Saturday, October 12, 2013
Throwing out the first pitch ... Nomahhhh
By Gordon Edes
BOSTON -- A few notes, quotes and gloats before Game 1 of the ALCS:
• Nomar Garciaparra, who went to the ALCS twice in his nine seasons with the Red Sox (1999 and 2003) and for a last time with the Dodgers in 2008 but never got to play in a World Series, was scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Garciaparra, who launched a career in broadcasting with ESPN after he retired as a player in 2009, was an outstanding postseason performer, posting a slash line of .321/.386/.589/.975 with 7 home runs in 32 games. One of his biggest games came in Game 6 of the 2003 ALCS against the Yankees, when he had four hits, and he also batted .400 or better in both the ALDS against the Indians and ALCS against the Yankees, hitting two home runs in each series.
• This will be Jon Lester's first Game 1 start in an ALCS. In his three Game 1 starts in division series, he is 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings. Lester had been tied with Josh Beckett, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens for most Game 1 starts with the Red Sox in the postseason and will stand alone after Saturday’s start.
• Jake Peavy, who went 5 2/3 innings in Game 4, is available out of the pen Saturday night, but Farrell indicated he was there more in an “in-case” basis.
“Out of fairness to Jake and fairness to all, we’ve got guys who are familiar with certain roles,’’ he said. “While there wouldn’t be hesitancy to use a starter [in relief], it would have to be a specific situation. In other words, I’m not jumping him ahead of [Junichi] Tazawa or maybe even [Brandon] Workman in a certain situation.
• Want to predict a Sox lineup change in Game 2? Mike Napoli is 1 for 13 with 5 strikeouts against Max Scherzer, the Tigers’ Game 2 starter, while Daniel Nava is 1 for 9 with 2 K’s. Mike Carp could possibly draw a start at first base, with Jonny Gomes in left field. Another possibility is the rookie, Xander Bogaerts, starting instead of Will Middlebrooks at third, although it was Middlebrooks’s two-run hit that beat Scherzer on Sept. 3 in Boston’s 2-1 win.