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ALCS pregame

CLEVELAND -- It's a warm, wet night in Jacobs Field but it looks like we'll start on time at 8:20 for Game Four of the ALCS. It rained hard this afternoon and neither team took batting practice on the field but the tarp is off and the forecast is only for spotty showers the rest of the night.

(Oops: We just had a downpour at 7:35 but it only lasted a couple minutes. The tarp went on the field and came off just as fast as it went on).

Both teams have gone to their advertised plans of starting personal catchers for starting pitchers Paul Byrd and Tim Wakefield. That means the Indians have Kelly Shoppach behind the plate, Victor Martinez at first and Ryan Garko sitting out while the Red Sox have simply inserted Doug Mirabelli for Jason Varitek. Cleveland has also returned Franklin Gutierrez to right field in place of Trot Nixon.

Sox manager Terry Francona again insisted he gave no thought to bringing back ace Josh Beckett on three days rest with Boston trailing, two games to one, even though Beckett could be on regular rest for a potential Game Seven on Sunday night in Fenway Park. Now that task would fall upon Daisuke Matsuzaka, not a promising thought for Sox fans given his two postseason starts.

Here's tonight's lineups:

Boston                                       Cleveland

Dustin Pedroia, 2b                  Grady Sizemore, cf

Kevin Youkilis, 1b                   Asdrubal Cabrera, 2b

David Ortiz, dh                        Travis Hafner, dh

Manny Ramirez, lf                   Victor Martinez, 1b

Mike Lowell, 3b                      Jhonny Peralta, ss

J.D. Drew, rf                            Kenny Lofton, lf                   

Coco Crisp, cf                        Casey Blake, 3b                

Doug Mirabelli, c                    Franklin Gutierrez, rf

Julio Lugo, ss                        Kelly Shoppach, c


Tim Wakefield, p                   Paul Byrd, p

---Mike Harrington


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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |