Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Red Sox 2008 ALCS Game 4 Preview

What a revolting game last night turned out to be. As we used to say in the navy, "that was just plain fugly". However, all is not lost yet. This team has shown that it can come back from 0-3 and 1-3 deficits so until the Sox actually get eliminated, I will still be full of hope and optimism.

Well, lets look at what MLB.com has to say about tonights starters:

Scouting Report:

Rays: Rays manager Joe Maddon consistently refers to Sonnanstine as a winner, and on Oct. 6, winning was exactly what Sonnanstine did. In Game 4's series-clinching win over the White Sox, Sonnanstine held Chicago to two runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings. The fourth member of the rotation, Sonnanstine doesn't light up the radar guns but is a consistent strike-thrower who plays to his strengths. A crafty pitcher, Sonnanstine is at his best when he pitches off his fastball and uses his command to his advantage. Although he received a pair of no-decisions earlier this year, Sonnanstine has pitched particularly well at Fenway, and is a career 1-1 against Boston with a 5.40 ERA.

Red Sox: The veteran knuckleballer didn't pitch in the Division Series, as the Red Sox went with a three-man rotation. Now he enters the mix against a team he has dominated throughout his career, going 19-5 with a 3.32 ERA in 41 appearances. However, Wakefield wasn't as strong against Tampa Bay this season, going 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in three starts. Wakefield pitched well at Fenway in 2008, going 7-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 14 starts. In League Championship Series play, Wakefield is 5-2 with a 4.50 ERA in nine appearances, five of them starts.

Once again the Sox seem to have the advantage from the pitching side of things but that hasn’t produced on the field these last two games. The last two games the starting pitchers have been suspect and with Wakefield taking the mound tonight who knows how that knuckleball will be dancing. Personally I say the good knuckleball shows up tonight.

The pitching isn’t the only thing that is hurting this team though. In three games the Sox have only scored eleven runs and that includes an eight run game. That is some suspect offense. It especially hurts when 1/3 of your line up is 0 for the series. Papi and Ellsbury have to break out of their slumps. They are needed for their offense; otherwise this will be a short series. Tonight would be a good time for them to start hitting.

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

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