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Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Updated: October 16, 2:20 PM ET
Fenway Park numbers helped Maddon make decision

ESPN.com

Steve Desius/Pool-Getty Images

Left-hander Scott Kazmir didn't make it out of the fifth inning in Game 2 of the ALCS.

GIVE KAZMIR FIVE

By Mark Simon, ESPN Research

Rays manager Joe Maddon, successful at playing hunches all season, has made another intriguing maneuver for Game 5 of the ALCS, starting Scott Kazmir over James Shields. The day off between Games 4 and 5 allows that decision to be made because Kazmir would be pitching on regular rest and Shields on five days' rest.

It's an interesting choice by Maddon, but a closer look at the statistics reveals that it's not really a tough call. Shields has had all sorts of trouble at Fenway Park, while Kazmir has found ways to win in Boston. And remember, the last time a Shields (the Angels' Scot) pitched at Fenway Park, the Red Sox won and advanced to the next round.

Career at Fenway Park
  Shields Kazmir
W-L 0-3 4-4
ERA 10.13 3.02
Opp. BA .360 .240
Starts 3 11
Career at Tropicana Field
  Shields Kazmir
W-L 19-8 21-14
ERA 3.25 3.11
Opp. BA .246 .230

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WHY THE SWITCH?

STAT OF THE DAY

Inside Edge

Since coming to the Red Sox in late July, Jason Bay has pulled fly balls at a higher rate than he did while with the Pirates. When batting at home, Bay has pulled 51 percent of his fly balls to the left side, which makes him the most likely Boston hitter to put a ball in the air toward the Green Monster:

Fly balls at Fenway Park
Percent to left field
Jason Bay 51.2
Mike Lowell 48.0
Sean Casey 46.0
Kevin Youkilis 42.5
Jacoby Ellsbury 42.5
Dustin Pedroia 40.0

THIS DATE IN POSTSEASON HISTORY: OCT. 16

1962: Bobby Richardson of the New York Yankees catches a searing line drive off the bat of San Francisco's Willie McCovey to end the World Series. Richardson's grab finishes off a 1-0 win for the Yankees, who take the Series in seven games.

1969: The New York Mets win their fourth straight game against the Baltimore Orioles to capture their first World Series. Jerry Koosman pitches a five-hitter, and Donn Clendenon and Al Weis hit home runs in the 5-3 victory.

1985: Jack Clark hits a three-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. Clark's blast comes against Dodgers closer Tom Niedenfuer.

2003: Aaron Boone hits a Tim Wakefield pitch into the left-field stands in the 11th inning to give the New York Yankees a dramatic 6-5 win victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 7 of the ALCS.

2005: The Chicago White Sox's starting rotation throws four consecutive complete games victories against the Los Angeles Angels to capture the ALCS in five games.