Monday, October 7, 2013

Red Sox Face 'Birthday Factor' In Game Three

A word of warning. Both tonight's Tampa starter (Alex Cobb) and their star third baseman (Evan Longoria) are celebrating birthdays today. You never really know how that plays out in baseball, but there are many memorable occasions when 'birthday boys' have had big days (e.g., Twin Chuck Knoblauch went 3-5 again the Red Sox in 1995 on his 27th birthday). Cobb turns 26 today, Longoria 28—so beware. Nevertheless, Clay Buchholz (who turned 29 on August 14th) has a chance to wrap up this series and propel the Red Sox into the ALCS for the first time since 2008. It will not be easy. Cobb was probably the Rays' most effective pitcher down the stretch—gaining back the dominance he had before his horrific head injury. But Buchholz is the perfect guy you want on the hill in a 'put-away' game—with the stuff and make-up to have a dominant performance in the 'Juice Box'. And if we need some birthday luck, just remember that Butch Henry (a Sox reliever in 1997-8) turns 45 today.