A Numbers Game

  • Mo Vaughn and Jose Canseco, 1995 ALDS: 0 for 27, 3 BB (.000/.100/.000). Sox swept in three games
  • David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, 2007 ALDS: 8 for 15, 11 BB, 4 HR (.533/.731/1.333). Sox sweep in three games
  • Red Sox pitching, 1995: 29.2 IP, 5.16 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, .219 BAA, .299 OBPA
  • Red Sox starters, 2007: 20.1 IP, 2-0, 1.31 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, .215 BAA, .256 OBPA
  • Red Sox bullpen, 2007: 6.2 IP, 1-0, 1.42 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, .091 BAA, .200 OBPA

The 2007 club, aside from being more balanced and overall just a better team than the 1995 version, benefited greatly from the Angels’ many injuries. Not tot ake anything away from the brilliant pitching of Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling — who pounded the strike zone better than I’ve ever seen (77 percent and 76 percent of pitches thrown for strikes, respectively) — but the Sox caught a break with an Angels team whose power bats were nonexistent and whose running game only works if your hitters get on base.

Meanwhile, the Yankees play another day, no thanks to the $28 million man, brought in exactly for these kinds of situations. Should we be surprised? In games where his team faces elimination, Clemens hasn’t exactly stepped up:

  • 8 games, 7 starts, 2-2, 4.71 ERA, two quality starts. three starts of 3 IP or fewer.

Those three starts include the 1990 meltdown and ejection, the 2003 ALCS fizzle and last night’s injury- and performance-shortened stint.

36 comments… add one
  • The Yanx-Tribe series is a win-win for SFs.
    Either the MFY get humiliatingly eliminated in Game 4; or the series goes to five, with the winner either way arriving in Boston far less rested than the Sox.
    I’m almost rooting for a Yankee win tonight. Almost.

    Hudson October 8, 2007, 12:16 pm
  • I tried rooting for the Yanks to win last night, Hudson, on the theory that a five-game series messes up the opponent’s rotation for the ALCS.
    But I just couldn’t do it.

    Paul SF October 8, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • If the Yankees come back in five, who is their #3 starter, I wonder… given the Rocket’s Last Flare-out?

    Hudson October 8, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • (Hughes?)

    Hudson October 8, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • (Wang v. Byrd tonight would seem to almost guarantee a return to Cleveland for a rubber match.)

    Hudson October 8, 2007, 12:32 pm
  • Clemens is being taken off the roster. Decision will be made today. They have 4 pitchers they can choose from.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 8, 2007, 12:33 pm
  • Hudson, et al, chances are is that it’ll be Moose tonight, right?

    rz-yf October 8, 2007, 12:40 pm
  • But if that day comes that they need a #3, I would imagine it would be Hughes. Joe said during the press conference last night one of the reasons he skipped Moose and went with Hughes last night was the fact that Hughes had pitched recently and Moose hasn’t it quite a while.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 8, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • I was thinking about that as well. Wang tonight and Petitte in Game 5.
    So, Game one in Boston…it would have to be Hughes. Mussina is an option, but if he’s not being put in Game 4, whats the chances he’s going to be pitch in the lions den of Fenway?
    Well, Hughes and Mussina are all we have left for game 1 and 2. Mussina’s experience might be better suited for a game one. But then but then who pitches game 2? Wang could do as that would be four days rest, but as of-mentioned, he’s better at home. Hughes could do Game 2, and then leave Wang for home in game 3.
    I think that works best. Pettitte is our best big game pitcher. Pitching him in game 3 on four days rest frees him up to pitch game six or game seven. Pitching him in game 4 allows him to pitch only game seven on 4 days rest. I like flexibility, but it doesn’t seem likely here.
    Instead it seems Mussina, Hughes, Wang and Pettitte. And then Hughes, Wang and Pettitte to round out all seven games. That keeps every one on normal rest…once we get past the first game.
    (i’m assuming the ALCS follows the same off-day schedule as the NLCS. Which i foresee as game 1 and 2 on friday and saturday in boston, game 3, 4, 5 on monday, wed, friday in NYC, game six and seven on sunday and monday in Boston.)

    Carlos October 8, 2007, 12:49 pm
  • Noticing that Wang had two 1-run wins (one against Byrd) and a 3-run loss to Cleveland this year… So maybe Wang v. Byrd (which is what the Times website shows for tonight?) isn’t such a mismatch.

    Hudson October 8, 2007, 12:53 pm
  • Oops, my bad, the above stats include 2006 meetings. Who knows?

    Hudson October 8, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • Does anyone else think the Indians should pitch Sabathia instead of Byrd considering they will have Fausto on normal rest if a Game 5 occurs?

    Nick-YF October 8, 2007, 12:56 pm
  • I couldn’t agree more Nick! I guess Wedge doesn’t want the team to think he is starting to panic.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 8, 2007, 1:00 pm
  • Carlos, we have 2 more games to win. If we win the next two games I don’t care who starts! But being that yesterday was the first time in 3 games we were able to put together any type of offense, I am going to stay focused on today.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 8, 2007, 1:04 pm
  • ALCS and NLCS schedules are here.
    ALCS is Friday and Saturday in Boston; then Monday-Tuesday-Thursday in Cleveland or NYC (why the off-day in the middle?); then Saturday and Sunday in Boston if necessary.
    I don’t know why all the times are To Be Determined. Even though we don’t yet know who is playing, we do know the time zones of everyone playing.

    Ron Newman October 8, 2007, 1:08 pm
  • The indians are nuts to pitch Byrd. They should be running CC out there for sure. Esp with Carmona on regular rest available for weds.

    Sam-YF October 8, 2007, 1:16 pm
  • Agreed…pitching Byrd seems a bit weird…maybe they’ll have Sabathia warming behind him in case he stinks?

    Devine October 8, 2007, 1:19 pm
  • If the Yankees do happen to make it to the ALCS, I wouldn’t throw out the possibility of Wang pitching the opener on three day’s rest, with Hughes in game 2, and Pettitte in game 3, Mussina (I guess) in game 4 and Wang in the last stadium game in 5. Then, you have the choice of either Hughes or Pettitte in Game 6.
    Not having Wang start game 1 would not give him any starts at home, which as we have seen is less than advantageous. Even if the Yankees lose the first two, you’ve got Pettitte in Game 3. Mussina winning anything is a long-shot, but even if down 3-1, you’ve got Wang at home and Pettitte immediately following.
    I hate getting ahead of myself, but why not. It’s better to talk about it now, then not even get to talk about it at all.

    AndrewYF October 8, 2007, 1:30 pm
  • It could be CC in game 7 with Carmona in relief. If this goes to five the Indians will take that game, they have the pitching advantage.
    And why does it seem as if Byrd vs. Wang is a mismatch in Wang’s favor? Did he not play terrible in game 1? Are we all forgetting that?
    If the Yankees lineup goes back to hibernating it will not matter, even if they win today they will lose game 5 when they have to face CC and/or Carmona

    Kevin SF October 8, 2007, 1:31 pm
  • I mean game 5 not 7.

    Kevin SF October 8, 2007, 1:32 pm
  • I can’t back it up with a link or anything, but I’ve heard in the past that CC doesn’t do well on short rest. Shrug.
    In any case, like Hudson says, the Red Sox are in prime position if the Indians lose tonight. If they win, then we still face Sabathia and Carmona in Games 1 and 2.
    I feel like the Yankees have changed the momentum now, though. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win the next 2, though I fear it.

    Atheose October 8, 2007, 1:35 pm
  • Also, Wang v Byrd is definitely a miss-match. Pitching on short rest may help Wang, but it’s not a guarantee. If he gives up 5+ runs early then it may be too demoralizing for the Yankees offense to wake up.
    But who knows? It’s the post-season. If Weaver can pitch like an Ace for the Cardinals in the 2006 playoffs then anything can happen.

    Atheose October 8, 2007, 1:37 pm
  • Yes, Wang blew it in Game 1, but he is still your ace — who seems unlikely to have two horrendous starts in a row — while Byrd is a 4.59 ERA guy against the whole league, let alone the Yankee lineup.

    Hudson October 8, 2007, 1:37 pm
  • Sorry, meant to say “Wang v Byrd is definitely NOT a miss-match”

    Atheose October 8, 2007, 1:37 pm
  • You gotta remember, though, that CC had no dominance over NY in game 1:
    IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
    5.0 4 3 3 6 5 2 5.40
    The Yanks problem was not having a pitcher.

    J (yf) October 8, 2007, 1:39 pm
  • It’ll be interesting to see what Francona does with the Sox rotation.
    There was a lot of speculation about why he ran DiceK out there for Game 2 against the Angels, but I did not see anyone propose the explanation that made the most sense to me…
    Namely: That Schilling would be more likely to handle the pressure of pitching an away game in the playoffs.
    As it turned out, Tito’s move was smart. DiceK was not sharp, but the Sox kept the game close, and the crowd can only have helped the Sox pen and the hitters in those tense last few innings, leading to the Manny walk-off… setting up an early clinch by Curt in Anaheim.
    If Dice-K had lost Game 2, then they’d still be headed to California with one of the best playoff pitchers on the hill.
    So I guess what I’m saying is: Whether Game 3 of the ALCS is in Cleveland or New York, I’d expect to see Schilling pitch it.

    Hudson October 8, 2007, 1:43 pm
  • J(yf) — I agree those are not dominating numbers, but given the potency of the Yankee lineup, they aren’t bad. Anyone who can keep New York from blowing the game out early has done a solid job, IMHO.

    Hudson October 8, 2007, 1:45 pm
  • Absolutely Hudson. Whoever pitches Game 2 for the Sox also pitches in Game 7. And who would you rather have–Matsuzaka or Schilling?
    Expect Daisuke to start Game 2 of the ALCS.

    Atheose October 8, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • I would almost rather not have home field for the ALCS because both Schill and Beckett don’t need the help of home field to win where as Wake/Dice K kind of do.

    Kevin SF October 8, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • Kevin, that’s precisely why Daisuke will be pitching in Game 2–so he gets that boost.
    Beckett will also pitch Game 5 of the ALCS too, not just the home opener.

    Atheose October 8, 2007, 1:49 pm
  • I understand Atheose, it makes sense to me now. Please strike my comment from the record.

    Kevin SF October 8, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • :-)
    I feel extremely comfortable with Beckett pitching Game 5, and then Daisuke and Schilling in games 6 and 7 at home.
    Here’s a question I have–who is going to start game 4? Lester or Wakefield? I haven’t heard anything about it, but I have a feeling it will be Lester. His last outing was fantastic, and I feel like Wakefield is still too injured to take the ball in a crucial game like that.

    Atheose October 8, 2007, 2:05 pm
  • I think it should be Lester, because who know which Wake is going to come out to start. Then again Lester isn’t exactly Mr. Consistency either, but when Wake is bad he is real bad.

    Kevin SF October 8, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • “Absolutely Hudson. Whoever pitches Game 2 for the Sox also pitches in Game 7. And who would you rather have–Matsuzaka or Schilling?
    Expect Daisuke to start Game 2 of the ALCS.”
    You can’t be serious. Schilling and Becks were outstanding, and Dice was less so, even facing the Angels for the first time. Schilling HAS to be the Game 7.
    But I think you have your match ups wrong:
    Game 1 – Becks (Fri)
    Game 2 – Dice (Sat)
    Game 3 – Schill (Mon)
    Game 4 – Lester (Tues)
    Game 5 – Becks (Thurs – 5 days rest)
    Game 6 – Dice (Sat – 6 days rest)
    Game 7 – Schill (Sun – 5 days rest)

    Pete October 8, 2007, 3:24 pm
  • I guess it’s a matter of perspective. Once you’re talking about Game 6 or Game 7, someone’s got three wins in the series and you want a pitcher you can trust out there. Game 6 will either be a possible clincher or staving off elimination. I wouldn’t underestimate its value either.

    Paul SF October 8, 2007, 3:30 pm
  • Oh, no doubt, Paul. I’d be fine with Schill in Game 2 and Game 6 too. In fact, I might prefer that except for what it means for Game 7.

    Pete October 8, 2007, 3:41 pm

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