Shaking Things Up: Rays-Sox ALCS Gamer IV

It needed to happen, and lest we forget that Terry Francona manages his club differently in the postseason, it’s happening tonight: the lineup has been shaken. J.D. Drew is leading off, Coco Crisp is batting seventh, Jed Lowrie is batting ninth. This essentially plugs two holes from yesterday, when Dustin Pedroia had zero offensive threats hitting in front of him. For that matter, one could argue replacing Varitek with Kevin Cash might actually be an offensive upgrade at this point, as well.

This is great news, in that Francona isn’t sitting on his hands while the Sox continue to waste Pedroia’s continued hot streak. What it doesn’t do, however, is fix who’s starting — Tim Wakefield, he of the 6.36 postseason ERA, he of the 9.00 postseason ERA since 2003.

Hey, anything can happen. And Wake does have four dominant postseason starts under his belt. I’d just be breathing better if any of them had come since Mark Bellhorn was the team’s starting second baseman.

Comment away!

86 comments… add one
  • I’m going tonight, and for what it’s worth, since 2003 they are pretty close to undefeated when I attend the game. (could never afford it before 2003, though it’s free tonight!)

    LocklandSF October 14, 2008, 5:48 pm
  • Rock on!!
    Thank goodness they’re actually doing SOMETHING about that lineup. Drew leading off might actually get the engine revving.

    Devine October 14, 2008, 6:16 pm
  • Mike Lowell is having surgery. SF might not be the only one giving up on the season.

    rootbeerfloat October 14, 2008, 6:28 pm
  • Paul: I would suggest that the career postseason era numbers for Wake aren’t as useful as his numbers over the previous 2 months, and also some kind of record of how he performs after npt starting for–how long has it been now?

    YF October 14, 2008, 6:29 pm
  • According to MLB.com, J.D is leading off, and Ellsbury is not in the starting lineup.
    (Why J.D. instead of Coco, I wonder?)

    Hudson October 14, 2008, 7:03 pm
  • Yeah, I would have slotted Coco as the lead-off guy, but whatever. I doubted Tito for putting in Kotsay over Casey, and that move has paid off. I doubted him for starting Ellsbury over Coco in the ALDS, and that paid off.

    Atheose October 14, 2008, 7:27 pm
  • Speaking of lead-off guys, Tito needs to change Timlin’s role from “Mop-up/extra innings guy” to “Guy that breaks Iwamura’s kneecaps”. That guy has been crushing us all season.

    Atheose October 14, 2008, 7:37 pm
  • I’d rather have Drew lead off. Who’s more likely to reach base ahead of Pedroia?

    Paul SF October 14, 2008, 8:08 pm
  • Got a little Dirt Dog in you? Trot Nixon threw out the first pitch.
    And, yeah, a fwe of those Rays (Iwamura, Longoria) have been a little too comfortable in the box. But I doubt Wake is the guy to change that.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 8:09 pm
  • “I’d rather have Drew lead off. Who’s more likely to reach base ahead of Pedroia?”
    Ditto.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 8:10 pm
  • Coco was hot going into the playoffs, and has done well in his 6 AB’s so far. But either way, it’s an improvement over Ellsbury. He’s been atrocious since the ALDS.
    Iwamura K’s, but Upton walks and immediate steals.

    Atheose October 14, 2008, 8:10 pm
  • Fuck me.

    Atheose October 14, 2008, 8:11 pm
  • Pena.
    Fuck.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 8:11 pm
  • Well, that was a quick game.

    Paul SF October 14, 2008, 8:12 pm
  • Fuck.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 8:12 pm
  • B2B 3-0 Rays

    Sam-YF October 14, 2008, 8:12 pm
  • Jesus christ, knuckler ain’t knuckling.

    Atheose October 14, 2008, 8:13 pm
  • Just have to keep repeating:
    19-8
    19-8
    19-8

    Paul SF October 14, 2008, 8:13 pm
  • Oh, man. Boom Boom Boom. 3-0, man on 2nd, just like that.

    YF October 14, 2008, 8:14 pm
  • Fuck.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 8:14 pm
  • Are you kidding me?

    jmSF October 14, 2008, 8:14 pm
  • Masterson warming up already.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 8:14 pm
  • I have never heard Fenway this quiet this early in a ballgame. Never.

    Paul SF October 14, 2008, 8:15 pm
  • Fuck.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 8:16 pm
  • I feel really bad for Wakefield. I really wanted him to have a good outing, after missing the playoffs last year and doing so much for the team.
    Having said that, god he looks awful.

    Atheose October 14, 2008, 8:16 pm
  • Good night Irene!

    SF October 14, 2008, 8:18 pm
  • All right, all right.
    Let’s get out of this. Get something back.
    Remember, Wakes hasn’t pitched in 2 weeks. Let him get his feel back.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 8:19 pm
  • Out of that with just 3 is not a bad result. If the bleeding stops, still plenty of time to make a game of it.

    YF October 14, 2008, 8:20 pm
  • “Oh, Gertrude.” – Ned Martin

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 8:20 pm
  • LETS GO OFFENSE!

    Atheose October 14, 2008, 8:21 pm
  • Easy enough to post that, YF. You can brag when you are right (which will happen maybe 1 in 10 times) but nobody will remember your being wrong. It’s the outrageous prediction strategy. Work it. Work it hard.

    SF October 14, 2008, 8:23 pm
  • Anyone want to take a guess at the over/under on the use of the term “cinderella” in the next two weeks?

    SF October 14, 2008, 8:31 pm
  • I think the Red Sox’ best strategy is to bring up Bill Ayers.

    SF October 14, 2008, 8:32 pm
  • hmmm. Shorter than his last outing?

    jmSF October 14, 2008, 8:46 pm
  • ok, i was wrong…sorry sf’s…but this one ain’t over, and even if so, you did come back from 3-1 last year…hang in there man
    uh, go rays

    dc October 14, 2008, 8:47 pm
  • cash??????????????????????
    uh, your mojo ain’t done mojo-in’ yet…i’m out…don’t want to jinx one way or the other…

    dc October 14, 2008, 8:56 pm
  • A big part of me holds no anger towards Wakefield. The space is still reserved for Francona, who I believe cost us Game 2 with his barely defensible managing. I don’t understand why Francona, who has been so decisive with pitchers in the post-season, lost his nerve and stuck with Beckett so long. That decision, and that decision alone, may have cost the Sox this series. Wakefield’s pitiful effort is just background to me.

    SF October 14, 2008, 8:56 pm
  • OMG. Sox score a … run.
    Keep hope alive!

    SoxFan October 14, 2008, 8:57 pm
  • Masterson’s job No. 1 is to keep this thing close. Job No. 2 is to keep Longoria, Pena, etc., from getting too comfortable in the box.
    Pitch inside.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 9:00 pm
  • The WRKO feed has gone dead.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 9:24 pm
  • “The WRKO feed has gone dead.”
    So has the Sox’s season.

    SoxFan October 14, 2008, 9:36 pm
  • A Rays assault team has taken over WRKO. Police Hostage Negotiators are currently trying to resolve the situation.

    yankees76 October 14, 2008, 9:37 pm
  • Discovery should let Tito guest host Dirty Jobs.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 9:52 pm
  • WRKO feed is back. At least I missed some ugly pitching.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 9:53 pm
  • Dale Arnold said today that during Monday’s BP, Papi was lining them off the wall.
    So, why is he still hitting into the shift?

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 9:54 pm
  • I smell a Timlin appearance.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 9:55 pm
  • It’s now 10-1.
    Before last night, the Red Sox had never in their history giving up 8+ runs in consecutive games.

    And as Joe C points, out, the Rays are looking very comfortable in the batters box.
    NO SHIT, JOE!
    I’ve been saying that all night.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 9:59 pm
  • Sorry. Consecutive POSTSEASON games.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 9:59 pm
  • I wonder if Ortiz still thinks the Rays have a “different look on their faces” now.

    Sam-YF October 14, 2008, 10:01 pm
  • Describing this Sox team as “lifeless” right now is an insult to corpses everywhere.

    Hudson October 14, 2008, 10:02 pm
  • As frustrated or annoyed as Sox fans might be, just imagine how the Angels feel right now. They have to be wondering how the hell they didn’t beat the Sox, and they certainly have to be thinking that they would have put up a bigger fight against the Rays. They’d probably be right.

    SF October 14, 2008, 10:12 pm
  • “I wonder if Ortiz still thinks the Rays have a “different look on their faces” now.”
    First, given that this comment is probably a dig, Maddon agreed with Papi.
    Second, I wonder if Papi has an ounce of fight in him right now.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:14 pm
  • “Describing this Sox team as “lifeless” right now is an insult to corpses everywhere.”
    I don’t care if this is a shot, I agree.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:15 pm
  • SF, if the Angels show up not entitled against the Sox, they can argue.
    But they decided they were entitled to win that series. So they can all kiss my ass.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:16 pm
  • The last time I saw a Red Sox team this lifeless was ALCS Game 3, 2004.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:17 pm
  • Triple, ground-out RBI, single.
    Two hits in an inning.
    Pinch me.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:21 pm
  • >>> The last time I saw a Red Sox team this lifeless was ALCS Game 3, 2004. <<< Fair enough. Though Boston did manage to score 8 runs in that game.

    Hudson October 14, 2008, 10:22 pm
  • And then …

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:23 pm
  • “First, given that this comment is probably a dig, Maddon agreed with Papi.”
    Well Bill, it seemed like it was a dig by Manny as well. A bit early Id say.

    Sam-YF October 14, 2008, 10:30 pm
  • And then… what?
    Just joshin’ ya there, Bill.
    But my point is, the night before Boston’s amazing comeback, their bats were not silent at all; the problem was giving up 23,000,000 runs.
    Tonight, and the previous night, the problem is both horrible, horrible pitching *plus* a failure to produce.
    I’m almost feeling like this team wants to go home. I mean, who in this clubhouse is going to play the Millar/Cabby/Caveman cheerleading and let-it-all hang out roles to fire the rest of ’em back up? OK, maybe DiceK will come back with another gem and keep hope alive. But that game was almost all his doing — just 2 runs scored there as well.

    Hudson October 14, 2008, 10:36 pm
  • The Rays are still piling on, now 12-2. Maybe that will get someone angry enough to come back with some fire in Game 5. Or something.

    Hudson October 14, 2008, 10:38 pm
  • Make that 13-2.

    Hudson October 14, 2008, 10:38 pm
  • “I’m almost feeling like this team wants to go home. I mean, who in this clubhouse is going to play the Millar/Cabby/Caveman cheerleading and let-it-all hang out roles to fire the rest of ’em back up?”
    I nominate Hideki Okajima.

    SoxFan October 14, 2008, 10:39 pm
  • Sam, I’m not aware of the Manny remark.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:40 pm
  • Hudson, I’m just having fun, too.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:41 pm
  • Excluding the Game 1 shutout, through eight innings tonight, Tampa has scored in 14 of 28 innings. And it has scored 2+ runs in nine of those 28 innings.
    This is ASS ugly. I’m talkin’ a dad-white, hairy pimple-covered ass.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:43 pm
  • Here’s what really sucks. Tampa now has three errors. And the Red Sox have capitalized on them not al all.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:46 pm
  • Here’s comes Papi, ready to another one into the shift.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:46 pm
  • Perhaps I should have left the “F” out of the word “shift.”

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:47 pm
  • “…imagine how the Angels feel right now…” uh well, they probably wish the yanks won the wild card, and not the sox…they own the yanks…
    why are they playing sweet caroline?…sheesh, skip it, at least for tonight…
    “…who in this clubhouse is going to play the Millar/Cabby/Caveman…”
    my captain, oh captain…do the sox have a captain?
    “…maybe DiceK will come back with another gem…” gem?…he had 95 walks…like i said earlier, the shakiest [or sloppiest if you prefer] shutout i’ve ever seen…
    one of you will call me a d***….have at it…i decided that you are going to win despite these past 2 games, so i’m going to have my fun now…

    dc October 14, 2008, 10:48 pm
  • Rumor has it that, after watching the last three ALCS games, Commish Bud is thinking of spicing things up but instituting a Mercy Rule in the postseason.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:49 pm
  • Sam-YF October 14, 2008, 10:50 pm
  • Oh, fuck it all, dc.
    It ain’t gonna sting any worse than the crap we’ve had to watch the last three games.
    Have at it. Like I give a shit at this point.
    Oh, looky. A crooked number inning for the Red Sox.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:51 pm
  • Re-post the link, Sam.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 10:54 pm
  • Sam-YF October 14, 2008, 10:55 pm
  • I still think the sox could easily come back in this series. A bad start from Shields + vintage beckett= game 7

    Sam-YF October 14, 2008, 10:56 pm
  • well, just like me, the tbs announcers don’t think it’s over either….or, hey wait a minute, are they just trying to keep me from going to bed so i can see another 6584 commercials?…
    still think you’re gonna win….no double secret jinx or anything…sox are a better team…they just need to f-in wake up already…but this is still fun…

    dc October 14, 2008, 10:59 pm
  • Also, check out this doozie from the St. Pete Times over the weekend.
    Guess a few key editors missed the weekend news budget meeting.
    http://tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/article850276.ece

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 11:00 pm
  • Sam, I apoligize if I’m being thick, but I still don’t get your reference to Manny.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 11:03 pm
  • apologize.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 11:04 pm
  • Oh, looky.
    Sean Casey gets an at-bat.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 11:06 pm
  • When these Tampa contracts come due, I gotta wonder how much this ownership will pony up to keep these guys, and who it will let walk.
    If these guys maintain this, it’s gonna cost some big $.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 11:12 pm
  • Jackson throws 11 total pitches to Crisp, Ellsbury and Lowrie and gets 2 BB and a K.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 11:13 pm
  • Mercy.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 14, 2008, 11:14 pm
  • Lame.

    Atheose October 14, 2008, 11:17 pm
  • Dear Red Sox,
    Was so, so delighted to win chance to buy tickets to game 5 of ALCS, and as so, bought them, even before team had advanced.
    That being said, Game 5 sounds less fun than previously mentioned, and lost Broadway tix to see good Chekhov play plus a couple days worth pay plus price of tix in process.
    In spite of possibility stars will align and three starters will pitch better than three starters not that much lesser than them against lineup far more keyed-in than Sox line-up, I must, nay, would like to request refund whenever is possible at your leisure.
    Yours in Matsuzaka,

    Hit Dog October 14, 2008, 11:25 pm

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