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Last chance to catch your breath

by Chris Allen.

Monday Night Football, starring the Patriots, is the main event tonight. Starting tomorrow the Sox will play twenty days in a row to finish the regular season. Tomorrow the Angles come to town for a first round playoff preview. More importantly, Dice-K is pitching for the first time in a couple months. What expectations should we have? Three innings, maybe four? I am still holding out hope that he can contribute the rest of the way. Wakefield has pitched good when he's been healthy but how much can we depend on him? He is definitely playing a ton of pain and has had like twelve cortisone shots in three days. If the team is fortunate enough to make the playoffs, they have two great starters , Beckett and Lester, ready to go. Clay Buchholz has been pitching great lately but who knows how he will perform in the playoffs. If Dice-K can come back and pitch reasonably well it would be a huge lift for the team. Dice-K would fill the number four spot in the rotation and then Byrd could pitch on the days when Wakefield cannot. During the first round of the playoffs, Dice-K would not need to pitch. The Sox could simply roll their top three pitchers out there. If they make it to the second round, Dice-K would hopefully only have to pitch one game, depending on how quickly the first round lasts. If the team makes the playoffs they are also in possession of a great bullpen. In my opinion they have just a good a chance in the postseason as any of the other teams.
Of course, they need to get there first and except for one series with the Angels and one with the Yankees, the schedule is pretty light. Four with Kansas City, four with Cleveland, three with Toronto and three with Baltimore. Texas still has seven with the Angels, seven with Oakland, three with Tampa and three with Seattle. I think this favors the Sox, especially the games with KC and Cleveland.

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