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Red Sox on the Edge Again

Boston has staved off elimination games in the past, and will try to do so again at Fenway Park.

October 07, 2005|Tim Brown | Times Staff Writer

BOSTON — Back to Fenway Park, where, if the local guys are going to go on about their backs being against the wall, at least it's big and green and friendly.

The widely held view here is the Boston Red Sox have played themselves into a familiar place; they have lost the first two games of a best-of-five American League division series to the Chicago White Sox, and in their best scenario have a weekend of elimination games ahead.

In their worst, they have only one, tonight's.

The White Sox tend to believe they have put the Red Sox here, just as the Cleveland Indians did in 1999 and the Oakland A's did in 2003 in division series, and the New York Yankees did last October in the American League championship series.

The Red Sox won each series.

"The hardest one to win," White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said, "is the last one."

Fenway's doors opened Thursday morning, hours after the Red Sox had lost, 5-4, in Chicago. Inside, Tony Graffanino was admitting again that he had fouled up and felt awful about it. And knuckleballer Tim Wakefield was saying that he understood the hopes of Red Sox Nation would bounce and flutter with his every pitch tonight.

"I think everybody in the clubhouse knows how we have to play," Wakefield said. "I think everybody's ready. I know I am."

The White Sox have lined up 14-game winner Freddy Garcia, 18-game winner Jon Garland and Game 1 winner Jose Contreras for the final three games, if all three are necessary. The Red Sox would follow Wakefield (10-4 at Fenway Park) with Curt Schilling, then would get creative -- David Wells? Bronson Arroyo? A little of both? -- in Game 5.

*

CHICAGO VS. BOSTON

Chicago leads best-of-five series, 2-0

* GAME 1: at Chicago 14, Boston 2

* GAME 2: at Chicago 5, Boston 4

* TODAY: Chicago (Garcia 14-8) at Boston (Wakefield 16-12), 1 p.m., ESPN2

* SATURDAY:* Chicago (Garland 18-10) at Boston (Schilling 8-8), 10 a.m., ESPN

* SUNDAY:* at Chicago, 1 p.m., ESPN

All times Pacific; * If necessary

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