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Lineups from LaLa Land

First, we'll skip ahead for a second. Postseason stud Josh Beckett is ready to pitch Sunday's Game 3, so says Red Sox Manager Terry Francona. The pitcher, who has been nursing a strained oblique, feels good after his long bullpen session on Thursday.

Now, back to today. The most obvious omission is Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, who played Game 1 despite his painful hip injury. But the move isn't all too surprising and Francona even went so far as to hint at sitting Lowell.

"It's actually a very difficult decision for me and you've got a guy that's the ultimate gamer, [who] will go out there every day," he said of Lowell.

But Francona said he wants Lowell's bat in the lineup for Game 3, when the Angels intend to pitch the left-hander Joe Saunders, so the rest would help that happen. But for tonight, Lowell would be available to pinch-hit in situations that won't force him to run.

Boston Red Sox

Ellsbury - CF (fantastic Game 1 performance included two stolen bases)
Pedroia - 2B
Ortiz - DH
Youkilis - 3B (moved from first base, not an advantage for the Red Sox)
Drew - RF (if this weren't the playoffs, he'd be getting at-bats at rehab)
Bay - LF (game 1 hero, with a two-run homer and a double)
Kotsay - 1B (making just his fifth start at first base this year)
Varitek - C
Cora - SS (out goes Jed Lowrie, whose error led to an unearned run in Game 1)
Matsuzaka - P (Dice-K will allow baserunners. But can the Angels capitalize?)

Los Angeles Angels
Figgins - 3B
Anderson - LF
Teixeira - 1B (free agent to be went 2-for-4 in playoff debut)
Guerrero - DH (baserunning blunder wrecked possible rally in eighth)
Hunter - CF (drove in the only run in a 4-1 Game 1 loss)
Rivera - RF (replaces Matthews, who lost a ball in the lights on Wednesday)
Kendrick - 2B
Mathis - C (in for Napoli, who went 0-4 with three strikeouts in Game 1)
Aybar - SS
Santana - P (arguably the most dominant member of the rotation this season)

By Marc Carig  |  October 3, 2008; 6:59 PM ET
Categories:  Angels , Red Sox  
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Next: Bay Goes Deep. Again.


Thanks for this wonderful blog! A buddy of mine said as soon as they got Manny that he felt that the Dodgers would be the team to beat. After watching the Nats sweep them here, I thought it was not one of his finest moments. Now I wish I'd taken it to Vegas. Also, it's good to see Ernie Johnson, a truly good guy, doing so well after his cancer - another big surprise that I didn't expect when I saw him two years ago!

Posted by: flynnie | October 3, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I used to watch the Atlanta Braves in Fulton County Stadium in 1967. If you had told Braves Tito Francona that his son would win a World Series managing the Red Sox, breaking the Curse of the Bambino, or Joe Torre what lay in store for him, or Bob Ueker (Torre's backup on that 77-85 team, that he would be throwing out the first ball in the playoffs in Milwaukee, they all would have asked for some of what you'd been drinking.

Posted by: flynnie | October 3, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

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