Thursday, October 11, 2007

ALCS Preview

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, The Indians were able to wrap up their series against the Yankees in Game 4 and weren't forced to use either of their 1-2 starting rotation punch in the process. Rather than pitching Sabathia the Indians chose to pitch Byrd and they pulled out the win. Because of this the matchup between Beckett and Sabathia is locked in. The season series between these two was 5-2 in favor of the Red Sox. Their last series was an interesting exchange as Dice-K pitched 7 shut out innings to get the win over C.C. Sabathia in a 1-0 win. Fausto Carmona would flip that on Josh Beckett and the Red Sox the following night in a 1-0 win for the Indians. In the last game between the two Julian Tavarez and Kason Gabbard were lit up for 9 runs, but the Sox put up 14 of their own to win the game. Early in the season Curt Schilling threw a 7 inning 1 run gem to get the win against the Indians. Beckett also pitched a solid 7 Inning 3 hits 2 ER performance early on in the year.

What does all this mean? Any of the Sox starting 3 is capable of having a lights out performance against the Indians and Sabathia and Carmona are just as capable of shutting down the Red Sox. I would say that Sabathia and Carmona are slightly more potent than Beckett and Schilling, but there isn't a huge disparity. There is a larger disparity between Tim Wakefield and DiceK and the Indians 3-4 Westbrook (6-9) and Byrd (15-8). The fact that the Indians haven't had the opportunity to hit against Tim Wakefield this year should be an advantage to wake who can often throw off hitters who aren't experienced with hitting the knuckleball.

This is a very evenly matched series, the sox will be lucky to advance to the World Series, but they have all the tools necessary to do so.

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