posted 8 years ago
Don’t ask Red Sox manager Terry Francona what his pitching rotation will be for the ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays … or what he believes are the keys to the series … or how he thinks he can defeat a team that beat his club four out of six down the stretch in September.
He knows he has some decisions to make in that regard. But last night wasn’t the time to talk about them. At least not to Francona.
“Wow,” he said. “You know, we just won 10 minutes ago. I think there’s plenty of time to sit with you guys over the next couple of days. If I give it to you all now, we’ve got nothing to talk about Wednesday and Thursday.”
And he has some decisions. The first one will be what to do about his rotation.
Does he open the series with Josh Beckett, who looked rusty and uncertain in Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? Or does he open with
Daisuke Matsuzaka, which would, theoretically, put him in the position of pitching a seventh game?
The first game is Friday, which would put Beckett on normal rest. But does he take a chance with a pitcher who seemed injured and ineffective Sunday, regardless of what the team says? Or does he go with Matsuzaka, who, despite his 18-3 record, rarely got past the sixth inning of a game this season? And looked particularly shaky against good teams?
“We need to make a lot of decisions,” Francona said. “and tonight’s not the night to do that.”