Cliff Lee vs. The Schill
This is the matchup I'm most concerned about. Schilling has been less than sharp as of late, and Lee is a LHP, which is always a problem for our boys. He has 32 Ks, in 31 1/3 IP with a 3.45 ERA against the Sox in his career, with a WHIP around 1.31. WMP is 2 for 5 with 2 HRs vs. Lee. Manny is 3 for 9, 2 2Bs, and 5 BBs. Hafner is 4 for 6 with a 2B against Schilling. Victor Martinez is 3 for 5 with a 2B and a HR. Sizemore is 2 for 4 with a 3B.
Jeremy Sowers vs. The Amazing Avulsion
The return of Beckett. In addition to getting over his skin issues, Beckett has to get over his Cleveland issues. He has a 13.97 ERA with 6 HRs in 9 2/3 IP over 2 starts. Josh should be glad that Ben Broussard (2 for 2, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs) is no longer the 1B for the Indians. Pretty much everyone in the Indians lineup has good numbers against Beckett. The numbers for Sowers against the Sox were compiled in 5 IP of 1 start, and he ended up with a ND. Youks is 2 for 3 with a 2B.
Paul Byrd vs. What's Japanese For Dry Heave?
Byrd has been a solid starter for the Indians this season. In 6 starts, Byrd has thrown 37 2/3 innings against the Sox, a 4.54 ERA, and a 1.27 WHIP. Coco is 5 for 9 with a 2B and 2 BBs. Mike Lowell is 7 for 17, 2 2Bs, and a HR. Lugo is 4 for 10 with a 2B. WMP is 3 for 4 with a 3B and a HR. This might be a day to give Youkilis a rest, as he's 0 for 6 against Byrd. Also could be a day for WMP to start, especially as Manny is 1 for 11 in his career against Byrd. The Indians have not yet faced Daisuke.
We're lucky we didn't get Carmona or Sabathia in this series...the Indians just swept the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park...Joe Borowski leads the league in saves despite a 6.75 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP...Rafael Betancourt, Tom Mastny, and Aaron Fultz have all been effective relievers for the Tribe...Jhonny Peralta is making his sophomore slump look like just that...this is a tough lineup, with only David Delluci and Josh Barfield putting up sub-par batting lines, though I think the Indians were expecting a bit more than they've gotten thusfar from Travis Hafner.(.890 OPS vs. .990+ the last three seasons)...I hope the ovation for Trot's first AB is overwhelming. He hit below our expectations the last couple of seasons, and the media (and fans) probably overvalued him a bit, but despite the injuries, it's hard to argue he didn't give his all while wearing the Sox uniform...