The Sox to face the Tribe
They finished the season tied with 96 wins apiece, the two best teams in baseball. Now, the Red Sox and Indians will meet in the American League Championship Series.
The Sox will have had four full days of rest leading into Friday's Game 1 at Fenway Park. If there are any concerns here, it's that Boston will have had too much rest. Come Friday, they will have played a total of three games in the past 11 days.
Boston went 5-2 against Cleveland this season, taking two out of three at Fenway and three of four at Jacobs Field. Both teams will be able to go to their aces in Game One, with Josh Beckett undboutedly facing C.C. Sabathia to start the series. Fausto Carmona, who was fabulous in Game Two of the ALDS againstt the Yankees, will no doubt pitch Game Two. It remains to be seen if Terry Francona counters with Daisuke Matsuzaka, or if he shakes up the rotation before the second round.
Get ready for plenty of Trot Nixon talk in the coming days. He hit a homer off Roger Clemens in the only loss of the series for Cleveland and was back on the bench last night in Game 4. Former Red Sox backup Kelly Shoppach was behind the plate catching Paul Byrd.
There were plenty of Sox fans who wanted to see Boston face New York next week, but that will not be happening. Instead, it'll be the Indians, a team that features a tremendous one-two punch at the top of the rotation and a solid bullpen.
The Sox get back to work at Fenway on Tuesday after Monday's day off. We'll see what Terry Francona and the team says about the Indians at that point.