AL Beasts

Joshbeckett Sabathia_2


After four interminable days, the American League Championship Series begins tonight, with the best matchup yet in the 2007 playoffs — Josh Beckett vs. C.C. Sabathia, the two pitchers who undoubtedly will finish 1-2 in the Cy Young voting (though don’t ask us to prognosticate which order).

Both are 27 years old, and both seemingly have no ceiling. Each received a B+ on his respective Inside Edge scouting report (Beckett’s is here, but Sabathia’s has turned into a report card of his performance against the Yankees since I saw it yesterday). Beckett is better at getting two strikes on hitters and pounding the zone, but Sabathia has better control of his off-speed stuff. It’s no stretch to imagine these two clashing many times over the next few seasons as the dominant pitchers in their league.

The battle begins tonight. Use this for any and all pregame buzz you care to discuss.

64 comments… add one
  • Does anyone know what the weather is supposed to be there tonight. I only ask because it absolutely poured last night at my house, and is pouring now in New Haven.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 10:36 am
  • I really wish Hanley was in the lineup tonight instead:)
    I kid.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 10:37 am
  • Weather: Partly cloudy skies early will give way to mainly clear skies overnight. Low around 45F. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph.

    Vic SF October 12, 2007, 10:42 am
  • interminable indeed.
    these past few days have seemed like an eternity to me. i can only imagine the amount of pacing and thumb-twiddling some of the people around these parts have been doing.

    Yankee Fan In Boston October 12, 2007, 10:53 am
  • Series predictions:
    ESPN: 5 say Sox in seven, 1 says Sox in 6, 3 say Indians in 6, 1 says indians in 7.
    Dave Pinto (Baseball Musings)picks the Sox in 7, calling them “nearly a flawless team.”
    I wouldn’t go THAT far…

    Paul SF October 12, 2007, 10:53 am
  • Count me in as one of them, YFIB..

    Brad October 12, 2007, 11:22 am
  • Those are some cool stats, Paul SF. At first I reacted in outrage at Beckett being given a B+ overall, until I clicked the link and read the break-down.
    For the last 5 years I’ve always watched playoff games from my apartment, in the exact same spot on the exact same couch. Tonight, however, my roommate wants to go out to eat at 8 and watch some of the game at a bar. If the Sox lose it’s because I broke up the mojo.

    Atheose October 12, 2007, 11:46 am
  • A “nearly flawless” team has to go 7 to win a series? I guess that makes the Indians nearly nearly flawless, eh? A 9.8 on Pinto’s flawless scale, to the Red Sox’ 9.9, perhaps.

    FenSheaParkway October 12, 2007, 11:53 am
  • Atheose!!!!
    Don’t do it, man!!!
    What are you thinking????
    You know how it works!
    I’m diappointed in you, Buddy..

    Brad October 12, 2007, 11:59 am
  • Exactly, FSP. I think the Red Sox are darn good, and I think they have pieces in place to make them “nearly flawless” next year perhaps. But not right now.
    Still, I think they have to be the favorites to go all the way. Beating Sabathia tonight would be HUGE.
    Atheose, that scouting report is fun because you figure Beckett will only continue to improve his command over his breaking pitches, which is arguably the only thing keeping him from being a truly dominant ace. Fun to imagine what he could become as the years progress.

    Paul SF October 12, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • I’m covering football again tonight, so I will miss the WHOLE GAME. More nerve-wracking text updates for me. That sucks.

    Paul SF October 12, 2007, 12:02 pm
  • I think the poor grade on “%of off speed pitches being chased” is more a result of last year than this one. Guys are not fully convinced yet that he’s going to strike them out with a hook, so they’re not chasing it. The more times goes by that he drops that in for strikes, guys will start to expand their zone to chase it.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 12:05 pm
  • It was raining hard here (about 120 miles due west of Fenway) early this morning. It’s cleared up now.
    So while I’m no meteorologiest, I’m guessing there will be some rain in Boston this afternoon, but there is a decent chance it will be clear by 7:30 pm.
    Unless they cover the entire thing, the field may be pretty soggy.

    Hudson October 12, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • From… Should be clear but very brisk and windy.
    Scattered showers
    High 63┬░ F
    Precip: 30%
    Variable clouds with a chance of showers. High 63F. SW winds at 10 to 15 mph, increasing to 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
    Partly Cloudy
    Low: 45┬░ F
    Precip: 20%
    Partly cloudy skies early will give way to mainly clear skies overnight. Low near 45F. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph.

    Hudson October 12, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • I’d almost rather be rained out tonight, then finish the series with three at home.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 12:11 pm
  • I don’t think they’d change the order of the home and away games for a rainout. More likely just move the rained-out game to the offday (Sunday).

    Ron Newman (SF) October 12, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • Partly cloudy, cool, sun poking through here in Brooklyn.
    Like Paul, I will be out of pocket tonight, dinner plans with the wife and another couple. What was I thinking?!!?!?

    SF October 12, 2007, 12:29 pm
  • How do you guys let these things happen? Priorities, gentlemen, priorities.

    LocklandSF October 12, 2007, 12:33 pm
  • “…then finish the series with three at home.”
    Huh? Is that how it works? I thought they would have just pushed everything back, and keep the same 2-3-2 format. Is this a new development?
    Personally, I’m counting on the game being played. I’ve been waiting all week for tonight. Sox playoffs, PLUS a rare nationally televised University of Hawaii football game. I can barely contain myself.

    FenSheaParkway October 12, 2007, 12:53 pm
  • Yeah, I don’t know; I was only assuming that if they missed a game, it would be moved to the off day, or added to the end. I really don’t know one way or the other.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 1:34 pm
  • Seriously, Lockland. No way!!!

    Brad October 12, 2007, 1:35 pm
  • Brad, as a newly married man, you will soon come to understand this. Maybe not now, maybe not next week, but soon.

    SF October 12, 2007, 2:10 pm
  • SF – I’m in agreement, but as a faithful follwer of the old team, my wife is just as paranoid about changing the routine as I am. But, I’m sure you’re right.
    Also, last night, it was cold, so we lit a fire in our fireplace. It wasn’t really that cold, but we decided we needed a place to dispose of the blue “7” t-shirt. Hopefully, our sacrifice made it’s way to the ears of the baseball Gods.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • > you will soon come to understand this
    Just like the lesson I learned when so much of my favorite stuff that formerly looked/worked/felt just fine is actually crap and must be replaced.

    attackgerbil October 12, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • AG – that happened when we bought our house…
    Suddenly, I had a fully furnished basement.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 2:26 pm
  • And that trashman had some very cool stuff that she deemed “dorm stuff” and not “home stuff”. ha.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 2:27 pm
  • > Suddenly, I had a fully furnished basement.
    So true. That is exactly what happened to me.

    attackgerbil October 12, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • Well, to be fair, I did have a hammock in my apartment. Whatever. It was freaking comfortable.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 2:52 pm
  • Funny discussion over at the Red Sox forum about “Do You Have Any Superstitious Game Day Rituals?”
    A sample:
    “Well before I watch a game I whisper my prediction of the outcome of the game to the TV and then I sit down on my couch. Then I watch the game. When In Clutch Situations┬« I pray to my Redsox poster.”

    SoxFan October 12, 2007, 3:07 pm
  • Wow, Brad, that’s pretty hardcore.
    I’ve got my 2004 WS Champs t-shirt on (worn every day of the ALDS, has been hanging up on my wall for the last four days in anticipation of today) and my hat (also worn every day of the ALDS). When I get home, sometime around 3:30 PST, I will check the orientation of my Ted Williams figurine. I will not touch the framed pic of Fenway that I believe to be good luck because I took it at this game (it’s a gorgeous shot of the sunset over a seat-less Green Monster… I have no photography skills but I love this photo).
    And then I will park my ass on the couch, perform my ritual grumbling about Buck and McCarver, and not move for the next 3 hours or so.

    Jackie (SF) October 12, 2007, 3:20 pm
  • “They’ve got great pitching, and we do, too,” Sabathia said. “They’ve got huge bats, and we do, too. Look at the numbers, look at the pitching, look at the offenses — I think we’re dead even. It’s just going to [be determined by] who wants it more.”
    That quote from the Washington Post today. Yeah, C.C. That’s it. Whoever loses this series will clearly show that winning the World Series just isn’t as important to them. If you’re going to spew pablum, can’t it at least be somewhat sensical?

    Paul SF October 12, 2007, 3:32 pm
  • I have a Steinbrenner bobblehead that I sit on the table next to me, and force him to watch it. Only in the playoffs. I watch with my buddy Randy in the same spot he’s always in, open two beers, drink one immediately, and don’t open another until the third, if things are bad, Randy and I switch places, and we NEVER, EVER tempt karma by talking $hit about the other team. Also, I talk to George when things start going well.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 3:34 pm
  • brad, how does the steinbrenner bobblehead work while wearing a snappy turtleneck and blazer combo?

    Yankee Fan In Boston October 12, 2007, 3:38 pm
  • Well, it doesn’t really work at all now, since it’s been fastballed across the room a few times, but it used to work fine! ha.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 3:48 pm
  • Right now, it’s more like a Steinbrenner balance head. No bobbling involved.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 3:49 pm
  • Okay, so just out of curiosity, I made a poll over at LiveJournal to document insane post-season rituals. Vote if you wish. :)

    Jackie (SF) October 12, 2007, 3:59 pm
  • Going through the Cleveland Plain Dealer, it’s interestinjg to read how much disdain there is for the Red Sox and, to some extent, their fans. A lot of mischaracterization.
    They also say, that the Indians need to split the first two games to have a shot at winning the ALCS. Which is weird because if the Sox and Indians split the first two, I’d consider that much more beneficial for the Red Sox, considering the big edge over Byrd-Westbrook the Sox have.

    Paul SF October 12, 2007, 3:59 pm
  • They’re in Cleveland… I’d be unhappy too.

    Brad October 12, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • Paul – I think if we split the first two, we still have an edge, but if the Indians don’t at least split then they have a… very diminished chance at winning, to say the least. Or, in other words, the Tribe needs to split, AT LEAST, to have a shot at winning. If we take the first two I will be elated.

    Jackie (SF) October 12, 2007, 4:10 pm
  • Oh, and everyone ignore the poll, apparently voting is only open to people with LiveJournals (bastards). I suppose you can still look at the results.

    Jackie (SF) October 12, 2007, 4:15 pm
  • Yeah, Jackie, that’s what I mean. The Indians need more than a split to put themselves in good position, I think.
    They NEED a sweep of those two games, while the Sox only ened to tread water and wait for the soft underbelly.
    A split doesn’t boost Cleveland’s chances, to me, though it’s obviously better than losing the first two.

    Paul SF October 12, 2007, 4:18 pm
  • It’s getting Jinx-erific in here. Go easy people.

    LocklandSF October 12, 2007, 4:28 pm
  • Ransacking the house for my 27 Fisk jersey. It’s gotta be here somewhere.

    Hudson October 12, 2007, 4:28 pm
  • Weather radar:
    Looks like the storm is hovering to the north but it’s clear over Fenway.

    Hudson October 12, 2007, 4:29 pm
  • I work about three miles from Fenway. Rain has stopped but we’re getting some heavy gusts of wind. Could make life interesting for outfielders.

    Ron Newman October 12, 2007, 4:33 pm
  • Don’t worry, Lockland, I fear/expect a 2-0 deficit going back to Cleveland.

    Paul SF October 12, 2007, 4:34 pm
  • people in cambridge (on the other side of the rivah) are saying it is freezing outside. wet, cold air and those gusts of wind. (i’d check myself, but i am almost literally chained to my desk.)
    i’d hate to foul one off the hands against either starter tonight.

    Yankee Fan In Boston October 12, 2007, 4:36 pm
  • Put it this way… if the Series comes back to Boston with the Sox down only one game (or better), I like our chances.

    Hudson October 12, 2007, 4:37 pm
  • Temperature is in the mid-50s and will drop further tonight. If you’re going to tonight’s game, bring layers.

    Ron Newman October 12, 2007, 4:38 pm
  • Cold, dank weather seems likely to make this even more of a pitchers duel, unless the wind is blowing out hard.
    (It’s suddenly sunny and quite pleasant here in the Hudson Valley… with hope that will creep east by gametime.)

    Hudson October 12, 2007, 4:39 pm
  • // Temperature is in the mid-50s and will drop further tonight. If you’re going to tonight’s game, bring layers. //
    Or you could sell me your ticket. I can be there in a couple hours… ;^)

    Anonymous October 12, 2007, 4:40 pm
  • ^ me

    Hudson October 12, 2007, 4:41 pm
  • if the Series comes back to Boston with the Sox down only one game (or better), I like our chances
    So, basically, if the series comes back to Boston. After five games, the Sox could only be down 3-2 and still have a series. :-)
    I agree. If this goes back to Boston, the Sox should be the favorites to advance.

    Paul SF October 12, 2007, 4:43 pm
  • I don’t have a ticket. I expect to watch this in some nice, warm bar near Davis Square.

    Ron Newman October 12, 2007, 4:54 pm
  • Jackie – I didn’t know you are Aloha-Moira on LJ! Whatever happened to the reds0x community? No one posts in there anymore.

    FenSheaParkway October 12, 2007, 4:58 pm
  • >as a newly married man, you will soon come to understand this. Maybe not now, maybe not next week, but soon.
    As a newly divorced man I may watch the game in my underwear.

    Anonymous October 12, 2007, 4:59 pm
  • Put it this way… if the Series comes back to Boston with the Sox down only one game (or better), I like our chances.
    Well, it can’t come back if the Sox are down any more than one game, that’s for sure.

    SF October 12, 2007, 5:02 pm
  • is quite active. Dunno about reds0x, didn’t even know it existed.

    Ron Newman October 12, 2007, 5:03 pm
  • >Well, it can’t come back if the Sox are down any more than one game, that’s for sure.
    That would be a better comeback that ’04! That was me above. I won’t really watch in my underwear. Well I will, but I’ll have pants over the underwear. My teenage daughter wouldn’t be very appreciative.

    Tom sf October 12, 2007, 5:07 pm
  • Well I’m adding a new community then! My application to join reds0x is literally the last thing that appears in that group. Even in the blogosphere, I’m a jinx.

    FenSheaParkway October 12, 2007, 5:08 pm
  • When I started up reds0x, the other sox community (redsox) was really poorly moderated, with lots of trolling/spamming issues… had a lot of good members, but the good posts were diluted by the junk. About two years ago they added more mods and became much more vigilant about deleting the crappy posts, so that community has become a much nicer place to hang out, so reds0x became less and less active (also, I am a terrible mod in terms of encouraging community activity).
    Also doesn’t help that there are so many other great Sox blogs to hang out at… ;)

    Jackie (SF) October 12, 2007, 5:27 pm
  • I’m sure the rise of the blogosphere has definitely cut into LJ’s market in that respect. LJ has a different feel to it though. I’ve thought once or twice about transferring FenSheaParkway over to another domain, but insofar as it’s just something for me and my friends to have fun with, I don’t feel the need to. LJ just has a homier atmosphere.

    FenSheaParkway October 12, 2007, 5:37 pm
  • Paul: Yes, as I said: “with the Sox down only one game (or better).” So it could be 3-2 Indians or 3-2 Sox if the series returns to Boston.
    What I’m saying is: home field advantage matters here. I like Boston’s chances to win 1 of 1 or 1 of 2 at home.
    If we get 1 of the 1st two and 1 of the 3 in Cleveland, things should be okay.
    I’m predicting the Sox in 6.

    Hudson October 12, 2007, 5:49 pm
  • Yeah, LJ to me is more an open diary/community of friends than a real “blog” on a specific topic.
    My husband just called me to inform me that we were going to someone else’s place to watch the game tonight. They have HD so I’m not complaining, but I am a little unnerved. I only watched one of the ALDS games from the comfort of my couch, but changing the gameplan so close to game time is freaking me out.

    Jackie (SF) October 12, 2007, 5:51 pm

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