Thursday, October 11, 2007
As was mentioned yesterday, the Sox are going to have a tough series against Cleveland. They are evenly matched teams so the outcome of individual match ups could be the deciding factor in the games and the series. Hence, the introduction of El Guapo’s Ghost Red Sox Keys of the Game.
Game 1 - C.C. Sabathia versus Josh Beckett at Fenway
1) Bobby Kielty has to start in right field. He is batting 310/375/655 with two home runs in 29 at-bats against CCS. This is likely not a fluke either as Kielty just handles southpaws and change ups from them well. CCS’ primary secondary pitch against RHB is the changeup; against LHB he uses a lethal breaking ball almost exclusively.
2) David Ortiz needs to get on base so that CCS can not pitch around Manny. Manny has owned the southpaw going 571/609/1286. He has hit four dingers off CCS in 21 at-bats and hits the change from lefties at a 467 clip. A big day from Manny would be huge for the Sox.
3) Josh Beckett needs to continue to pump in his curveball for strikes. Only Kenny Lofton and Trot Nixon, if he plays, hit the deuce well and neither is a big long ball threat any longer. Throw the hook for strikes and often.
4) After not pitching for around a week, Papelbon can go two innings. Tito should use him at the first sign of trouble with six or even seven outs remaining.
The Sox need to win, at least, one of the Beckett - CCS games. At home, where the Fenway outfield can be an advantage, a red hot Manny and a fully rested Papelbon, this appears to be the Sox best shot. They just need to get the job done now.
GO SOX! and stay strong Cleveland.