Saturday, October 11, 2008

Red Sox 2008 ALCS Game 2 Preview

Well that game last night was satisfying. Yeah boy! Daisuke goes seven plus innings (he faced two batters in the eighth), in the process only allowing four hits (all singles) and four walks (three in the first inning) to help the Sox take this 2-0 game. Key moments for Daisuke was the first when he loaded the bases with two outs and escaped, the seventh when back to back singles to open the seventh had runners on first and third with no outs and the eighth when he turned the game over to Okajima with men on first and second with no outs. In all instances either he or the bullpen, Okajima got a pop fly and Masterson induced a double play ball, came through. It was beautiful.

Tonight it is Josh Beckett versus Scott Kazmir at 8:07 p.m. From MLB.Com probable pitchers:

Scouting Report:

Red Sox: Coming off a right oblique injury that pushed him back a few days against the Angels, Beckett wasn't particularly sharp in his Game 3 start in the ALDS, throwing 106 pitches over five innings and giving up nine hits and four runs. He'll have five days of rest for this start. Despite the struggles of his last start, Beckett's postseason track record (6-2, 2.09 ERA in 11 outings) speaks for itself. Beckett has made four career starts at Tropicana Field, going 1-2 with a 1.93 ERA. Beckett is no stranger to the Rays, having faced them five times in 2008. He was 2-1 with a 2.06 ERA in those outings.

Rays: Kazmir recorded the win that gave the Rays a 2-0 series lead over Chicago in the ALDS. The youngest member of the Rays rotation, Kazmir gave a gutsy performance, wriggling out of a 37-pitch first inning with two runs allowed. Two pitches into the game, Kazmir hit White Sox leadoff man Orlando Cabrera with a pitch and the southpaw followed with a walk to Nick Swisher. Chicago's Jermaine Dye added a single to load the bases, creating a daunting situation early. Kazmir said he was simply struggling with his location, and was economical enough in the following frames to exit with the lead after 5 1/3 innings. When he has command of his slider, Kazmir can be devastating. He is a career 6-7 against the Red Sox, with 3.62 ERA.

When Kazmir is on, he is good versus the Sox, when he is off he gets hammered. Looking at this year we have the following stats for Beckett at the Trop and Kazmir versus the Sox at the Trop:

Pitching Comparisions

PitcherGSWLShoIPHERHRBBKERAWHIPIP/GS
Beckett2010157222201.20.67.5
Kazmir20108131358514.632.634

As you can tell Kazmir was the only Rays pitcher to lose to the Sox at home until last nights game. In fact he was unable to get past the fifth inning in either start this year. Make no mistake, while the Sox will be worried about his stuff, they do not fear this pitcher.

I think the Rays have two things going against them in this game:
  1. Beckett is coming off of a horrible start in the ALDS, do we really think he will have two bad games in a row?
  2. Kazmir does not strike fear in the Sox hearts.

♊ - Well, let's hope we get some funny hats too.

2 comments:

Theo said...

Couldn't agree more. Beckett will be on tonight. He's had additional time to recover and he'll want to prove he's still on his game. Theo of www.redsoxup.com/blog

s1c said...

Well it was a good thought, but it did not work out.