Found October 02, 2013 on Boston Sports Then & Now:
Red Sox manager John Farrell seems ready to manage his first postseason game Friday. When Danny Salazar toes the rubber for the first pitch of the Wild Card game Red Sox fans will be watching eagerly to find out the opponent their team will face this Friday in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.  Alex Cobb will be pitching for the Rays as they look to advance to the ALDS.  Cobb and Salazar are relatively new to the big game seen and some have to wonder what will come from these inexperienced pitchers. The Red Sox had a inter squad workout today with Jake Peavy and Clay Buchholz on the mound.  Buchholz most likely will go in Game 3 of the ALDS in either Tampa or Cleveland while Peavy will go in Game 4.  Jon Lester is all but certain to start Game 1 on Friday with John Lackey on the mound for Game 2 Saturday.  Lackey is a much better pitcher at home and if the Fenway crowd is anything like Pittsburgh last night the advantage could go to the Sox. Which team seems to be a better match-up for the Sox? Well it is known that David Price is a beast on the mound as he showed Monday against the Rangers pitching a complete game.  The Rays also have Matt Moore, another lefty.  The Sox offense seems to have trouble with left handed pitching at times and if Moore and Price go games 1 and 2 the Sox could be down 0-2 in a snap.  The Rays offense is not all that impressive as it seems to be the Evan Longoria and Wil Myers show with former Sox player James Loney providing some pop. The Indians winners of ten in a row to finish the season don’t really have any superstars but a collection of good players.  Nick Swisher a Red Sox killer for years with the Yankees, is in the middle of the lineup with nice offensive players like Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana around him.  Ubaldo Jimenez has been lights out in the second half and could pitch Game 1 on Friday if the Indians advance.  Jimenez I recall had a horrible outing against the Red Sox in April where he walked five batters while giving up seven runs and failing to get out of the second inning.  Obviously Jimenez is on a roll now but maybe running into the Sox offense could slow him down.  Justin Masterson is in the bullpen for the Indians with Chris Perez losing the closers role.  Masterson a favorite of Indians manager Terry Francona closed out the Indians win on Sunday. Young pitchers Cobb and Salazar will be expected to come up big tonight. Everyone is talking about the familiarity that Francona has with the Red Sox as he knows the tendencies that Pedroia,  Lester, Ortiz, and Buchholz have.  Well Joe Maddon and the Rays faces the Red Sox nineteen times each year so I figure the talk about that is thrown at the window.  As we know getting a grip on a certain player is easy now with the use of video and divisional opponents face each other so often. The Indians being in the Central only faced the Sox seven times this year but obviously Francona and Brad Mills have a book on certain guys on the Red Sox.  It has been two years and many players Francona managed are gone so I don’t think it will make much of a difference. This is October baseball and the teams that belong will prove it. The Rays are certainly a scary team when it comes to pitching Price, Moore, Cobb, Hellickson is one helluva rotation.  This is part of the reason the Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy and hes slotted as the fourth guy in the rotation.  The Indians rotation does not scare me as much with Jimenez, McAllister Kazmir, and Salazar.  The Indians seem to have a better offense but we know good pitching beats good hitting. My prediction for tonight is that the Indians win as their offense will muster just enough off Cobb and the bullpen to steal this game.  Terry Francona is a good playoff manager as Red Sox fans know and an unexpected player will come up big tonight.  Sox fans pay attention as you can relax for two more days before the fun begins. The post Red Sox Report: Will It Be the Rays or Indians Invading Fenway This Weekend? appeared first on Boston Sports Then and Now.
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