Felger & Mazz: Varitek’s Inexplicable 3-0 Swing
On Monday afternoon, Massarotti welcomed Felger back to the Big Chair after Felger’s week off. The duo both agreed that the Red Sox-Yankees weekend series at Fenway was the topic of the day, and Felger posed an important question to Mazz: What did you take from the series from a Red Sox standpoint?
Mazz indicated that there were three main things that jumped out to him: the Red Sox own CC Sabathia, John Lackey hung in there and was competitive, and the magnitude of beating Mariano Rivera.
Felger jumped on the Sabathia comment to debate with Mazz whether the Red Sox are now in the Yankees’ and Sabathia’s head given the fact that Yanks lefty is now 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against the Boston this season but has Cy Young credentials against all other teams.
The Red Sox also stand at 10-2 head to head against the Yankees this season, having clinched the season series from the Yankees last night for the first time since 2004. Felger seemed to think that the Red Sox have established themselves versus the Yankees, but Massarotti was a little bit more skeptical as to the significance of the Red Sox success and how it may translate into October success against the Yanks. Massarotti pointed out that excluding games against the Red Sox, the Yankees are 7 games ahead of the Red Sox against the rest of the MLB. Shouldn’t that be of note, Massarotti asked Felger. Felger merely restated that the Red Sox have supreme confidence against their hated rivals and the two will invariably meet up in the ALCS, to the Red Sox advantage, Felger said.
Felger and Mazz went back to the Sabathia discussion, arguing how significant Sabathia’s struggles against the Red Sox are. Mazz, drinking the Yankee Cool-Aid, reasoned that Sabathia could easily shut out down the Red Sox in Game 1 of an ALCS game despite his sub-par performances so far this year and throughout his career dating back to his Cleveland Indians days. Felger countered that anyone can play the what-if game, but the fact remains that the Red Sox straight up own Sabathia. Mazz did concede that the Sox success against Sabathia will indeed give Red Sox hitter confidence if and when they face Sabathia down the road.
The tandem moved on to talking about Jason Varitek’s inexplicable pop-up, swinging on a 3-0 count in a big situation late in the game. Mazz said the only players that merit a green light on 3-0 are the 3, 4, 5 hitters and scorching hot hitters. Varitek, Mazz concluded, has never been a guy that should ever receive that green light. Mazz put more of the blame on Terry Francona, and the possibility of Tito giving Varitek the freedom to swing away.
To hear this discussion about the Red Sox and more, tune in to Felger and Mazz!