Ortiz to play; Youkilis benched

With the World Series shifting back to Denver, Terry Francona had to decide which player he would bench in light of no DH rule in NL ballparks. Terry Francona’s decision was to move David Ortiz to first base, while benching the red-hot Kevin Youkilis (who’s batting 0.396 in the postseason).

Asked whether the same alignment would be in place for Game 4, Francona said he wasn’t certain. Francona went on to say, “Well, I think David is a really good hitter, and I think Mike Lowell is a really good hitter, and I actually think Youk is a really good hitter, but they won’t let us play all three of them. So we’ll go with this. The hope would be we’d have a lead, we’ll put Youk in late. It doesn’t always work perfect, but we’ll do the best we can.”

Youkilis responded with a positive attitude: “I mean, I think people are making this out to be a little bit more than it is. We’re here to try to win a World Series. You can’t be upset. We’re in a great position right now. We’re up two games to none. If you’re worried about your playing time and this and that, I think you’re in the wrong spot. This is the World Series. You’ve just got to be happy to go out and help in any capacity you can.”

We’ll see how David Ortiz will be able to play the first base. He was last on 1B on June 24. In a span of seven games at first base, Ortiz didn’t make a single error this season.

There was a question about David Ortiz’s knew, but Ortiz quipped: “When we’re 2-0, [the knee] feels great. Right now, I have no pain. I have a little bit of swelling, but the pain is not as bad as it gets sometimes. The other day when I was working at first base, when I finished, it felt a little bit crazy. But this is it, bro. After this, there’s no other [series].”

As far as defense is concerned, Francona probably picked Lowell instead of Youkilis because Lowell is much more adept at 3B (compared to Youkilis, who played there only 12 games this season). Lowell is doing pretty well in 2007 playoffs, as he is hitting 0.333 this postseason with 1 home run and 12 RBIs.

We’ll see if Francona’s decision will pay off when the Boston Red Sox take on the Colorado Rockies in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday at 8:20 PM ET.

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~ by mlb2007playoffs on October 26, 2007.

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