2nd ChancesThe Indian's Game Two victory has put an entirely new spin on the Red Sox position in the 2007 post-season, and a lot of weight has shifted onto the shoulders of Daisuke Matsuzaka. The fact is, had the Sox won Game Two and put themselves up 2-0 in the series, a lot less would be expected of the rookie pitcher tonight. The Tribe managed to gut out a tremendous win and put the specter of a long series into play. I'm still of the opinion that the Red Sox are going to win the World Series this season (and possibly next season as well). As a Yankee fan, I find that revolting, but this team is built exceptionally well. There are few holes in the roster, and what holes exist have hardly reared their heads this year (J.D. Drew).
A lot now depends on Matsuzaka. If he coughs up the game and puts the Sox in a 2-1 situation, you'd have to worry that Wakefield, Beckett, and Schilling would have to win two out of three against Byrd, Sabathia, and Carmona in order to send it to Game 7. In my opinion, you have a situation there in which the Indians seem to hold the advantage, if only by the slimmest of margins. It's debatable, but I don't think anyone in Red Sox Nation wants to find out about who's right and wrong. In that scenario, unless Francona were to change and pitch someone on short rest (Beckett), he'd be starting Matsuzaka again in a deciding Game 7. Hmmmm.....
All of it is moot if Daisuke wins tonight. How has he fared against Cleveland this year?
@ Fenway on May 30th (5.2 IP, 12 hits, no walks, 6 ER, 4 Ks) Grady Sizemore 2-run HR
@ Cleveland on July 24th (7 IP, 4 hits, 3 walks, 0 ER, 5 Ks)
It's a tale of two starts for Daisuke. One hideous late inning breakdown, punctuated by a Sizemore blast. One lights out, 7 inning, 98 pitch, shutout on the road. It's almost impossible to predict what we'll see from Daisuke tonight, but I'll give it a shot:
Garko or Hafner will play big roles in this game....
Just an off the cuff, gut prediction. Go get 'em Daisuke.