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ALCS: Now even, Sox will take 3 of 4 next

Posted by athomeatfenway on October 12, 2008

Oct. 12, 2008


Tacky Tampa Fans Will Not Taste The Bubbly

Tacky Tampa Fans Will Get Zero Bubbly (AP photo)



The ALCS is now a best-of-5 Series. 

First team to take three games this week goes to the Series.


Let’s review what we learned from the six head-to-head games played in September by the new-look Mannyless Sox vs. never-say-die Rays



·        There will be low scoring games

·        There may be extra innings

·        Put Timlin in late with risk

·        There will be strong starting and relieving from both teams

·        There may be stretches of no hitting by the Sox with RISP

·        David Ortiz should continue to hit at .250 and he may power up

·        Jason Bay will star

·        The Rays are resilient

·        Every Game is pivotal




Rays take September 4 games to 2

Andy Sonenstine (

Sept. 8 to 10 Boston 




Sept. 8 – For the 13th time in 13 games between Bos & TB, the home team wins..

Lester and Papelbon shine.  Edwin Jackson sparkles, too, only losing as the Sox get a walk and two hits including a Bay HR to score 3 in the first.  After that, Jackson and Howell are lights out.  We win 3 – 0.




Sept. 9 – Dice K labors but again yields little, giving the Sox a chance to rise up.  And it happens !  After Kazmir allows just 2 runs in 6 IP, Wheeler yields a 2 run HR to Bay in the Bottom-8th to take a 4-3 lead.  And Pap, the automatic, needs only to record 3 outs in the 9th.  BUT, he fails.  Pap gives 2 runs and we lose, 4 – 5.





Sept. 10 – The Sox fail to score.  They strand 5  (3 in scoring pos.) in innings 10,11 & 12.  Then, Timlin enters & allows a 3 run HR.  Sox then load the bases in the Bottom-14th, but squander the opportunity.  The bullpen shined and Beckett was very good.  Sonenstine sparkled.  Sox left 16 LOB.  We lose, 2 – 4


 Sept. 15 to 17 Tampa




Sept. 15 – Had Chris Smith not given up two 2-run HR’s to The Rays in one inning, this 13-5 laugher would have been a 13-1 shellacking.  Dice-K and the bullpen (other than Smith) are terrific.  Sox hit 4 HR’s.  We win 13 – 5




Sept. 16– A flat out gem is tossed by both Beckett and Sonenstine.  At the end of 8 Innings, it’s a 1 – 1 tie.  Masterson victimized in ninth by a soft fisted single, a BB after a recalled strike call, and a HBP.  We lose, 1-2.




Sept. 17 – Three HR’s allowed by Wakefield gave TB all they would need since the Sox would muster only 6 hits and 3 runs, all 3 on 2 hr’s by Ortiz.  Sox trot out Hansack, Smith, even Pauley in relief.  That’s the bottom of the barrel.  A default.  We lose, 3 – 10.




These two teams are evenly matched.  For the Sox, it’s the second consecutive series of playing a postseason opponent just as good as they are.


The Rotation


Sure, we don’t know this for sure, but the starters could be as follows:


Fri  Shields v Dice K  (win)

Sat  Kazmir v Beckett  (loss)

Mon Garza v Lester

Tue Sonnenstine v Wake

Thu Shields v Dice K

Sat Kazmir v Lester

Sun Sonnenstine  v Beckett


 It comes down to Lester & Matsuzaka


Speed against speed.  Solid starters & effective relievers on both sides.  Youth is just a tad on the Ray’s side.  There are no dominant power hitters on either team.  Lady luck has been with the Rays in the close games, but luck is a pendulum.  Stealing one in Tampa on Friday the last is a real advantage.



Expect the Sox take it in 6 on Saturday Oct. 18 as Lester wins 5 – 2.  Lester and Dice-K contribute all 4 of the Sox wins in this Series.  No game 7.   Our #1 & #2 starters MUST provide quality starts for the Sox to have a chance.  And both of them are hot right now.


And our hitters have to produce against Sonenstine, Shields and Garza.  I’m confident they will hit Kazmir.


All that said, I wouldn’t preclude Wakefield from disrupting this prediction by shutting the Rays down on Tuesday.


What do you think ?

Lester now at the Height of His Game  (AP)

Lester now at the Height of His Game (AP)

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