Williams' array of off-speed pitches will bug the Red Sox, and his sharp control will dent their precious on-base percentage. But he needs to do something about Manny Ramirez, who has homered off him twice in three career at-bats. It's risky to lead off with him on the road, where his ERA was nearly two runs higher.
Still with only one win in 12 career postseason appearances, including eight starts, Morris was hit hard in the NLCS. He allowed three homers in only 10 innings, on par with having ranked second in the National League with 35 gopher balls. He could find Fenway Park claustraphobic, but Morris is a competitor able to produce a big game.
It's not Roger Clemens, but the Red Sox do reunite with one of their former right-handers. Suppan spent parts of 1995 through 1997 with the Red Sox, and made a return appearance the last two months of 2003, where he allowed 24 runs in 39 innings at Fenway. The Cards' best road pitcher, his first Series start will come in Busch, where he was 6-8.
The 26-year-old righty is the staff's best power pitcher, but indications are he has been unplugged for the last two months after toiling 201 innings, nearly double his previous career high. A nod to either of the Cards' so-called wild cards -- Chris Carpenter or Danny Haren -- would bump him from the rotation.
Pitches: Sinker, changeup, curve Speed: Mid-80s to mid-90s mph
Boston Red Sox
Terry Francona "owed one" to Wakefield for his volunteer relief work in the ALCS -- and a Game 1 World Series start is a pretty neat reward. Still, he hasn't started and worked a total of only 7 1/3 innings since Oct. 1. Despite the lack of work, catcher Jason Varitek can testify to the life in that knuckleball.
Before sewing up the ALCS, the Sox had to sew up Schilling's right ankle tendon for Game 6. That was the prelude to true sports heroism. However, this whole agenda -- removing his sutures, then replacing them for Sunday's Game 2 start -- seems extremely draining, and risky. And the Cards will bunt on him.
Another one of those strange Francona moves -- without his bizarre one-inning relief turn in ALCS' Game 7, Pedro could have gone in Game 1 on five days' rest -- defers Martinez's World Series debut to St. Louis. Maybe Francona just didn't want him to precede Schilling. With the Yankees out of his sights, look for him to soar.
Pitches: Fastball, hard curve, cutter, changeup, slider Speed: 78-94 mph
DEREK LOWE RHP
If your superiors ever get down on you, here's wishing you the resolve to respond the way Lowe did in the ALCS. From being the 12th option on an 11-man staff, he started two wins in a three-day span, and seemed to be only getting warm. His sinker had a mean bite in Game 7.
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