Some notes heading into today’s Game 3 of the ALDS between the Red Sox and White Sox:
— Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, and Trot Nixon are the only remaining players from the Red Sox team that rallied from two down to beat Cleveland in the 1999 ALDS. The team also rallied from two down in 2003 against the A’s.
— Wakefield has pitched well against White Sox hitters Geoff Blum, Jermaine Dye, and Timo Perez, none of whom have batted over .170 (for their careers) against the knuckleballer. Wakefield has also managed to keep Willie Harris, Tadahito Iguchi, Pablo Ozuna and Scott Podsednik hitless in a total of 16 at bats.
— However, Wakefield needs to watch out for Joe Crede (.357 against), Carl Everett (.438 against), but especially Aaron Rowand, who has hit .714 against the hurler with four homers in 14 at bats.
— Chicago Game 3 starter Freddy Garcia has struggled over his career against the following Red Sox — Tony Graffanino (.364 against), Kevin Millar (.300 against), Bill Mueller (.400 against), Trot Nixon (.308 against), and Jason Varitek (.296 against).
— Doug Mirabelli, David Ortiz, and Kevin Youkilis, on the other hand, have a total of 4 hits in 25 at bats against Garcia. Ortiz’s numbers are most striking. He’s 3 for 17 (.176) against him with no homers. Edgar Renteria has never faced Garcia.
— White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen realizes the Red Sox are an offensive force: “You know, you look at the guys, you a manager, you say ‘We not going to pitch around this guy to face the next.’ You don’t have that space in this ballclub. Even Graffanino is batting nine. He’s one of the most dangerous hitters we have faced all year long.”
— Of Fenway, Guillen adds, “The fans here are pretty into the game.”
— In a conversation about moving right fielder Carl Everett from third to sixth in the lineup, Guillen said: “We don’t have to (talk about it). He’s one of my players. If he doesn’t like batting six, he has two choices: not playing or batting six.”
— Garcia explains his successful season (14-8, 3.87 ERA): “I don’t know Lucky, I guess.”