Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Boston Red Sox VI: It's All Over But The Shouting Edition
2008-09-26 13:52
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Yankees can hand the AL East to the Rays by beating the Red Sox at Fenway tonight, and Joe Girardi has all of his starters in the lineup behind Alfredo Aceves to get the job done. As the Wild Card, the Red Sox would draw the Angels in the ALDS. Boston went 1-8 against the Halos this season.

Aceves has posted a 1.42 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in his three previous major league starts, all Yankee wins, and pitched at least six full innings in each without once reaching 90 pitches. Given that, he could get away with a stinker tonight and still enter spring training in the mix for the 2009 rotation. After facing Boston tonight, he'll have faced three contenders in his four starts (also the Angels and White Sox). If he has another good outing, he might just go from being "in the mix" to being penciled in.

The Sox are slowly getting back up to health for the postseason. Mike Lowell, J.D. Drew, Sean Casey, Josh Beckett, and David Aardsma have all come off the DL in recent weeks, though Lowell and Drew are both still nursing their injuries (a torn hip labrum that will require offseason surgery and a stiff lower back, respectively). They'll continue to be careful with their players, particularly given the rain that's expected on the east coast this weekend, but will likely also want to get Lowell and Drew enough swings to feel comfortable heading in to the ALDS. Indeed, Lowell will DH tonight (with David Ortiz playing first base in presumptuous preparation for the World Series), while Drew continues to rest.

Speaking of that rain, there's a chance it could wash out Mike Mussina's opportunity to try for his 20th win of the season on Sunday, as there would be no need to play that game if the Rays clinch the division tonight or tomorrow. That said, the rain is expected to taper off come Sunday, and the Red Sox have rescheduled the retiring of Johnny Pesky's number (6) until Sunday based on that forecast. Even if tonight or tomorrow's game gets rained out and thus outright canceled, Moose will still go on Sunday, though given his history of near misses (including a memorable one in Fenway in 2001), one could imagine any number of Sunday scenarios that would bring Mussina thisclose to number 20 but leave him stuck at 19 for the third time in his career.

Oh, and if this series feels weird, it's because the last time the Yankees faced a playoff-bound Red Sox team after being eliminated from the postseason themselves was September 21 to 23, 1990. The last time the Yankees faced a playoff-bound Red Sox team at Fenway Park after being eliminated from the postseason themselves was October 2 to 5, 1986.

Boston Red Sox

2008 Record: 94-65 (.591)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 97-62 (.609)

Manager: Terry Francona
General Manager: Theo Epstein

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Fenway Park (106/105)

Who's Replaced Whom:

Everyone's still here from last time.

25-man Roster:

1B - Kevin Youkilis (R)
2B - Dustin Pedroia (R)
SS - Jed Lowrie (S)
3B - Mike Lowell (R)
C - Jason Varitek (S)
RF - Jacoby Ellsbury (L)
CF - Coco Crisp (S)
LF - Jason Bay (R)
DH - David Ortiz (L)


L - Mark Kotsay (OF)
L - Sean Casey (1B)
L - Alex Cora (IF)
R - Jeff Bailey (1B/OF)
R - Kevin Cash (C)
R - David Ross (C)
L - Chris Carter (1B)*
L - Jonathan Van Every (OF)*
R - Gil Valezquez (IF)*
L - George Kottaras (C)*
L - J.D. Drew (RF)**


R - Josh Beckett
R - Tim Wakefield
R - Paul Byrd
L - Jon Lester
R - Daisuke Matsuzaka


R - Jon Papelbon
L - Hideki Okajima
R - Manny Delcarmen
L - Javier Lopez
R - Mike Timlin
R - Justin Masterson
R - David Pauley
R - David Aardsma**
R - Chris Smith*
*September call-up **Activated from DL

60-day DL: R - Julio Lugo (SS), R - Curt Schilling
Restricted List: R - Bartolo Colon

Typical Lineup:

L - Jacoby Ellsbury (RF)
R - Dustin Pedroia (2B)
L - David Ortiz (DH)
R - Kevin Youkilis (3B)
R - Jason Bay (LF)
R - Mike Lowell (3B)
S - Jed Lowrie (SS)
S - Jason Varitek (C)
S - Coco Crisp (CF)

Comments (74)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-09-26 14:53:57
1.   Mattpat11
Nothing against Aceves, but I hope there's no room for him in the rotation next year.


2008-09-26 14:58:29
2.   yankster
1 Recent experience suggests five good starting pitchers isn't going to do it.

I like that starting day lineup, but Aceves would make an excellent sixth man for making sure the whole rotation stays on full rest.

2008-09-26 15:12:28
3.   Mattpat11
2 I have no problem with Aceves being Plan B, or the sixth starter if they chose to go that route.

In other news, apparently Mo has been pitching with pain all year.

Uhm, he's good.

2008-09-26 15:28:37
4.   Cliff Corcoran
I expect Chamberlain and Hughes will both be limited to around 150 innings next year, so you'll need a sixth guy to pick up the extra from them even before you run into injuries and ineffectiveness anywhere. The rotation I imagine looks like this:

Chamberlain (w/ Aceves)
Hughes (w/ Aceves

If they're fortunate enough to sign Sabathia, the more the merrier, but it would be foolish to plan on doing so.

2008-09-26 15:29:28
5.   Cliff Corcoran
4 I should point out that, in that scenario, I could imagine Aceves being third or fourth on the team in innings pitched next year.
2008-09-26 15:40:14
6.   Shaun P
The nice thing about Aceves is he's old enough (25 now) to be past the "injury nexus". So, switching him back and forth between starting and relieving as need be shouldn't cause him any harm. Maybe Aceves = Ramiro Mendoza?

I just hope the plan to limit Joba's innings next year does NOT include any bullpen time. I would prefer to never hear any of that claptrap (Joba should be a reliever) ever again.

4 Do you think the Yanks should sign one of Moose and Pettitte right away (probably Moose as Pettitte has said its Yanks or retire), and then if they do not get Sabathia, sign the other?

Or would you say sign both right away and then go after CC?

2008-09-26 15:42:55
7.   Shaun P
Its raining pretty good right now in Boston, but local interactive radar suggests there might be an opening on the way:

2008-09-26 15:43:04
8.   Mattpat11
5 Are we sure he's good enough to be counted on as the third most important pitcher on the staff?
2008-09-26 15:50:22
9.   Cliff Corcoran
8 Not at all, but look at how things worked out this year. It's not hard to envision an scenario in which he winds up with that many innings. You can never have too much pitching.

6 Definitely resign Moose swiftly, but most likely they'll have to resign both before CC lands anywhere.

2008-09-26 15:51:46
10.   Josh Wilker
0 : "The last time the Yankees faced a playoff-bound Red Sox team at Fenway Park after being eliminated from the postseason themselves was October 2 to 5, 1986."

I was at the game on October 5, in the bleachers. Mattingly batted leadoff in an attempt to pass Boggs (sitting out with a cowardly "hamstring injury") for the batting title. Mattingly hit some ropes that day but fell short.

2008-09-26 16:27:52
11.   williamnyy23
10 I believe Righetti also set the saves record that weekend with his 46th.
2008-09-26 16:30:10
12.   williamnyy23
11 And, I believe it was done by saving both games of a double header, which is kind of appropriate for this weekend.
2008-09-26 16:34:37
13.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Jpnese announcers just said an 8:05pm EST start was likely...
2008-09-26 16:57:03
14.   Cliff Corcoran
I gotta be honest guys. Alex is covering tonight's game and, though I do enjoy watching Aceves pitch, between the presidential debate, the Brewers being on ESPN and the Mets game, I doubt I'm gonna catch much of this one, even if they do get it in. I figure I've watched about 150 Yankee games this year anyway, so I've put in my time.
2008-09-26 16:59:33
15.   underdog
Y'all could take a flyer on Brad Penny. It looks like the Dodgers are likely not to pick up his option after this season and placed him on the 60 day so he's done for playoffs. He had an injury-prone year and he took way too long to report his arm troubles earlier in the year, then when he came back he had a lot less velocity. So there's lots of red flags but on the other hand he's still pretty young and could be cheaper than he might have been... On the other hand he might be another Jason Schmidt (which is why the Dodgers are likely not to chance it). On the other hand...

Er, that's it.

2008-09-26 17:07:58
16.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
14 rather watch the rain-delay video they have on tv here (random, WWI era planes flying around with an Enigma sound-track) than the "debate"... wish I had the Brewers or Mets though!
2008-09-26 17:09:29
17.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
damn, just read about the Mariners and an un-named player threatening to "knock-out" Ichiro! what a mess that team is...wonder if the story is true though?
2008-09-26 17:10:43
18.   Chyll Will
15 I was wondering whatever happened to Christian Parker, but never mind... >;)
2008-09-26 17:27:27
19.   OldYanksFan
PPA: UPDATE, 7:48 p.m.: OK, tarp coming off again. First pitch at 8:35 p.m. Or so they hope.
2008-09-26 17:30:07
20.   OldYanksFan
Reposted from an earlier thread: To good to miss!
2008-09-26 17:44:09
21.   Raf
4 Don't discount Kennedy; he may have had a lousy season, but I think he'll bounce back next year.

10 Interesting. I would rather have Boggs rest and be ready for the postseason, than do something to injure himself trying to get a batting title.

2008-09-26 17:56:44
22.   3rd gen yankee fan
2008-09-26 18:00:50
23.   3rd gen yankee fan
wow wtf????
2008-09-26 18:04:34
24.   3rd gen yankee fan
Okay, Aceves looks like absolute garbage.
2008-09-26 18:17:44
25.   3rd gen yankee fan
home run by Damon!

guess I'm watching the store tonight.

2008-09-26 18:32:25
26.   moismycopilot
You aren't alone. I'm flipping between the game and the debates. It's looking to be a real pitchers' duel here tonight, huh?
2008-09-26 18:33:41
27.   Bronxer
Sox can't care about this game if they're pitching Pauley instead of Daisuke, and if Papi is on the bench.

Not sure which is less interesting, this meaningless game or the presidential debate ...

2008-09-26 18:37:44
28.   3rd gen yankee fan
I'd like to see the Yanks send the Sux to the Angels, heh.
2008-09-26 18:38:14
29.   3rd gen yankee fan
26 Indeed.
2008-09-26 18:39:33
30.   3rd gen yankee fan
Man I sure thought that hit by Cano was going out.
2008-09-26 18:40:00
31.   Bronxer
28 The Sox will send themselves to the Angels ... by pitching Pauley and resting Ortiz, they're basically telling everyone they don't care about this game (or the AL East).

If they wanted to try for the AL East, Pauley would be in the bullpen, not starting.

2008-09-26 18:41:03
32.   3rd gen yankee fan
Did anyone else just lose MLB TV?
2008-09-26 18:43:12
33.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Chauncey Gardner, tending to the garden!
2008-09-26 18:46:18
34.   Bronxer
"Tough spot for David Pauley finding out he was starting about an hour before game time."

This game has the classic spring training feel to it ...

2008-09-26 18:50:52
35.   3rd gen yankee fan
Well I gots to make dinner guys, see ya.
2008-09-26 18:55:41
36.   Bronxer
Yawn ... see ya on Sunday for Moose ...
2008-09-26 19:04:38
37.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
so who's winning the debate then? Change or Change?
2008-09-26 19:05:43
38.   moismycopilot
On the bright side, Cano looks like he's got his swing back. Granted, it's pretty much against batting practice pitchers, but I'm trying to be glass-half-full here.
2008-09-26 19:14:13
39.   Kered Retej
I know this game is meaningless, and that the Sox (and the Yanks) are playing a bunch of their scrubs, but I am still getting no small amount of joy in seeing the good guys pile up some runs.
2008-09-26 19:46:24
40.   randym77
Kinda weird they're in rain delay now. It wasn't raining that hard.
2008-09-26 20:11:27
41.   RIYank
37 I thought McCain had a slight edge, myself, but apparently this is not the widespread view. I remember four years ago my judgments about the Bush-Kerry debates was also completely uncorrelated with the national reaction to them.

Hm, I just realized that the most recent comment was almost a half hour ago and probably you've all left.

2008-09-26 20:12:33
42.   randym77
I just came across this article by Buster Olney:

Okay, it's not exactly a news bulletin that the Yanks have drafted poorly. But that table of their best 1997-2005 draft picks is eye-opening. Their most successful position player, by a huge margin, was...Andy Phillips.

2008-09-26 20:19:41
43.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
41 42 still here, Blachhhh to both

they just cut off the resumed Yankee game on tv here to show...the debate!! Arrrghh!

2008-09-26 20:23:42
44.   Mattpat11
42 I will GLADLY take Mussina and Giambi over Fontenot and Blanton, by the way.
2008-09-26 20:24:15
45.   RIYank
Well, it's official. (Jason Bay struck out to end the inning, Mr OK JT.) So it looks like the Yankees eliminate the Sox from the division race tonight. Small consolation.
2008-09-26 20:28:19
46.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
45 Thanks!
I wonder if the Sox "really" don't care about the division..short series, opening in LA...then again they have the Angels number so..
2008-09-26 20:28:43
47.   Mattpat11
I love that noise.
2008-09-26 20:35:41
48.   moismycopilot
42 That's pretty sobering. I liked Andy Phillips and all, but wow.

I know this is the definition of a meaningless game, but I hope our guys can hold on to this lead.

2008-09-26 20:38:08
49.   Chyll Will
44 I will GLADLY pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today >;)
2008-09-26 20:42:00
50.   RIYank
49 I love poetry!
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-09-26 20:44:34
51.   Mattpat11
My favorite stat!

[X} has the most [Y] since [completely arbitrary date]

2008-09-26 20:44:47
52.   RIYank
Mr OK JT, Coke gets out of the sixth partly on a hit-by-batted-ball play as Cash tries to advance on a grounder.
Now C. Smith throws two strikes, then 8 out of his next nine pitches miss and the Yankees have two men on.
2008-09-26 20:46:04
53.   RIYank
Whoops, and as I type that Betemit doubles in a run, now 2nd and 3rd still nobody out. Betemit has the most doubles of any Yankee since arbitrary date, by the way.

Yes, I remember quite a few arbitrary dates in college. Those were the days. (Not that I set any records, believe me.)

2008-09-26 20:46:30
54.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
52 Gameday on now, but thanks!

Mets lost again...

2008-09-26 20:49:43
55.   RIYank
54 Cool.
They should Gameday the debates. What was the break and speed on that last pitch from Jim McNeil, I wonder? B. Obama doubles on a fly ball to M. Ahmadinejad.
2008-09-26 20:57:59
56.   pistolpete
This is still lots of fun, regardless of significance.
2008-09-26 20:59:58
57.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
55 who takes the announcers roles? Joe Biden would be Sterling..Palin as Waldmyn? equally grating/annoying voice...
2008-09-26 21:01:38
58.   Mattpat11
57 Has Sterling ever called someone a darky? If not, I'm not sure Biden could play him.
2008-09-26 21:05:34
59.   RIYank
No, I think the announcers have to be the post-mortem pundits. For one thing, they are a lot like announcers in that it is very hard to believe that the networks can't find someone who could do a better job, given that you feel like you could pretty much pull someone off the street and have a 50-50 chance of getting more intelligent comments. (I was watching Fox, and the analogy holds especially well for them.)
2008-09-26 21:20:23
60.   Cliff Corcoran
Holy ghost town, Batman. Is there anyone left in Fenway?

The debate was close enough that whatever you expected to see going in is likely what you took out of it. No one made any mistakes. No one landed any particularly sharp lines. Both came off well. Perhaps most importantly, they really did stick to the issues. It was relatively substantial as presidential politics go. To that end, if you didn't know much about their positions, you might have learned enough to tip one way or another, but otherwise I imagine everyone thought their preferred candidate won.

Meanwhile, the Mets are now two back in the East and one back in the Wild Card with two to play and both the Twins and White Sox lost, keeping the Twins up by 1/2 game with two left (the half is an extra game the White Sox could make up against the Tigers if necessary).

2008-09-26 21:20:31
61.   Mattpat11
Save some of these for Mussina
2008-09-26 21:26:50
62.   Eirias
60 Cliff, I think you lack both the experience and the judgment to make a statement like that. In fact, I believe you display a great deal of naïvité in doing so.
2008-09-26 21:35:52
63.   moismycopilot
55 You've got me trying to imagine what a debate scorecard should look like.

60 To be fair, this is about the time of night when the subways stop running. The entire city becomes a ghost town right about now. Oh the memories I have of rushing to get to the last train of the night...

2008-09-26 21:45:06
64.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
63 trains stop running in Boston?? what a hick-town.. :)

debate: check out the comments from the BBC, interesting to read as they find the US media asks mainly softball Qs...from watching how UK pols get treated by the media I am inclined to agree..

2008-09-26 21:45:26
65.   dianagramr

The Veep debate scorecard is gonna be interesting ...

2008-09-26 21:47:11
66.   dianagramr
Hey .... we have an Everyman!
2008-09-26 21:52:10
67.   Mattpat11
Chris Britton is hours of fun.
2008-09-26 22:15:31
68.   Cliff Corcoran
62 Woah! A statement like what? What do you think you know about me, exactly, that would allow you to dismiss my experience and judgment so casually? If you take issue with something I wrote, provide an alternative viewpoint, don't just lob in some vague personal attack. That sort of substance-free dismissal of another's opinion is the lowest form of discourse.

The only rational explanation I can come up with for your comment is that it was written in jest, an irrationally strong response to a lukewarm comment. I'm hoping that's the case.

2008-09-27 04:28:55
69.   RIYank
Cliff, I'm sure it was a joke -- Eirias was accusing you of exactly the flaws that the candidates were attributing to each other. (McCain in particular accused Obama of naïvité. Also, I'm sure Eirias was practicing his diacritics.)

I'm sure you're right that the debate left Democrats quite strongly believing Obama won, Republicans similarly believing McCain won. But what about the uncommitted and Independent viewers? Those are the ones the candidates were trying to speak to.

2008-09-27 04:29:44
70.   Shaun P
61 That was my first thought when I found out the score this morning. If Moose loses 2-1, I'm going to be majorly pissed.

64 And sometimes the last train (on the Green line at least) is before 1 AM, which is (or at least was) last call for most bars. I haven't been out in Boston in a few years though, so things may have changed.

Unless you are a hot chick, or with a hot chick, it is also impossible to get a cab anywhere on a Friday or Saturday night, especially after the trains shut down.

2008-09-27 04:33:15
71.   Shaun P
69 Morning, RIYank!

Nate Silver has a sort of answer to your question over at fivethirtyeight:

2008-09-27 05:02:03
72.   OldYanksFan
Unfortunately, it appears Moose is responsible for some bad weather.
"Kyle Nearing Hurricane Strength. Kyle passing west of Bermuda today; could threaten northern New England, including Cape Cod and eastern Maine on Sunday."

Today in Boston: 80% chance of rain all day.
Sunday in Boston: 70% chance of rain all day.

2008-09-27 05:15:26
73.   Shaun P
72 for Boston:

Today: Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Patchy dense fog before 2pm. High near 70. East wind between 7 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between one and two inches possible.

(That sounds bad.)

Sunday: Showers, mainly before 10am. High near 70. Northeast wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Sunday Night: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 62. West wind between 10 and 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

(That sounds much better.)

2008-09-27 06:14:07
74.   RIYank
70 I check FiveThirtyEight several times a day, actually. I figure, if anyone has the Secret Sauce for this race, it's gotta be Nate Silver.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.