BASEBALL TONIGHT EXTRA
In LCS, tie goes to the winner
Since the two leagues went to a championship series format in 1969, we've never had a scenario quite like the one we have in the 2007 version of these matchups. This is the first time in which both
the National League teams going head-to-head won the same number of games (90), and both
of the American League teams going head-to-head won the same number of games in the regular season (96).
ESPN, 12 a.m. ET
Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: John Kruk, Buster Olney, Fernando Vina, Peter Gammons
What does this mean? It tells us that things are pretty even heading into each series. The Red Sox and Diamondbacks may each have homefield advantage, but that can be easily neutralized by all of the unknowns that factor into head-to-head competition. How well will youngsters like Chris Young
and Ubaldo Jimenez
perform under pressure? Will the Diamondbacks' magic in one-run games continue, or will it be outweighed by Colorado's late-season miracle finish? Will power in the form of Josh Beckett
, David Ortiz
and Manny Ramirez
win out, or will the diversified talents of Grady Sizemore
and Jhonny Peralta
be bigger factors?
These are the questions we ponder as we prepare for baseball on its biggest stage, to this point, in 2007.
|ROCKIES-DIAMONDBACKS PLAYERS TO WATCH
RF Brad Hawpe
Had 18 RBIs vs. Diamondbacks in 2007, most of any player in MLB
1B Todd Helton
Batting average in Chase Field in odd-numbered years, since 2003 -- 2007: .469; 2005: .500; 2003: .520
CL Manny Corpas
In 10 innings pitched vs. Arizona in 2007, allowed no runs and two hits.
RHP Brandon Webb
Was 1-3, 5.77 ERA vs. Rockies in 2007; the win was the only Rockies loss in their last 18 games
SS Stephen Drew
Hitting .459 with three HRs and nine RBIs in his last eight games
1B Tony Clark
Hit .363 with four HRs and 12 RBIs in six games vs. Rockies at Chase Field
|INDIANS-RED SOX PLAYERS TO WATCH
LF Kenny Lofton
Hitting .306 with five steals in 10 games vs. Red Sox in 2007
P C.C. Sabathia/Fausto Carmona
Combined 1-1 vs. Red Sox in 2007, allowing one earned run in 15 innings
RHP Rafael Betancourt
Held Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Jason Varitek to 1-for-14 combined with eight strikeouts. In fact, omit Julio Lugo (3-for-4) and the rest of the current Red Sox lineup is 1-for-32 with 12 K's against him.
LF Manny Ramirez
Career vs. Indians: .357 with 15 homers and 44 RBIs in 49 games
C Jason Varitek
Has hit four HRs with 10 RBIs in 13 LCS games dating back to 2003
RHP Josh Beckett
Was 1-1, 1.80 ERA and .143 Opp. BA in two starts vs. Indians in 2007
THIS DATE IN POSTSEASON HISTORY: OCT. 10
1999: Red Sox in a runaway
The Red Sox set a major league record for runs in a postseason game, evening up their ALDS with the Indians at two games apiece, with a 23-7 victory. The Indians should be happy that their postseason doesn't begin today. They've lost the last four postseason games that they played on Oct. 10.
1920: Game of firsts
Game 5 of the 1920 World Series featured two of the most unusual plays in postseason history. Indians right fielder Elmer Smith hit the first grand slam in World Series history, and Indians second baseman Bill Wambsganss turned the only unassisted triple play in World Series history against Brooklyn.