Monday, October 13, 2008

Red Sox 2008 ALCS Game 3 Preview

Lot of people have been beating up Francona for the game two loss. Do not count me as one of those people. Do I agree with his decision to not pitch Papelbon one more inning? No. I also did not agree with the Timlin decision, but a manager who is over .500 in ALCS history gets the benefit of the doubt from me.

So, not a good night Saturday night for the Sox, but that loss is on Beckett. Personally, I think he is hurt, but we will see.

So, lets check out MLB.Com for the probable pitchers:

Scouting Report:

Rays: Garza watched a fine start unravel in Game 3 of the Division Series, as the right-hander ran into trouble in the fourth inning at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field and paid dearly for it. The Rays were unable to back Garza, who allowed seven hits and five earned runs in a loss. Still, the 25-year-old pitched well and will look to pick up his first career postseason win. Garza has arguably the best stuff on the Rays rotation, and if he can keep his emotions in check, he is a force to be reckoned with. He is a career 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA against the Red Sox.

Red Sox: The lefty has been nothing short of magnificent of late. After earning American League Pitcher of the Month honors in September, Lester posted a 0.00 ERA in 14 innings against the Angels in the Division Series. He earned the win in Game 1 and left Game 2 with a 2-0 lead after seven innings. In three career postseason starts, Lester hasn't allowed an earned run. Lester was a Fenway Park force this season, going 11-1 with a 2.49 ERA in 17 starts. Against the Rays this season, Lester was dominant, going 3-0 with an 0.90 ERA in three stats.

So looking at that you have to say Lester has the advantage. Looking at the pitchers against each team at Fenway we see the following:

Pitching Comparisions at Fenway 2008

Garza 10105 1/3652238.441.505 1/3
Lester 3300201821619.901.206 2/3

I give the edge to Lester.

Other keys to the game, Papi and Ellsbury need to start hitting. It is bad enough that the lower part of the order is struggling so those two need to start hitting period. 0-17 just does not cut it with those two batters.

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