, so we can only hope for the same with Josh Beckett vs. C.C. Sabathia in tonight’s opener.
With Red Sox manager Terry Francona juggling his rotation—switching Curt Schilling and Daisuke Matsuzaka in Games 2 and 3 – we have a unique situation in which there is no pitching favorite in any game of this series (in this writer’s opinion, anyway). Beckett, whom I think will edge out Sabathia for the Cy Young, has the cachet of a 20-win season (he went 20-7), a 3.27 ERA and 194 strikeouts in 200.2 innings while cutting down his homers allowed from 36 last season to 17. Sabathia, meanwhile, was 19-7, with a 3.21 ERA and 209 Ks in 241 innings, and he finished third in Cleveland’s first RBI Baseball tournament.
In Game 2 we have Cleveland's second ace, Fausto Carmona, extensively profiled in Fungoes all season including here and here, a Cy Young contender too, pitching against Schilling, who has quite literally lost (a few miles per hour on) his fastball but is also the winningest pitcher in postseason history. And Schilling showed he can still turn it on in his seven-inning, no-run gem in the decisive game of the ALDS against the Angels.
In Game 3 we have two highly inconsistent pitchers in Jake Westbrook and Dice-K. At times, both have looked spectacular; at others they’ve been horrible.
In Game 4 it’s Tim Wakefield, who’s likely baseball’s best No. 4 starter – when he’s healthy. But his back and shoulder have been ailing, so much that he was left off the ALDS roster altogether. Paul Byrd is at the mercy of batted balls, never a great thing in October. The standard in “pitching to contact,” the Indians righty struck out just 88 batters in 192.1 innings.
The bullpens, overall, are pretty equal too. The Indians have a better 7-8 inning punch with the Rafaels, Perez and Betancourt, while the Sox have the comparable Hideki Okajima but lack that other great setup man (nice try, Eric Gagne). The Sox do have Mike Timlin and Manny Delcarmen who have pitched well of late.
Making up for those deficiencies is Boston’s HUGE advantage at the back of the bullpen. Jonathan Papelbon just won the DHL Delivery Man of the Year award. Joe Borowski, admittedly led the American League in saves, but did so with an historically bad 5.07 ERA. If at any point David Ortiz bats against Borowski in the ninth inning, will the umpires bother with the formality of making JoeBo pitch, or will they just tally the runs on the scoreboard?
With such comparable staffs, the series should come down to the lineups, where Boston had the better offense in the regular season (867 runs, to Cleveland’s 811). The Sox kept it up in the ALDS, with the joint hot spell from both Ortiz and Manny Ramirez.
Boston takes this one in six.
Labels: Indians-Red Sox
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