Game 1: Clement at Contreras, Tuesday 4:00Send your DS predictions (just the Sox or all four series) to me via email@example.com. I'll post totals tomorrow.
Game 2: Wells at Buehrle, Wednesday 7:00
Game 3: ? at Wakefield, Friday 4:00
Game 4: ? at Schilling, Saturday
Game 5: Boston at Chicago, Sunday
Break out the earplugs: ESPN's Chris Berman and Rick Sutcliffe (and Mike Piazza) are calling the first three games of the series.
The Sox will likely carry only 10 pitchers: Clement, Wells, Wakefield, Schilling, Arroyo, Timlin, Papelbon, Bradford, Myers, DiNardo. ... That will give Boston 15 positions players, including a bench of: Mirabelli, Olerud, Cora, Youkilis, Hyzdu, Machado. ... In the best-of-seven ALCS, Boston could add an 11th pitcher.
Bronson Arroyo led the team with 20 quality starts, but he's back in the bullpen. "I don't care where I pitch in the postseason, man. ... We win every game in a blowout, I don't touch the ball in the playoffs, it doesn't matter to me as long as we win. My arm is in shape to take the ball two, three, four days in a row if I have to."
David Ortiz was named the American League Player of the Month for September. He hit .320 with a club-record 11 homers and 29 RBI. ... Ortiz and Manny Ramirez finished with 148 and 144 RBI, respectively. Their combined total of 292 RBI is the second highest in team history (Ted Williams and Vern Stephens, 318 RBI, 1949).
In his last 12 games, Ramirez hit .386 (17-for-44) with nine homers, 13 runs scored and 19 RBI. ... In the last 23 games, Ramirez batted .349-12-27. ... Ramirez went .409-5-8 on Boston's season-ending seven-game homestand. ... Plus, he finished with a MLB-leading 17 outfield assists.
Hitting coach Ron Jackson: "Manny hasn't taken batting practice for maybe three months. We've been working in the cage, doing soft toss. I think that's helped him stay strong down the stretch. He's gotten a little closer to the plate and finally got his hands up a little higher. I think that's helped him. He's locked in."
Trot Nixon ended the season hitting .042 (1-for-24) over his last seven games.
Terry Francona wanted Mike Timlin on the mound for the final out: "My worst nightmare was him having to stay out there for 30 pitches. It didn't happen, which was good. I think he deserved to be out there when we won."
Boston Globe Extra BasesScott's Shots has more on the Fox Fiasco -- and don't miss the Dan Shaughnessy Watch.
Providence Journal Sox Blog
Boston Herald Clubhouse Insider