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Today's Playoff Games

Sorry for the lack of analysis the past two days. I was attempting to finish the last of the Net Runs Above Average spreadsheet we will use in the BtB Baseball Annual, and it consisted of 1445 player season from 2003-2005. Ugh.

In today's playoff games, we have Tim Wakefield (4.15 ERA) facing off in Fenway Park against Freddy Garcia (3.87 ERA). The Red Sox of course need to win the next three games or they will be sent home packing. Which also means I can unofficially celebrate the end of Johnny Damon's time as a Red Sock. Not that I'm excited about finding a cheaper, better centerfielder somewhere during the winter or anything...

I think some of the Red Sox best hope at this point is that the White Sox, instead of being fired up like during Game 1, are now jittery about winning their first playoff series since Moses was baseball fan. If they can turn the tide emphatically tonight, the series may swing in their favor. Kind of like what happened in this game:

RED SOX 11TH: HARDEN REPLACED MECIR (PITCHING); Millar popped to shortstop; Mirabelli singled to right; NIXON BATTED FOR KAPLER; Nixon homered [Mirabelli scored]; 2 R, 2 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Athletics 1, Red Sox 3.

No National League action today, as the other game is Game 3 of NY/LAA, or as Halos Heavenhas recently called it to me, LAAAAAAAAAAAAAA...

Paul Byrd (3.74 ERA) versus Randy Johnson (3.79 ERA) could be a mismatch if Johnson feels 100%. If he is affected at all by his back or the weather or what have you, the Angels might easily take this game and a lead in the series.

I'm thinking the Angels can take the series if they win today, because the Yankees cannot offer better than Johnson on the mound, and Mussina is not a sure thing, even after 5.2 solid innings in Game 1. The Red Sox need to assert themselves or win dramatically in order to curb the White Sox enthusiasm. Today is an important day, as the momentum will shift regardless of outcome. Good luck to your teams!