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WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY
Tom Verducci
October 18, 2004
THE RUNDOWN Curt Schilling is still the best big-game pitcher in baseball. He really knows how to put away hitters.... Regarding Pedro Martinez's infamous "Daddy" remark--that bulletin-board stuff goes over better in football. But if I were the Red Sox I'd be concerned that he hasn't pitched well against the Yankees. They've recognized that Pedro's stuff isn't as good as it used to be and they're not intimidated.... The Red Sox don't have a lot of weaknesses, but of the four closers left in the playoffs, Keith Foulke ranks fourth.... Boston's bullpen has been more consistent and more stable than the Yankees'. Mike Timlin and Alan Embree have solidified the setup spot.... The Yankees' pitchers might be tempted to relax a bit against Jason Varitek [.167 batting average in the Division Series], but he's very capable of hitting it out of the park.... In leftfield Manny Ramirez can look bad in a highlight clip, but when he pays attention he's a pretty good fielder--and he pays attention in the playoffs. FOCAL POINT Things go right for Boston when leadoff man Johnny Damon gets on and steals bases. He disrupts the pitcher's timing, and the guys batting behind him end up getting more fastballs. And everybody knows what Ramirez can do with those. HOW TO BEAT THE YANKEES The Sox need to exploit New York's starting pitching. Boston needs to score early because you don't want to get into a late-inning game with the Yankees, especially with the way Mariano Rivera can lock down games. The Red Sox pitchers need to control New York's big four of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui.
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October 18, 2004

What The Scouts Say

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THE RUNDOWN Curt Schilling is still the best big-game pitcher in baseball. He really knows how to put away hitters.... Regarding Pedro Martinez's infamous "Daddy" remark--that bulletin-board stuff goes over better in football. But if I were the Red Sox I'd be concerned that he hasn't pitched well against the Yankees. They've recognized that Pedro's stuff isn't as good as it used to be and they're not intimidated.... The Red Sox don't have a lot of weaknesses, but of the four closers left in the playoffs, Keith Foulke ranks fourth.... Boston's bullpen has been more consistent and more stable than the Yankees'. Mike Timlin and Alan Embree have solidified the setup spot.... The Yankees' pitchers might be tempted to relax a bit against Jason Varitek [.167 batting average in the Division Series], but he's very capable of hitting it out of the park.... In leftfield Manny Ramirez can look bad in a highlight clip, but when he pays attention he's a pretty good fielder--and he pays attention in the playoffs. FOCAL POINT Things go right for Boston when leadoff man Johnny Damon gets on and steals bases. He disrupts the pitcher's timing, and the guys batting behind him end up getting more fastballs. And everybody knows what Ramirez can do with those. HOW TO BEAT THE YANKEES The Sox need to exploit New York's starting pitching. Boston needs to score early because you don't want to get into a late-inning game with the Yankees, especially with the way Mariano Rivera can lock down games. The Red Sox pitchers need to control New York's big four of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui.

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