INF Lou Merloni is a good utility guy, though the more you play him, the less you like him. Sometimes chases the ball up, trying to hit it out. OF-DH Butch Huskey loves fastballs out over the plate and will crush them. No reason to throw him one. You can get him out with everything else. OF Damon Buford is a good fielder who runs well. At bat, will chase fastballs up and sliders away. INF-OF Donnie Sadler, the fastest Red Sox player, is an asset as a pinch runner in late innings. Hits the ball in the air way too much. C Scott Hatteberg is a good receiver, and pitchers like throwing to him. A bit of power from the left side but hasn't played enough to be a real threat.
Pedro Martinez, RHP
If healthy, the best pitcher in baseball. Adds and subtracts speed to his fastball with unbelievable movement. Nasty slider, nasty curveball. You have to go after him early in the count and pray for a fastball. Will throw any pitch on any count.
Bret Saberhagen, RHP
He can be as good as anybody, health permitting. Superb control. Gets lefthanders off the plate by running his fastball back over the inside corner. Works fast and throws strikes. Guys like playing behind him.
Ramon Martinez, RHP
Has improved with more innings since returning in September from long rehab, but still not enough to be consistent with all his pitches. Fastball between 88 and 93 mph. Sinks the ball and has a pretty good slider. Best chance to beat him is with one big inning.
Kent Mercker, LHP
Fastball is back up between 90 and 92 mph. Best pitch is a changeup. Breaking ball is O.K. Questionable how effective he can be against New York's lefthanded hitters.
RH Rod Beck is getting by on reputation. Fastball between 87 and 89 mph. O.K. slider. Loves the splitter and will throw it on 3 and 2 with bases loaded. Hitters should take pitches early in the count and make him come into the strike zone. RH Derek Lowe has been the key to the Boston bullpen all year. Hard sinker at 90 to 93 mph. Good curveball. Developed a changeup during season, Gets in trouble when he gets his sinker up. LH Rheal Cormier is a situational guy. Cuts fastball, has O.K. slider and will throw two-seam sinking fastball. RH John Wasdin can be pitching well, then suddenly give up long ball on fastball, breaking ball or splitter. Knuckleballing RH Tim Wakefield could be a key if a starter gets knocked out early. Has also closed. RH Rich Garces throws fastball only 88 to 90 mph, but it's tough to pick up his pitch. Runs a four-seamer up and sinks two-seamer.
HOW TO BEAT THEM
New York should simply go after Boston's softer pitchers. The Yankees have too many offensive weapons for the Red Sox to hold them down. But if Pedro Martinez's back holds up, it could be a whole different series.