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27/08/2014

Tonight is as close as it gets to a must-win for the Red Sox

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Australian Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt have entered the doubles competition at the Australian Open as a wild-card entry, with both players admitting theyre planning to have "a bit of fun. Matt Flynn Packers Jersey ." It comes less than a month after John McEnroe criticized the current state of the doubles game, saying the standard of players is poor and the money would be better spent on struggling singles players. On Sunday, the 41-year-old Rafter said he would come out of more than a decade of retirement to play with Hewitt, although how far they go in the doubles draw might depend on how long Hewitt stays active in singles. The 32-year-old Hewitt plays his first-round singles match against No. 24 Andreas Seppi on Tuesday. Rafter hasnt played since Australias Davis Cup final loss to France in Melbourne in 2001. He and Hewitt, both two-time Grand Slam singles champions, were drawn to play American Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen of South Africa in the first round of the doubles. Hewitt, when asked if there was a serious side to the doubles pairing, responded: "Not really. Just a bit of fun." "I think he still thinks hes got it in him, so... Hope I dont have to carry him too much," Hewitt added, smiling. "Hes hitting the ball well enough. Beat (Goran) Ivanisevic and (Tim) Henman and those guys over in the seniors tour." Rafter appeared to play down any long-range plans for the twosome. "Listen, nothing is happening just yet," Rafter said. "Were in the draw, but it will all depend on how he goes. Its really important for him to play great singles. Thats what its all about. "But Ill have fun. Im playing with one of the best players in the competition. Figure its like eating chocolate or having broccoli, sort of equal it out." McEnroe, despite having won 71 doubles titles, many of them with regular partner Peter Fleming, in addition to his 77 singles titles, was scathing in his criticism of doubles during a gathering in London during a Masters tournament in December. "If you cut out doubles and gave that money to singles players ranked between 200 and 1,000, maybe that would do something for the game," McEnroe was quoted as saying. "Most doubles players, I hate to say, are the slow guys who were not quick enough to play singles. Why we are even playing doubles at this point is a mystery to me." The winning mens and womens doubles pairs at the Australian Open will each receive almost a half-million dollars. Rafter, who could split $12,000 with Hewitt even if they lose in the first round, was asked whether he had any concerns about passing a doping test in his comeback. "If theres a law, mate, against eating too much chocolate, Im in trouble," Rafter said. Casey Hayward Womens Jersey . Seattle had a six-run outburst in an inning that included three Texas errors and an overturned call that led to the ejection of Rangers manager Ron Washington during the Mariners 7-1 victory Monday night. Ray Nitschke Jersey . Hes hired a professional makeup artist before lurching down Yonge Street among the undead as part of Zombie Walk. Last season, he shaved a huge red Raptors claw into his hair.ST. LOUIS – Its difficult to imagine Sunday nights fourth game of the World Series unfolding in a more dramatic fashion than Saturdays 5-4 Cardinals win. St. Louis won in walk-off fashion, to take a 2-1 series lead, when Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks was ruled to have obstructed with base runner Allen Craig. The game also featured a questionable decision by Boston manager John Farrell to allow his relief pitcher, Brandon Workman, to hit with one out in the ninth inning of a tie game. We also saw two bullpens, both strong at the back end, cough up runs. Set up men Carlos Martinez (St. Louis) and Craig Breslow (Boston) struggled and each of Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara (Boston) and Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis) allowed inherited runners to score. Tonight is as close as it gets to a must-win for the Red Sox without the math actually requiring a victory. The prospect of being down 3-1 and with Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright scheduled to pitch Mondays Game 5 in St. Louis is not appealing to the American League representatives. Game 4 Preview: Pitching Matchup: Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz (Regular season: 12-1, 1.74, 1.025 WHIP in 108.1IP; Playoffs: 3GS: 0-0, 5.40, 1.440 WHIP in 16.2IP) There isnt a St. Louis player whos faced Buchholz in a major league game. Lineup Considerations: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whose errant throw to third base precipitated the obstruction call against Will Middlebrooks to force home St. Louis winning run in Game 3, will be replaced behind the plate by David Ross. Its more likely that Saltalamacchias offensive struggles have contributed to mmanager John Farrells decision making. Corey Linsley Womens Jersey. Saltalmacchia has struck out a whopping 19 times in 32 postseason at-bats. Manager John Farrell says his entire bullpen is available for tonights game and also suggested he could turn to Game 2 starter John Lackey for an inning, if necessary. Pitching Matchup: Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn (Regular season: 15-10, 3.97, 1.314 WHIP in 201.2IP; Playoffs: 3G, 2GS, 2-1, 5.40, 1.971 WHIP in 11.2IP) Six Red Sox position players have a combined 15 career big league at-bats against Lynn. Only David Ross has an extra base hit (double). Lineup Considerations: Allen Craig, who scored Game 3s winning run in dramatic fashion, appeared to reinjure his sprained foot on the play. Manager Mike Matheny confirmed Craig underwent an x-ray, which confirmed there were no breaks. Craig will continue to be available in a pinch hit role. Shortstop Pete Kozma, whos hitless in eight World Series at-bats, will sit in favour of Daniel Descalso. Game 4 Prediction: Its hard to get a read on Lance Lynn at the moment. No doubt, hes a talented young pitcher, but hes been vulnerable in this postseason as his numbers suggest. The Red Sox likely will have to piece it together. Clay Buchholz is working through shoulder stiffness, which becomes an increasing problem as the game goes on. If Buchholz is limited to five innings and 80 pitches, or thereabouts, look for Ryan Dempster to back fill. With so many variables, were looking at another game decided by the bullpens and because of that, St. Louis will win and take a stranglehold on the series. Final score: 7-5. ' ' '