Sunday, September 27, 2009

Boston Red Sox - They’re not showing all their cards - The Boston Globe

NEW YORK - One team is going all out to win every day.

The other team is the Red Sox - asking you to stand back and look at the big picture.

The Sox got another encouraging performance from Daisuke Matsuzaka yesterday, but again were beaten by the Yankees, 3-0. Boston managed only two hits against CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and Mariano Rivera.

The starting lineups told you everything you needed to know about the respective approaches of these rivals. Yankees manager Joe Girardi, burning his guys in a manner like Don Zimmer (circa 1978), put out his best nine players along with the winningest pitcher in baseball (tied with Adam Wainwright going into yesterday’s games). Jorge Posada wound up being a late scratch because of an injury, but the point was made. Girardi used his big guns. The Yankees are going wall to wall to clinch the division (magic number 1) and the best record in the American League, ASAP.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, are using these final days to get some rest and tune up for the playoffs. Terry Francona started Rocco Baldelli in right, Jed Lowrie (hitting .158 entering the game) at short, and Brian Anderson in left. Chris Woodward played short in the eighth and dropped a throw from Victor Martinez that led to a pair of unearned runs. If not for four hit batsmen (two each side), this could have been March 18 at City of Palms Park.

The message from Boston was clear: everything is settled. The Sox are going to win the wild card. They are not going to challenge the Yankees for home-field advantage. Let Girardi wear his guys out. The Sox are getting ready for the playoffs. Call it Tito’s rope-a-dope.

“The mind-set is to manage everything to win,’’ Francona said. “It’s not just one thing. We want to show up and play the game right and be cognizant of what we are trying to accomplish.’’

Read the whole story: Boston Red Sox - They’re not showing all their cards - The Boston Globe

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