Martinez, not 'Tek, catching Beckett in Game 2

October, 9, 2009

It will be Victor Martinez, and not Jason Varitek, behind the plate catching Josh Beckett for the Red Sox in Friday night's Game 2 of the ALDS.

Martinez caught Beckett three times during the regular season, compared to Varitek's 27 times. It's a small sample size (just 81 plate appearances), but Beckett's OPS-against with Martinez behind the plate (1.021) is nearly three times what it was for Varitek (.625, in 742 plate appearances).

Martinez, however, caught Beckett's last two starts of the regular season (Beckett gave up six earned runs in 11 innings) and is an obvious offensive upgrade over the Red Sox captain.

That means Varitek likely will not start any of the games in this series. When approached about whether he was starting, Varitek declined to say.

"I want the element of surprise for the other team," he said, smiling.



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