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Sox heading for crisis mode

Dicek_4 CLEVELAND -- Things looked fine for the Boston Red Sox when Josh Beckett blew the Cleveland Indians away in Game One. But the Tribe has won two straight now and the Sox are throwing Tim Wakefield in Game Four -- even though he hasn't pitched since Sept. 29 and Beckett, who threw only 80 pitches, could come back on three days rest.

Big_papi_2 And that's just part of Boston's problem. Daisuke Matsuzaka (left) again proved that his $103 million wasn't much of an investment by failing to get out of the fifth for the second straight time this month. The offense has suddenly cooled, scoring just two runs in the last 15 innings. David Ortiz's knee is clearly hurting him and it seems that only Ortiz (right), Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell are capable of driving in many runs.

"We got to play, man," was the way Ortiz put it when asked about Boston's 2-1 deficit. "We just gotta play."

The way the Cleveland bullpen is pitching, that's easier said than done. The Red Sox went basically wire-to-wire in the AL East this season and destroyed the Angels in the division series. Now their hopes in the ALCS might rest with a 41-year-old knuckleballer. They haven't dealt with a crisis this deep all season. It will be interesting to see how they react Tuesday night.

Sox fans, I know you're out there squirming over this one. Is your confidence shaken? Do you believe in Wakefield or should Beckett be on the mound tonight?

---Mike Harrington

(Photos: Associated Press)


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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 |