|10.23.13 at 3:50 pm ET|
As the Red Sox open the World Series against Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals, the team will feature a slightly different look to its lineup. Xander Bogaerts, the 21-year-old who is off to a historic start to his postseason career, has moved up from ninth to seventh in the lineup, with Stephen Drew getting nudged down to the No. 8 spot and catcher David Ross — continuing his personal association with starter Jon Lester, the third straight start in which the two of them are paired together — batting ninth. As expected, Jonny Gomes remains in the lineup in left field, with Daniel Nava available off the bench.
There is scant familiarity on the two teams with the opposing starting pitchers. Here is the complete batter vs. starting pitcher matchup history. For comprehensive Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
RED SOX LINEUP
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C
Jon Lester, SP
|10.23.13 at 3:09 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell shot down reports that Clay Buchholz may not be healthy enough to pitch in the World Series, telling WEEI’s Salk & Holley on Wednesday afternoon that Buchholz is “ready to go” and will start either Game 3 or 4 in St. Louis, with Jake Peavy starting the other.
“I know there’s been a lot of buzz about Clay’s physical condition,” Farrell said. “Where is he at? What’s taken place the last couple starts? He’s ready to go, and he will start.”
Questions over Buchholz’ health began to pop up during Tuesday’s workout at Fenway Park when Felix Doubront threw a simulated game with Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington looking on. Doubront then threw a side session with pitching coach Juan Nieves.
Even after Farrell said during his Tuesday press conference that “everything is OK” with Buchholz and that he planned to start the right-hander in Game 3 or 4, reports surfaced saying Buchholz’ status was in doubt.
Farrell told Salk & Holley that Buchholz is healthy, and that if there were any issues that could potentially be made worse by pitching, he wouldn’t hesitate to shut Buchholz down.
“Is he healthy? Yeah,” Farrell said. “If he wasn’t healthy, and it was to the point of a detriment, either current or long-term, we wouldn’t even hesitate. We’d pull the plug on it and go in another direction. But he’s ready to start.”
Buchholz didn’t make it out of the sixth inning in either of his two ALCS starts. He allowed just one run in innings one through five of those starts, but surrendered six in the two sixth innings he pitched. Farrell said there won’t be any set pitch count or innings limit in the World Series, though.
“The game will dictate the restrictions,” Farrell said. “We don’t go in with a hard, fast number that he’s capable of. The one thing we have seen is that when he started to tire, it has happened relatively quickly. That’s what we have to remain aware of.”
|10.23.13 at 2:46 pm ET|
Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to discuss the opposition in the Red Sox’ World Series matchup with the Cardinals.
Game 1 is on Wednesday night, when Adam Wainwright and Jon Lester take the mound at Fenway Park.
“I love going inside on the matchups on this series, because there are so many fascinating elements,” said Olney. “Clearly the Cardinals don’t have the starting pitching the Tigers do, but they do have that unbelievable stable of guys throwing 95-97 miles per hour.”
Wainwright and rookie Michael Wacha anchor St. Louis’ rotation, with Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn in the final two spots. However, Kelly and Lynn have not matched the heroics displayed by Wainwright and Wacha in the NLDS vs. the Pirates and the NLCS against the Dodgers.
“When you look at what Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn have done, they’re basically 80-pitch pitchers, and that’s like 3 2/3 innings for the Red Sox, which means the St. Louis bullpen is going to be responsible for anywhere from 9-15 outs in each game, and you know what, they can do that,” Olney said.
Boston had Detroit’s bullpen to thank for its ALCS win. The Tigers ‘pen twice allowed grand slams in the seventh inning or later, with Detroit leading the game, both times culminating in a Red Sox win.
But the Cardinals have a far superior bullpen. They have young, hard-throwing righties in Trevor Rosenthal and Carlos Martinez, experienced arms in Edward Mujica and John Axford, and lefty specialists Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist.
“They have everything. They have guys that can get ground balls, they have guys that can get strikeouts, they have two left-handers, unlike Detroit, that they can throw at David Ortiz,” Olney said.
|10.23.13 at 1:56 pm ET|
A 23-year-old man from Concord was arrested at Fenway Park early Sunday morning after allegedly trying to steal Mike Napoli‘s glove.
Thomas Robbins was charged with attempting to commit a crime, larceny of more than $250 and trespassing. After appearing in Roxbury District Court on Monday and denying the charges, Robbins is due back in court on Dec. 11.
According to the Suffolk Count District Attorney’s office, a member of the Red Sox staff saw Robbins inside the clubhouse a few hours after the Red Sox clinched the American League pennant with a win over the Tigers. When asked why he was there, Robbins dropped a glove and attempted to run. Police were called and detained Robbins in the players’ parking lot. He had two press box place markers in his possession, leading police to believe that he had been in the press box earlier.
Robbins has been banned from the park until the conclusion of his case. The glove, meanwhile, was returned to Napoli.
“It was valued at $450 for purposes of the case, but a perfectly worn mitt is priceless,” Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said. “We’re glad Mike got it back and won’t have to worry about it [Wednesday] night.”
|10.23.13 at 1:40 pm ET|
A sampling of predictions around the web indicate that pundits, scribes and analysts prefer the Red Sox in the World Series vs. the Cardinals, but it’s close.
At ESPN.com, 15 analysts, including Jim Bowden, Tim Kurkjian and Buster Olney, favored the Red Sox, compared to 12, including Jerry Crasnick and Jayson Stark, who favored the Cardinals.
At CBS Sports, four analysts, including Jon Heyman, went with Boston while two took St. Louis.
The crew at Sports Illustrated leaned heavily toward the Cardinals, with six of seven analysts predicting a Red Sox loss. All predictions have the Series going at least six games.
Who will win the World Series?
- Red Sox in 6 (49%)
- Red Sox in 7 (16%)
- Red Sox in 5 (14%)
- Cardinals in 6 (8%)
- Red Sox in 4 (5%)
- Cardinals in 5 (3%)
- Cardinas in 7 (3%)
- Cardinals in 4 (2%)
Here’s what some other national media personalities had to say about the Fall Classic.
Richard Justice, MLB.com: Red Sox – “They’re a team without a weakness, a team good enough to win an ALCS even when it doesn’t play well across the board. The Red Sox win because they hang in there, never back down and always think they’ll write the ending they choose to write. That’s what championship teams have done throughout the years, and this Red Sox team has that kind of vibe around it.”
Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated: Red Sox – “Fenway is the game’s oldest ballpark, having seen 102 seasons of baseball. The best possible matchup deserves the most drama: Red Sox in seven.”
|10.23.13 at 11:22 am ET|
In early 2009, the Red Sox believed they had uncovered the proverbial diamond in the rough, the type of talent who represented the payoff for the hard, sometimes exhausting work of scouting the sometimes murky international landscape. At the time, the team had found a slight 6-footer with the sort of athleticism and quick, loose arm that permits room to project, and to dream. He was already throwing 89-91 mph, perhaps topping out at 92 mph, with the ability to spin a breaking ball and a solid feel for a changeup.
This was a 17-year-old pitcher who already had an impressive three-pitch mix but also possessed considerable upside given that his yet-to-fill-out frame and arm action suggested that there was a velocity bump coming, with the idea of 95 mph comets seeming like a fairly easy projection. And best of all: He remained relatively undiscovered. This was a coup for Craig Shipley, then the Red Sox vice-president of international scouting, and his department’s staff.
The Red Sox signed Carlos Matias for a modest bonus, with multiple industry sources suggesting that the team was able to bring the right-hander into the fold for just $140,000. He reported to their Dominican Academy to start his professional career. But four weeks later, what seemed like a very promising start to a Red Sox career was derailed in dramatic fashion.
While Matias’ background appeared to check out in the Red Sox’ internal investigations pre-signing, a red flag emerged as Major League Baseball conducted its standard background investigation prior to the finalization of a contract for an international amateur. Matias’ name at birth, it was discovered, was Carlos Martinez, thus raising broader identity concerns — including over his date of birth — on the part of MLB. His deal with the Sox was voided on the basis of the identity fraud. Matias — or Martinez — was suspended for a year, unable to sign with any teams. Read the rest of this entry »
|10.23.13 at 10:35 am ET|
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to preview the Red Sox-Cardinals World Series.
The team’s face off on Wednesday night at Fenway Park in Game 1, with Jon Lester taking the hill for Boston and Adam Wainwright for St. Louis.
“What I love about this series is simply that these are the two ‘it’ organizations right now,” Rosenthal said. “These two teams are who everybody else wants to be. And the fact that for the first time since 1999 the two teams with the best records in each league have made it to the World Series to me is very special.”
Boston comes off a six-game ALCS triumph over the Tigers. The dagger came in Game 6 when Shane Victorino launched a grand slam with the Red Sox trailing 2-1, to put Boston up for good. It was the second bullpen implosion for Detroit of the series.
“The bullpen, it’s a whole different animal for the Cardinals, because the Tigers bullpen — the whole thought process of the Red Sox that entire series, it didn’t work early, at least the first game, was, ‘Let’s get to their bullpen, and good things might happen,’ ” Rosenthal said. “Eventually that is exactly what happened in that series. It’s not going to happen in the same way this series.”
The Detroit bullpen allowed a pair of devastating, late-inning grand slams, the team’s best two hitters did not show up, but the Tigers lasted six games on the strength of their starting pitching. St Louis cannot match Detroit’s top line of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez, but the Cardinals have put together a very solid rotation.
“The Cardinals starters, while not Sanchez, Scherzer and Verlander, are certainly very good,” Rosenthal said. “Wainwright is outstanding, [Michael] Wacha is really good, and whoever else they throw will be someone who has a high-octane arm.”
St Louis features an offense that’s capable of producing from top to bottom. Outfielders Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday provide the pop, while second baseman Matt Carpenter, and catcher Yadier Molina were arguably the best players at their positions in MLB this season.
“I also believe that the Cardinals have, right now, a better offense than the Tigers did, given [Miguel] Cabrera’s injury and [Prince] Fielder’s struggles,” Rosenthal said. “The Cardinals are a much more balanced type of offense, I don’t expect them to go into these kind of funks and slumps we saw.”
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