By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

A nasty, brutish and short postseason? (II)

The Red Sox confirm that Josh Beckett has a strained oblique, and announce that he’s been pushed back to Game 3. That sounds pretty mild for an oblique injury, although the team concedes it could take Beckett longer than that.

On second thought, though, I like Lester and Matsuzaka in the first two games, as long as the bullpen’s ready to take over in the sixth for Daisuke’s start. By all rights, the Angels should win this — which means, as Bob Ryan notes, that there’s not as much pressure on the Sox.

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Kristol mails it in


Alan Lupo, 70


  1. Mike F

    It is a bit strange to start an 18-win, 2.90 ERA pitcher in game 2 and have that be a bad thing.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Mike: I think we can agree that Daisuke had about as strange an 18-3, 2.90 season as it’s possible to have. Although he was damn near unhittable. Just have to have the bullpen ready in case he can only go five or six.

  3. mike_b1

    Ryan’s wrong. The Red Sox are the better team, and by a lot, not a little. The Angels’ W/L record belies a mediocre regular season performance. According to BP, based on the team’s run differential (runs scored vs. runs allowed) overlaid with their W/L record, they are “most overachieving club of all time”; they won 16 more games than would have been the norm for their RS/RA ratio. (The Red Sox finished 7 games below their expected win total, and were actually the best team in the majors in 2008.) As I’ve said, in a short series, the ’76 Blue Jays could beat the ’27 Yankees, so I’m not going to bet money on it, but clearly, the Red Sox are the better team.One more thing: F-Rod has never pitched more than one inning, and never entered a game with a man on base. So what happens when the Angels are up by a run in the 8th and the Sox have two guys on and one out? Does Mike Scoisca put F-Rod in a position he’s never been in? Or does he leave it to his 8th best pitcher to deal with Pedroia, Ortiz and Bay?

  4. Steve

    Yeah, losing Beckett is tough. And if this means Lester starts on the road in stead of at home, maybe it’s even tougher. Byrd in Game 2, anyone?But if Beckett’s healthy by Game 3, we don’t lose all that much. And this way, if it does happen to go to 7, Beckett pitches game 7.

  5. deaconmike

    Steve,It’s best 3 of 5.Mike

  6. Steve

    Ack, really? We made the change from 5-game to 7-game first round playoff series in my simulation league. Why can’t MLB get it together? :-)There I go confusing fantasy and reality again.

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