Friday, September 30, 2005

The Final Weekend

It was almost another "here we go again" night last night. I walked out when the Junkees were winning and the Sox were losing, and felt like things were over and done. If the Sox lost three of four to the Jays, I thought, they don't deserve to even make the playoffs. But Big Papi showed once again why he, not A-Schmuck, ought to be MVP. A-Rod's been good, but aside from the homer off Schilling in July, has not had too many moments like these. And how many times has Ortiz done this?

So it's a one-game gap between the Sox and the Yankees heading into the weekend. Best-case scenario: obviously, a Red Sox sweep. That would clearly give them the division, and if the Indians win a couple of games (very possible now that the White Sox have clinched), that would mean a Yankee-free October.

And let's say the Red Sox take 2 of 3? So then the season would end with the two teams tied, and lead to a one-game playoff at Yankee Stadium. Aside from home-field, the Yanks would have a big edge in pitching. The Red Sox will have already used Wells, Wakefield, and Schilling, so who's left? Arroyo? Clement? Not good. The Yanks have Chacon (whom the Red Sox have hit hard in the past) and Small (on 3 days rest). And if they're desparate, Jaret Wright. I don't like the Sox' chances in a one-game playoff.

And if the Yanks take two of three, forget it. The Sox might be able to make it if the Indians screw up, which is unlikely.

As for the pitching matchups: Wang vs. Wells: Wang hasn't been great since coming off the DL; he's got a 4.44 ERA with batters hitting .291 off him. Then again, batters are hitting .304 off Wells since the All-Star break. And he's got health issues. But he's had some good starts against the Junkees this year.

Key stat with Wells, though: 7-1, 3.00 at home this year, 7-6, 5.56 away.

Saturday: Wakefield vs. Johnson: Both teams play their hot hand: Wakefield has a 1.99 ERA in September, while Johnson has a 2.17 mark in the month. And in September: .167 BAA. Johnson's got a big home/away differential too, though: 11-2, 3.13 at home, and 5-6, 4.71 away.

Sunday: you really don't know what you'll get out of either pitcher. Mussina had a good first start after coming off the DL, but was bombed by the Orioles. Schilling has been a mixed bag lately, but has done well against the Junkees.

I'd love to see a sweep here, but I think the realistic prediction is Boston taking two of three.


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Red Sox.

Season on the line.

Pepto-Bismol on the coffee table.

Same as it ever was.

Same as it --- ever was.

Easton Ellsworth said...

The Sox are likely to sweep this series, not only because of the terrific momentum from last night's win, but because ... well, I've written the three main reasons on my blog. But suffice it to say that Big Papi is this year's AL MVP, hands down - I don't care if he's "just" a DH.

alex said...

well...the discussion certainly has changed, hasn't it? now we'll see if we can have a red sox free october!

arod for mvp

Michael Leggett said...

In reality, A-Fraud is NOT the MVP. More of the swing of 10 Games, came from the bat(or is that the syringe)of GiamBALCO.

I had a nauseous feeling in July, when I saw that Oversized Geek, SUDDENLY get so powerful.

You don't test HGH, The Clear & Testosterone, by peeing in a cup.

Frankly, my opinion is that MLB, only went with urine tests, KNOWING that a certain #1 Market Team, could be a MAJOR Embarassment, to the sport, if revealed that they're BALCO_East.

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