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A few thoughts on the playoff outlook

The Sox are in pretty solid shape going into the playoffs. Manny is back and the good side of Manny being Manny is that Manny is Manny which means many Manny hits. Manny. He's 5 for 12 since he's returned, with no extra base hits. I'm not worried about that though. He could be o-fer and still be a feared presence in the lineup. Pitchers are afraid of him which changes how they pitch to everyone else. Any day his is a threat to win you a game as much single-handedly as any hitter can.

Most importantly, Dice-K pitched well yesterday. I'm a bit at a loss as to why he through 119 pitches and 8 innings in his last start before the playoffs when he's seemed tired, but, on the other hand, he was throwing around 95 in the 8th with serious zip that you could see, something that h as really been missing. If he can pitch like he's capable of, we have a very strong rotation for the playoffs.

Today's start by Wake is important in that the reason why the Sox are contenting for best record status and have breathed that rarefied air all season is because they've had 4 good starters. It's hard to imagine how they go all the way without that formula still adding up to equal victory.

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