Saturday, October 13, 2007
Game 2 - Carmona versus Schilling at Fenway
1) Even though Carmona pitched well in his last outing against the Sox, I like this match up for two reasons. First, he throws the sinking fastall 75% of the time. It is a tough pitch but Carmona is not going to fool anyone. He basically says here it comes try to hit her in the air; I bet you can't. Second, Carmona does not have great command. He walked 61 in 215 innings. Plus, Carmona gets a lot of swings and misses on sinkers that fall down out of the strike zone. His sinker does not naturally stay in the strike zone. The Sox need to be patient at the plate and read the sinker well (aka -swing when it is up).
2) Cleveland's infield defense is only good at second. Garko and Peralta are below average and Blake is servicable, based on the scouting reports I have read. As we know after years with DLowe, good gloves can make all the difference with a ground ball pitcher. The Sox may be able to get some cheap hits - swinging bunts, choppers up the middle, etc. They all count.
3) The Sox made the right decision scheduling Schilling to pitch both starts at Fenway. Fenway is the bigger Park for the Cleveland southpaw power hitters. The new Schilling needs every advantage. He doesn’t have the same margin of error as when the fastball was in the mid-90’s. If Schilling can continue to pound the strike zone and keep balls in the Park, he'll keep the Sox in the game.
I am more confident in this game than last nights (knock on wood). Carmona can be beat by this lineup even if he has good, but not great, stuff. The Sox hit power sinker pitchers with average control like Carmona. Wang and Garland are similar pitcher albeit with less pure stuff and many Sox hit those two well.
Starters >20 at-bats versus Wang:
Ortiz - 500/583/833 with two homers in 31 at-bats
Lugo - 194/306/226 in 31 at-bats
Lowell - 208/345/250 in 24 at-bats
Manny - 591/654/864 with two homers in 22 at-bats
Youk - 333/533/476 in 21 at-bats
Starters >20 at-bats versus Garland:
Coco - 240/240/240 in 25 at-bats
Manny - 524/643/1095 with three homers in 21 at-bats
Ortiz - 300/440/600 with two homers in 20 at-bats
Given the way Manny and Ortiz are hitting right now, it looks like the dynamic duo could have another big night (knock on wood again).