ALCS Countdown

We’ve got two days until playoff baseball returns to Fenway, and we can fill our time in one of two ways. We can continue to chronicle the Yankee chaos, or we can focus on the Sox. As much fun as it is to watch the Yankees spin their wheels, let’s keep the spotlight on the ALCS.

The big news yesterday was the move of Curt Schilling up to the No. 2 spot in the rotation, and the likelihood that Tim Wakefield will start Game 4.

Either way Schilling and Daisuke Matzusaka were going to be in line to start twice if the series goes seven games. But, as we all know, the best laid pitching plans are often torn asunder in a seven-game series. Barring a four-game sweep, which doesn’t seem likely, Jon Lester could wind up being a major contributor in this series.

Game times for the first five games are set as well and it appears that all five games will take place under the lights. Game 1 is set for Friday at 7 p.m., with Game 2 Saturday at 8 p.m. Game 3 Monday, in Cleveland, is set for 7 p.m., while Game 4 Tuesday, and Game 5 Thursday are lined up for 8 p.m. starts.

All games are on FOX, which means a heavy dose of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. This may be sacrilege, but after listening to Chip Caray’s strange grasp of reality on TBS, which was nicely eviscerated by the NY Times’ Richard Sandomir, I’ll take FOX, thank you very much. At least we won’t have to listen to McCarver gush about Derek Jeter’squiet calm eyes.”

We’ll keep you updated as we inch closer to Friday.

UPDATE: WBZ’s Dan Roche gets the scoop that Bobby Kielty will be in right Friday, replacing J.D. Drew. Kielty is hitting .310 against Indians starter C.C. Sabathia with four doubles and a pair of homers in 29 at bats. Something else to keep in mind: Kielty owns Paul Byrd.