Red Sox's Lowe given Game 7 nod

Starting on two days' rest, he gets call over Wakefield

ALCS notebook

October 21, 2004|By JOE CHRISTENSEN | JOE CHRISTENSEN,SUN STAFF

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The New York Yankees countered with Kevin Brown for the decisive game of the American League Championship Series.

Lowe was pitching with two days rest after throwing 88 pitches in his Game $4 start. He wasnt even a part of Bostons original postseason starting rotation, but the Red Sox wound up leaning on him for two elimination games.

Wakefield, who served up Aaron Boones 11th-inning home run in last years Game $7 thriller against the Yankees, had thrown 132 pitches in three relief appearances in this series. That included 43 Monday, when he earned the victory by pitching the final three innings of Bostons 14-inning victory.

"All things being equal ... we think Derek can give us more innings, more pitches than Wake could if they are throwing well," Francona said. "Obviously, whoever is pitching for both teams isn't going to have a big rope, but if Derek can get outs, we think he can stay out there longer.

"Derek is a little younger, he's a sinkerball pitcher, and I think that works to his advantage a little bit."

Yankees manager Joe Torre said he spoke with Brown on Tuesday night, and the biggest concern was Browns back, which has been bothering him throughout the playoffs. Brown recorded just six outs in his Game3 start on Saturday.

Torre said he didn't "want anybody who's going to go out there and try to be a hero, if they're not capable."

The choice came down to Brown, 39, or Javier Vazquez, 28, and Torre said, Experience is very high on my priority list, especially for a game like this."

Boston's fury

The Red Sox criticized Alex Rodriguez for trying to slap the ball from Bronson Arroyo's hand in a controversial play in the eighth inning of Game 6. In an interview with ESPN, Curt Schilling said Rodriguez did something Derek Jeter would never do.

Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar said, "What he did was completely unprofessional. He has to brush his teeth and look at himself in the mirror in the morning."

Asked for his retort, Torre said, "We don't throw phrases around."

Around the horn

Torre had written off John Olerud for the rest of the series because of a bruised left foot, but Olerud took batting practice and looked good fielding grounders at first base before Game 7. He was not in the starting lineup, as Tony Clark got another start at first, but Torre said Olerud was available off the bench. ... In 1978, Bucky Dent hit the home run that broke the Red Sox's heart in a one-game playoff the AL East title. Last night, the Yankees brought him back to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... DeLeon Sheffield, wife of Yankees right fielder Gary Sheffield, sang the national anthem.

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