October 2, 2004

My ALDS Roster. If Boston carries 10 pitchers, there are only two decisions to make: Curtis Leskanic or Ramiro Mendoza in the bullpen and Kevin Youkilis or David McCarty on the bench. Here's my roster:

Starters: Schilling, Pedro, Arroyo, Wakefield

Bullpen: Lowe, Mendoza, Myers, Timlin, Embree, Foulke

Catchers: Varitek, Mirabelli

Infield: Millar, Bellhorn, Cabrera, Mueller, Ortiz, Mientkiewicz, Reese, Youkilis

Outfield: Ramirez, Damon, Nixon, Kapler, Roberts

Lots of Pedro quotes regarding pitching Game 2 of the ALDS, including this about 2005+: "I'm thinking I'm going to sign with Boston again. I just hope they don't disrespect me or anything while we're negotiating. That will be my turning point. ... The fact that I'm going to give them a chance is good enough to tell them we should get something done."

Pedro pitched 217 innings this summer, the most he's thrown since 2000. In his last three starts, he's has allowed 27 hits, 6 walks, and 18 earned runs in 17.1 innings. That's a 9.35 ERA. And dating to September 14, he has retired the side in order only four times in 25 innings. Is Martinez healthy, simply hitting a rough patch or seriously fatigued? Good sign: his radar readings in Tampa were still in the mid-90s.

Schilling will be pitching in California (probably) on Tuesday. Bronson Arroyo and Tim Wakefield are the other two starters, but there is still no official word on which one of them will pitch Game 3. ... Derek Lowe is in the bullpen and a teammate said he was "livid" after being told.

I was intrigued by the idea of starting Arroyo in Game 2 because of his huge road/home splits this season. Or even Game 1, so that if Boston lost to Santana, they would still have Schilling and Pedro coming up.
      GM   ERA    IP     H  BB   K   AVG

Road 15 5.35 75.2 90 24 58 .291
Home 16 3.15 100.0 80 23 83 .217
Arroyo has one of the best road ERAs in the AL. But ... having Arroyo start the ALDS is too simply radical. If Boston lost the series, that move would be blamed, rightly or wrongly. I'll bet the Red Sox considered having Arroyo go in Game 2, but they opted not to do it because any negative signals to Pedro would outweigh any possible statistical benefit. ... How the Red Sox have fared against their three potential first-round opponents?
              W  L  RS  RA   BA   ERA

vs. Angels 5 4 53 54 .305 6.08
vs. Athletics 8 1 76 40 .331 3.62
vs. Twins 2 4 29 21 .280 3.06
If I can't have Oakland, I think I'm leaning towards Minnesota at this point. Their hitters do not scare me as much as the hot-at-the-moment Angels.

Today: Boston beat Baltimore 7-5 in Game 1. The first seven Red Sox batters reached base in the 2nd inning; six of them scored. Things got a little sweaty after Mendoza and Timlin allowed 2-run home runs in the 7th and 8th innings. Foulke started the 9th by putting the tying runs on 1st and 3rd. But he came back and struck out Gibbons, Bigbie and Roberts to nail it down. ... Arroyo pitched 3 innings, allowing 1 hit and throwing 45 pitches.

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