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Maddon To Papi: You're Right

To refresh your memories, here were the comments from Red Sox DH David Ortiz following their Game 1 loss:

"I saw faces tonight [on the Rays' players] that were different than I saw in the regular season. There's a lot of pressure. [ellipses] That relaxed feeling you have during the regular season is not there. I'm not saying anyone is scared, but when its your first time in the playoffs you put a little pressure on yourself."

Today, Rays Manager Joe Maddon was asked to respond to those comments, and here's what he said:

"I agree. And I did see it. It primarily manifested itself in the pitches that we swung at. However, [the Red Sox] had the same kind of look themselves.... That was our first foray into that situation yesterdau, and I'd like to believe we're going to come out and be more typical today. But I can't disagree with him."

Before we get to tonight's lineups, one note about the Red Sox's: Although J.D. Drew is out of the lineup tonight, it has nothing to do with the fact he got hit on the shoulder by a Grant Balfour fastball last night, according to Manager Terry Francona. Instead, he said, he wanted Coco Crisp in the lineup because he is 9-for-30 (.300) lifetime against Rays starter Scott Kazmir. (A misleading stat, if you ask me, because Crisp has also struck out 10 times in 30 at-bats against Kazmir, and of those nine hits, only three were for extra bases, all of them doubles.)

In any case, here are your Game 2 lineups:

Red Sox:
Jacoby Ellsbury - 9
Dustin Pedroia - 4
David Ortiz - DH
Kevin Youkilis - 5
Jason Bay - 7
Jed Lowrie - 6
Jason Varitek - 2
Mark Kotsay - 3
Coco Crisp - 8
(Josh Beckett - 1)

Akinori Iwaumura - 4
B.J. Upton - 8
Carlos Pena - 3
Evan Longoria - 5
Carl Crawford - 7
Cliff Floyd - DH
Dioner Navarro - 2
Gabe Gross - 9
Jason Bartlett - 6
(Scott Kazmir - 1)

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 11, 2008; 5:48 PM ET
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Next: Instant Replay: The Rays' Green Light District


.450 BABIP - SSS / fluke. But it is righty / lefty. More likely than the shoulder is that Tito is guarding Drew's back. Avoiding 2 nights in a row on turf. I don't recall, but I am not sure if he played 2 days in a row in the ALDS (maybe games 3 & 4). If you are going to get Drew rest and get Crisp some at bats, this is probably the best way to do it.

By the way, as long as everyone is talking about Crawford / Upton / Gross's defense, Bay / Crisp / Ellsbury isn't shabby. Interesting that Cora is not playing SS and Kotsay is at 1st against a lefty. Tito had been playing Lowrie at 3d, Cora SS,and Youk at 1st vs. LHP in September. This may be the Sox best defensive line up.

Posted by: ptbnl | October 11, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

In other news, Carlos Pena has the best at-bat music this side of Wil Nieves, IMO.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 12, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

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