ALCS Game 1: It’s Godzilla!

Yesterday’s game:
Yankees 10, Red Sox 7

Yankees lead series, 1-0
After it was 8-0, I wasn’t watching. So I guess I missed the actual game. Well, it clearly showed us a few things: 1. The Red Sox are never out of it. We already know the Yankees – they of the 61 come-from-behind victories this season – fit that description. The Red Sox have all year, the way they can hit. But there are some who feel that Boston is a different team when playing the pinstripes. Last night showed that such an assumption is false. 2. Curt Schilling is probably hurt. We know he “tweaked” his ankle, but that performance last night was not a Schilling performance. He’s a big-game pitcher; last night’s game was the reason he came to Boston. He may not be able to pitch again in this series. There’s more to be said here, but it can’t be said until after tonight’s game. 3. Hideki Matsui is the difference in the Yankees lineup this year. He’s had another year to adapt to baseball in the U.S., and as many predicted, he put up better numbers this season. Bernie Williams is clearly on the decline and while he’ll still come through with some big hits, he’s not the Bernie of old. Derek Jeter is as he always was, and Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield will always be feared. But Matsui is a key to the lineup, in part because he’s their most powerful left-handed bat (with the exception of part-timers Tony Clark and Ruben Sierra). When the series moves to Boston this weekend, getting Matsui out with runners on second and third and two outs will be more than just two potential runs kept off the board. It could be a three, four run turnaround when the Sox start slamming the ball off the Green Monster and send Matsui scurrying around left field like a 6-year-old chasing gulls on the beach. At least it’s simple for the Red Sox tonight: Get seven solid innings (NO MORE) out of Pedro Martinez, then turn a two- or three-run lead over to the bullpen. Then head up to Beantown to start over in a best-of-five series.

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