Why Not Us? ... Only about three hours to go ... And obviously, I'm not the only one slowly freaking out and whose mind is all disjointed. ... I read through a lot of the Boston papers, but very little is sticking in my head. ... Just PLAY already!
Schilling/Washburn. ... Gabe Kapler will start in right field (he's 3-for-11 against the LHP while Nixon is 0-for-9). ... Tito has not announced the roster yet. ... The Hardball Times has an excellent preview. ... The California papers are recalling 1986. Dave Henderson mojo!
Obvious Insight #1: The Angels have a very scary bullpen, so Boston has to score early and often. That's what they did in their recent series and Boston swept the three games: 10-7, 12-7 and 4-3. ... Obvious Insight #2: I don't care how they do it, but Boston has to stop the Angels running game. Anaheim led the AL in stolen bases and the Sox aren't exactly world-beaters when it comes to throwing guys out (the Globe notes that with Pedro, Wakefield and Lowe on the hill, opponents have swiped 85 of 100 bags).
Fun With Numbers: The Red Sox were the only AL team to not lose a game in which they scored 8+ runs (45-0). ... They were 62-20 when they scored first (33-4 at home, 29-16 on the road). ... They recorded at least 80 runs scored and 80 RBIs from every spot in the batting order. ... Bellhorn hit .399 when he put the ball in play, .467 when he hit the ball in the air. ... Damon batted .433 with two or more runners on base (39-for-90). ... The starters pitched seven or more innings in 74 games (most in MLB, tied with Oakland); in those games, Boston was 56-18.
Damon: "We expect to win the whole thing or this team definitely is not going to be happy. Guys felt a lot of heartache last year, how close we were and how tough it was to get there." ... Ramirez: "We've got some unfinished business." ... Pedro Martinez: "Tell the people not to worry. I'm not worried -- about the Yankees or anyone else. I'm just respecting them. There is a big difference. I want all those [Yankees] to sit back and relax, so I can sneak up on them. How do you know? I might come back in the next outing, and then I'll be their daddy."
They seem to be getting smarter over at ESPN:
Jayson Stark: Red Sox over Astros
Peter Gammons: Red Sox over Astros
Rob Neyer: Red Sox over Cards
Jerry Crasnick: Red Sox over Astros
Tim Kurkjian: Red Sox over Cards
Scott Ridge: Red Sox over Cards
Two other writers are picking the Red Sox to win it all: Mike Berardino of Florida's Sun-Sentinel and John Shea at the San Francisco Chronicle. ... Gordon Edes explains why "the 2004 Red Sox are so much better equipped to silence the '1918' chants than their immediate predecessors."
There was some discussion at Sons of Sam Horn about the protocol of starting the playoff game threads. I said there was only one poster who should start the Game 1 Thread and that was "Gehrig 38" (aka Curt Schilling). Well .....
10/04/04 Game One of the Real Season
gehrig38, 10/4/04 10:04 pm: "Why not us? There is no reason the last team standing can't be us, you know it, we know it. Now is the time to go out and prove to ourselves, the fans, the game, how good of a team we are. If 25 guys believe that what we are after is the most important thing in their lives for 4 weeks, there is nothing that can't be done. Figured I may as well start one game thread this year, considering that coming in here and reading them is sometimes more entertaining than any movie you could see, and often times more entertaining than the game itself."
In keeping with the "11:11" stuff, I like that Schilling's post was on 10/04 at 10:04 pm. ... I also think this means Pedro has to start tomorrow's thread.