10/17/2004 4:07 AM ET
Red Sox short hops
Pitching predicament for Boston heading to Game 4
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
BOSTON -- It's going to take a comeback of historic proportions to rally from a 3-0 deficit in the American League Championship Series, but the Red Sox are not giving up.
"We show up tomorrow and our only objective, our only goal is to win tomorrow," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "It starts looking a little daunting if you start looking at too big of a picture, you show up tomorrow and do everything in
your power to win tomorrow and keep it simple and then we'll go from there."
The Red Sox could start with scoring first. The Yankees have scored first in all three games and have outscored the Red Sox, 32-16.
A look at key statistics through Game 3 of the ALCS.
||one word, five syllables -- unacceptable
||not good enough when Yanks hit .377
||the scoring is there, the timing is not
||the best defense can't stop base hits
||.500, 2 R, 8 TB
||Ortiz a force but can't do it alone
||.500, 2 HR,
4 RBI, 4 R
||losses overshadowing a fine series
Behind the numbers
||.077, 0 HR, 1 RBI
||1-for-13 not going to cut it against NY
||.083, 0 HR, 0 RBI
||He has six strikeouts in 12 AB
Two -- the number of innings thrown by Red Sox starter Bronson Arroyo and
Yankees starter Kevin Brown in a highly anticipated showdown. Arroyo was charged
with six runs on six hits during his 60 pitches. Brown gave up five hits and
four runs during his 57-pitch effort.
Red Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera and Yankees pitcher Javier Vazquez, former
teammates in Montreal, squared off with the bases loaded in the third inning and
the result was one of the most exciting plays of the ALCS. Cabrera connected on
a 3-2 delivery, the eighth pitch in the at-bat, for a double that scored Varitek
and Kevin Millar to tie the game at 6. Bill Mueller, who was at first base, was
tagged out at home only moments after Millar scored in a play reminiscent of one by Boston great Carlton Fisk when he tagged two runners out at home plate
in 1985 while with the White Sox.
Sunday morning QB
Using Tim Wakefield, the scheduled starter for Game 4 of the ALCS, could be a
questionable move because it pushes up Derek Lowe in to the No. 4 spot. Lowe has
thrown only 12 pitches during the last two weeks and his inconsistent outings
are the reason he was removed from the rotation in the first place. Francona did
not show enough confidence in Lowe's ability to stop the Yankees in long relief
Friday but now expects the right-hander to shut them down in the most important
game of the season on Sunday. Ramiro Mendoza's ineffectiveness in long relief
put the Red Sox in a lose-lose predicament.
Sunday morning QB II
When Wakefield walked the struggling Jorge Posada in the fourth inning, it came
back to haunt the Red Sox when the next hitter, Ruben Sierra, followed with a
two-run triple to put the Yankees up 11-6. Sierra, who has quickly gained a
reputation for coming up with a big hit, did it again Saturday.
Varitek extends records
Varitek's effort has never faltered in the ALCS. He hit a home run Saturday, the
ninth of his career in postseason play and his fifth in League Championship
Series games. Both marks are Boston records.
"We had the belief this team could do it, but we have not done it." -- Damon
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.