Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here...
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump.
The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cleveland Indians, 4-0, on Wednesday to
advance to the American League Division Series against the Red Sox.
Game 1 is Friday at 3:07 p.m. at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox were 12-7 against the Rays this season, so it is tempting
to think that the Red Sox have the advantage in the series. Given home
field advantage and the fact that the Rays have been playing for their
lives the last few weeks, that is probably true.
Tampa Bay played Sunday in Toronto, Monday in Texas and Wednesday in
Cleveland. They now play Friday in Boston. They have not played at home
since Sept. 23. All that travel has to start catching up to them at some
Red Sox pitchers dominated against the Rays, posting a 2.93 ERA.
Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uejara combined to allow eight hits and one run
over 20 innings. They walked three and struck out 24. Clay Buchholz had
13 shutout innings against Tampa. Jon Lester pitched very well against
them in three of his four starts.
Globe: Red Sox will face Rays in Division series
The rotation is also set...
Game 1 on Friday: LHP Jon Lester
Game 2 on Saturday: RHP John Lackey
Game 3 on Monday: RHP Clay Buchholz
Game 4 on Tuesday (if necessary): RHP Jake Peavy
“We’re deep. We’re talented,” Farrell said. “Guys have been, I think,
very consistent for the better part of the entire season. Each guy that
takes the mound we’re very confident will put together a solid game.”
Globe: Red Sox set rotation for ALDS
Sure the Sox were 12-7 against the Rays this season, but that doesn't mean a damn thing right now. The Rays closed out the season hot and are set up to have David Price pitch twice in the series.
I am not saying I am worried, but I am not saying I am not. Every Sox fan would be lying if he/she said they were not the least bit concerned.
One of the main concerns with the Sox is rust. They played a 6-inning, intra-squad game yesterday afternoon to keep loose, but they may not be enough. Plus, it was a 1-0 game. There was NO OFFENSE!! On the other hand, the Rays could be burnt out, playing a couple of critical games just to get into the playoffs, plus travel. We can only hope the Rays are more fatigued than the Sox being rusty.
As far as the rotation goes, I guess I like it. You definitely want Lackey to pitch at home, and Clay Buchholz can pitch well anywhere. Jon Lester closed out the season fairly strong, and giving him the opportunity to pitch twice is not a bad idea. Works for me.
The rest of the links:
Globe: Game over: Blue 1, Red 0 | A little clarity on the Red Sox roster | ESPN Boston: Rays blank Indians, advance to face Sox | Schilling expects pitching-dominated series | ALDS rotation set: Lester to start game 1 | Scenes from a Sox scrimmage at Fenway | WEEI: Red Sox scrimmage day notes: Sox to carry 11 pitchers in ALDS | Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey: 'There's no one that says they want the Rays' | It's the Rays: Tampa Bay beats Indians to advance to ALDS against Red Sox | Herald: Rays on way to Boston | Red Sox pay tribute to bombing victims at Fenway | No surprise: It's John Lackey in game 2 | Why not Xander Bogaerts | Buckely: Sox clearly matter again | Notebook: John Farrell chooses to carry 11 arms | It all starts with Jon Lester |