Monday, October 5, 2009

Today Angelswin.com and FenwayWest.com had joint Q&A's regarding the 2009 ALDS.

For the answers from the Angels perspective visit Fenwaywest.com

AW - What do you see as the Red Sox' biggest strengths and weakness coming into this series?

Matt O'Donnell : Strengths- the biggest strength they have is experience. Most of the players on the team have played plenty of games in the postseason and will not be bothered by the pressure. This is especially true of the Red Sox starters for games 1 & 2: Lester and Beckett. They also have a lineup that will work the count and can score runs in bunches. The team can still score runs with one or two of their big hitters in a slump Weaknesses: Stopping the running game is a huge problem for the Red Sox. Jason Varitek simply cannot throw out a runner anymore and Victor Martinez does not do much better. The bullpen is not as good as it was earlier in the season; Manny Delcarmen has really struggled and Ramon Ramirez and Saito have not been consistent. The Red Sox are fine once they get to the 8th but the 6-7th innings are a nerve racking.

AW - In your opinion, how do the Red Sox fans view the Angels. Do you feel they look past them feeling it's going to be another easy series or do they feel that they just one bad pitch away from losing a game. A lot of Angels fans feel very confident against NY and jinxed against Boston?

Matt O'Donnell : Red Sox fans are always most concerned about the Yankees, that is not to say they think the Angels will be a cakewalk, but most are pretty confident the team can win the ALDS. That being said, if the Sox lose Game 1 there will be plenty in Red Sox Nation that will write off the season as a disaster before game 2 even starts.

AW - In the past Boston has been able to relay on David Ortiz to come through with the big hit. With him having an off year what player do you see stepping up?

Matt O'Donnell : Victor Martinez is the most dangerous hitter on the Red Sox right now. Since he came over from the Tribe he has been Mr. Clutch. I expect him to have a great postseason.

AW - While Boston did win 95 games, they didn't seem as consistent or dominant as they have in prior seasons. What do you feel were the main reasons for this?

Matt O'Donnell : Injuries to Dice-K and Wakefield really hurt the Red Sox starting rotation this year. Theo took a gamble on Penny and Smoltz and while Penny had some good outings, neither one worked out. There was also time after the All-Star break where nearly every player on the team was slumping at the plate. Luckily for the Red Sox the slumps are now over and the rotation looks solid.

AW - Game 5 - Lester or Beckett?

Matt O'Donnell : If the Red Sox have to use Dice-K out of the pen in Games 1 or 2 then Lester will pitch game 4 on short rest and Beckett will pitch Game 5. Tito might choose to go with Lester in Game 4 even if Dice-K is not used early, so most case scenarios have Beckett going game 5.
Love to hear what you think!

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