10/02/2003 8:59 PM ET
Notes: Martinez, Lowe loom large
Little maintains he still has confidence in Kim
OAKLAND -- With their margin for error officially gone for the rest of this Division Series, the Red Sox are going to need big boosts from Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe to make a comeback.
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
It remains to be seen whether Martinez and Lowe will be affected by a workload that was certainly heftier than what the team hoped in the 12-inning loss in Game 1.
Martinez gutted it out for 130 pitches, making it a question mark how effective he can be if he comes back on three days' rest -- something he's never done in his six years with the Sox -- for Game 4.
Then there is Lowe, who threw 42 pitches out of the bullpen and took the loss, and now must come back and start Game 3 Saturday.
"It's been a week since Derek pitched and I think it was good for him to get on the mound (in Game 1)," Sox manager Grady Little said. "Our intentions throughout the day were to get him out there for an inning or two in that game. He will start Game 3 and he'll be ready for that."
Then there is Martinez, whose grueling and heroic evening was capped off when he popped up Eric Chavez to strand the bases loaded in the seventh.
Little thinks Martinez is the strongest he's been all year, and, as long as the ace feels up to it, he'll come back on short rest.
"I think Derek Lowe will come back Saturday and pitch a heck of a game and I think Pedro will be ready the next time he pitches," Little said. "We're going to go strictly on the way Pedro feels and we'll go from there."
Following the Game 2 loss, Little said the team will monitor Martinez's side session on Friday and make a final determination on his Game 4 availability from there.
Confidence in BK: Despite removing closer Byung-Hyun Kim with two on and two outs in the ninth inning in Game 1, Little says he has not lost confidence in his closer.
Little made the same move on Sept. 19 in Cleveland with two on and two outs, and in that instance, Alan Embree retired left-handed batter Ben Broussard to end the game.
This time, Erubiel Durazo cracked a game-tying double to left-center off Embree.
"He's responded well and has done a good job for us," Little said of Kim. "He understands that when Grady Little makes a move in the game, that's for one reason -- to try and win the game. We've got a lot of confidence in BK. I didn't like the matchup of Durazo coming up against him, so we went with Embree.
Kim didn't pitch in Game 2, as the Sox weren't in the position to need their closer.
What about the offense? The Red Sox have been an offensive wrecking ball all year, but their bats have been pretty well silenced by Oakland co-aces Tim Hudson and Barry Zito, not to mention the bullpen.
In the first two games, the Sox produced five RBIs, three of which came from Todd Walker.
Manny Ramirez is 1-for-8. More troublesome is the fact that seven of his outs have ended innings. That has meant David Ortiz has had to lead off seven times in two games. Ortiz is 0-for-9 in the series.
AL batting champ Bill Mueller is 2-for-9 and Kevin Millar is 2-for-10.
"It's a little uncharacteristic of our club," said Little. "But now we're going to Fenway and we hope we can get it back on track right away, because we have no time to waste."
The Sox hit .228 in the first two games.
Bounce-back effort: When Tim Wakefield got hit for five runs in the second, it looked like he might be on the verge of an outing as bad as the one he had in Game 2 of the 1998 Division Series. In that one, he was pounded for five runs in 1 1/3 innings.
This time, he was able to hang in there, keeping the A's off the board in five of his six innings of work.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.