Terry Francona has made a tentative decision to sit Kevin Youkilis for game 3 and David Ortiz will take his spot in the field at 1st base. Jacoby Ellsbury will be moved into the leadoff spot and Dustin Pedroia will be moved into the #2 spot in the lineup to replace Youk. I'm not sure I agree with this decision. Have a look at the numbers for the ALCS and World Series for Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Mike Lowell.
10/32, .313 BA, 1 HR, 7 BB and 5 RBI
16/36, .444 BA, 3 HR, 8 BB and 8 RBI
11/33, .333 BA, 1 HR, 5 BB and 9 RBI
You don't need to tell me about how clutch David Ortiz has been in post seasons past, but Youkilis is swinging the hot bat right now, I'd like to ride that until he cools off a little.
Consider who would benefit most from the additional rest. Ortiz is pretty banged up right now, some time to heal would allow him come back with a vengeance when/if the series returns to Boston.
Let's not forget that Big Papi can still pinch hit. How great would it be for a pitcher to think he's one Julio Lugo ground out away from getting out of a jam only to have David Ortiz stroll up to the plate instead? One of the most clutch hitters in baseball history hitting in only the clutchest of situations? That's what I call a psychological edge.
I don't place a high priority on fielding, but it's still something that should not be ignored. Youkilis and Lowell are both Golden Glove caliber fielders at their positions. Big Papi with his bad knee, complete lack of speed and rust from not having played the position for quite some time is a serious liability. Last time the Red Sox played a first baseman with a bad leg in the World Series he made a costly error. His name was Bill Buckner, perhaps you've heard of him?