ALCS Game 2 pregame

SutcliffeBOSTON — I was heading out of the Fenway Park pressbox last night and walking in was broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe. Naturally, I held the door for the man and he responded with a simple, "Thanks." No, Sut. Thank, you. Thank you for helping the Cubs to the 1984 division title. The least I could do was hold the door for the man.

Talk about an offensive explosion in that Game 1, huh? Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz continued to put up their ridiculous postseason numbers. Even if I played as the Red Sox on my gamecube — yeah, I’m the one guy in the world who still is rockin’ the ‘cube — I don’t think I could match the stats their putting up. It’s been flat-out sick. I know C.C. Sabathia struggled somewhat in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yanks, but I didn’t think he’d labor as much as he did last night. Indians need a big game from Fausto tonight. The last thing the Tribe wants to do is head back home down, 2-0.

As things stand right now, we’ll be taking in a Rox-Sox World Series. What a boneheaded play by Stephen Drew last night in the bottom of the ninth. The ump calls him safe at second after Rox SS Troy Tulowitski’s foot came off the bag, and Drew starts jogging back toward the dugout. OK, fine, you didn’t realize you were called safe, but you don’t see the shortstop arguing with the ump? That turned out to be quite costly, considering the D-Backs wound up losing in 11.

Anyway, I just got here to the Fens to prep for Game 2. For all of you dying to know who’s taking the field tonight in Beantown, here are tonight’s lineups:

Ws07_alcs_1Cleveland (0-1) at Boston (1-0)
at 8:21 p.m. ET at Fenway Park

Today’s lineups:

Grady Sizemore, CF
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B
Travis Hafner, DH
Victor Martinez, C
Ryan Garko, 1B
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Kenny Lofton, LF
Franklin Gutierrez, RF
Casey Blake, 3B

PITCHING: RHP Fausto Carmona

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Mike Lowell, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Coco Crisp, CF
Julio Lugo, SS

PITCHING: RHP Curt Schilling



    Man oh man! Talk about a bullpen (re: Gagne) implosion!

    As someone who’s rooting for Cleveland, though, I’m loving it!

    Peralta is awesome. Why oh why can’t the Jays find ****? Lingering memories of Tony Fernandez can only keep me satiated for so long….



    You could have had Troy Tulowitzski with the 6th pick but your incompetent g.m. picked Ricardo Romero. Romero went 3-6 with a 4.89 E.R.A. with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats this year. Thank J.P. when you see him.


    Oh, I know all about the Tulowitzki fiasco. That’s been brought up many-a-time on this board and many other Blue Jay sites. Unfortunately, J.P. thought he was well-stocked at SS with Russ “The Fielding Disaster” Adams and Aaron Hill already in the system. Hill moves to 2B and Adams can’t throw a ball to first, so once again the Jays lack ****.

    Oh well. Thems are the breaks! Maybe Tony Fernandez can come out of retirement?


    I really enjoyed Fernandez except when he went against Boston. He always seemed to hit Boston pitching well.

    Junior Felix, where is he?

    He smoked Boston back in June of 1989. He even had a inside the park grand slam at Fenway that weekend. That kid was unbelievable that weekend, I thought he was going to be around for a long time. Felix was so fast.


    Or maybe Denbo can work his magic on the one of the best FIELDING shortstops in baseball. He is at least going to try. Wouldn’t that be a kick and MacDonald is a great guy too. Too much to ask?


    If my memory serves me right, Junior Felix was a guy who didn’t seem to understand his strengths. He was always swinging for the fences and striking out too much, when he should have been capitalizing on his speed and hitting into gaps. Eventually he just faded out of baseball as his OBP continued to drop….


    Johnny-Mac is an awesome dude and his defense is great, but I still don’t think he’s an everyday SS. He’s a great bench player and late-inning defensive replacement, but I personally think that’s as good as it gets.

    With that said, the Jays don’t have many options this year, so they might as well go with him. I think the best the Jays can hope for is that stellar defense and a (cross your fingers) a .245 average.

    But I’d love for him to prove me wrong….


    Well here’s hoping that the new batting coach can help him like he has others. Any increase is money in the bank.

    That is, after all, supposedly why we got rid of Brantley and hired Denbo. If he can’t fix some of our glaring weaknesses he is no good to us.


    And I only harp on Tony Fernandez because he could hit, field, and do the little things. I’m just wondering why that position’s been such a black hole for the past fifteen years….


    I’m not sure I’m entirely sold on Denbo. I think a new approach was necessary, but Brantley definitely got screwed.

    But I read an interesting article the other day (can’t remember where) that showed the Yankees offensive stats were way down the one year Denbo was their hitting coach. Although they did make it to the World Series that year, their offensive stats were much better the year before and the year following Denbo’s tenure.


    So I looked up the Yankees hitting stats:

    2000: .277AVG, .450SLG, .354OBP

    2001 (Denbo’s year): .267AVG, .435SLG, .334OBP

    2002: .275AVG, .455SLG, .354OBP

    So, as you can see, everything’s down during Denbo’s year. Stats aren’t everything and I have no idea what the Yankees injury situation was that year, but it’s definitely interesting.

    With that said, if Denbo can lead the Jays to the World Series with a .267 team average, I’m all about it!


    I’d like to present a new draft pick which seems to be missing from the ‘missed pick’ banter….
    In 2006, check the 40 pick Kristopher Johnson when the 41 pick was Joba??

    Some kids take longer to come along than others so let’s not speak poorly of these fine men just yet.


    As far as “missed picks” go, it also has to be kept in mind who is representing these players in the draft. Ian Kennedy, for example, was drafted 21st overall by the Yankees not because he was a secret or some diamond in the rough — everyone knew he was talented, but he was being represented by Scott Boras. A lot of teams know they can’t afford to sign a Boras client even in the draft, so they let players like Kennedy slip down the draft until a team comes along that can afford him.


    Chamberlain was picked that late because teams thought he was a medical risk.

    The reason for the Jays missing Tulowitzski had nothing to do with his agent or money. It was a miss by the Jays!!!

    Hansen was selected far down because of Boras was his agent and your right about Kennedy.


    There’s no doubt the Jays dropped the ball on Tulowitzki. But like I said, they thought they were locked in at SS with Hill and Adams. Unfortunately, though, things just didn’t work out the way they planned. No one anticipated that Adams would have such massive defensive problems AND that those problems would also effect his approach at the plate.

    I’m not making excuses for JP, but being a hindsight GM is a much too easy thing to do….


    Well, Chamberlin doesn’t appear to have been a risk afterall….As far as I can tell, this was a MISS by Theo.
    Fair game.


    In general, I think it’s way too early to judge Chamberlain’s draft class. I think the Yankees got lucky that two of those picks rose up so quickly. Time will tell, too, if they can stick around at the Major League level. Even Halladay needed a return to the minors after a quick (but not as quick as Kennedy and Joba) rise through the minor ranks….

    And on another note, is anyone else who’s rooting for Cleveland worried that their 1&2 starters got rocked by the Red Sox? Carmona and Sabathia are their money guys, but they were chewed up and spat out by Boston’s big bats….


    Obviously on Chamberlain everyone missed. The Red Sox were concerned of a medical issue and a few teams were as well.

    I don’t think the Yankees got lucky on Chamberlain, that is what you call good scouting. Getting lucky is when you draft Mike Piazza ( hall of famer ) very late in the draft. He was drafted as a favor. Imagine that.


    Halladay went back to the minors to change his delivery. You don’t do that on the major league level. If you do, you will have a very soar neck.

    A credit to Halladay, some guys would have too big of an ego, not him and that speaks volumes of him.


    My point was..if you ‘fans’can be critical of JP passing on Tulo, why is the Joba ‘miss’ not being screamed from the rooftops?

    Pretty easy to judge from the couch?

    Joba made the move, all the way through the system because he had the talent to do so. Hughes, Joba and Kennedy. Not bad.


    Drafting a s.s. is a good thing. There good enough athletes where you change there position and they can still do well. You draft a first baseman and he doesn’t cut it, your limited at what you can do. You draft athletes like at s.s. or o.f. and you can move them around until you find there right position. Like B.J. Upton with Tampa Bay, he has found a home in c.f. He struggled mightly in the infield but he is too good of an athlete and he adjusted very well.


    Tulowitzski was a much highly touted prospect that is why. Some teams had medical concerns with Chamberlain. Obviously the Yankees made the right move while everyone else didn’t on Chamberlain. Tulowitzski was a can’t miss prospect from everything you read about him.


    Yankees have 3 great arms for the future. I think Hughes is the best of all them. The kid is just out of high school. I don’t think he popped his first zit yet.


    The jobs of J.P. and the front office is to find these prospects. That is why they get the big $$$. Boston and N.Y. have focused alot on there draft and have done a very good job. Boston and N.Y. are winning and developing young talent, not an easy thing to do but they are doing it. Some of these teams aren’t building anything and aren’t winning anything. Pathetic I think!!!



    You’re preaching to the converted here, buddy. I totally agree that it’s much easier to judge after-the-fact. I’ve already stated my case about why JP didn’t pick another SS — he thought he already had some depth there.

    And, yeah, I get Bosox’s argument about picking an athletic SS. At the same time, though, you can never have enough pitching and Romero looked like a strong lefty starter and you can never have enough of those in your system. But, hey, it didn’t work out — Tulowitzki’s looking like a future All-Star and Romero’s struggling with injuries and consistency. I’m not ready to give up on him entirely (stranger things have happened), but his blue-chip prospect days seem to be fading….


    Anyone else watching the D-Back/Rox game? Torrealba’s having an incredible game at the plate!

    And I’m really impressed with the Rockies middle-infield defense. Those guys can play!


    Arizona’s been a team that’s defied statistics all year long. Looks like that’s finally starting to catch up to them — they can’t seem to get anything going in these first three games.


    Rockies remind me of the Marlins of 2003. The team nobody wants to face. A team that has come out of nowhere. There pitching has been out of this world. That will be one tough team to beat in the World Series. They came into Fenway and beat the Red Sox 2 out of 3 back in mid June. They also smoked Beckett at Fenway, nobody did that this year. The Indians and Red Sox have there work cut out for them when they get to the fall classic. We could have some snow out there when the World Series hits Denver.


    The Rockies defense has been solid in the playoffs. Nobody talks about it but they are doing it with the gloves.


    I’d say their defense has been more than solid — it’s been spectacular! I start sweating in anticipation every time there’s a ground ball to short or second….


    Not to mention Taveras’ diving catch in center the other day….I almost choked on my excitement!



    Do you get a chance to watch much defense up there with the Jays?

    Choking on excitement, now that is just great!!!


    The Jays actually have pretty good defense. Johnny Mac’s spectacular, Hill’s solid like a granite wall, and Wells makes everything look routine in CF.

    But this is the playoffs! And I’m jazzed/revved/jacked up!

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