Red Sox have discovered one opponent for Friday's tilt -- the sun

Rob Bradford
October 01, 2013 - 7:03 pm

Tuesday's workout did more for the Red Sox than just shake some rust off. It offered a preview for a unique challenge Fenway Park will presenting both teams in Friday afternoon's American League Division Series -- the sun. The Sox took fielding and batting practice at approximately the same time Friday's 3 p.m. will be kicking off, allowing a sneak peak of the unique shadows and glare such an early October afternoon game might offer. As far as the challenges facing the hitters, at 3 p.m. the shadow/sunlight dividing line stands about five feet in front of the mound, making the identification of pitchers' deliveries appreciably more difficult. The Fenway Park lights will most likely be on, helping brighten some of the shadows, but the payoff is minimal, according to the batters. But not too soon after the start of the game, the challenge changes from what faces the hitters to what the outfielders will have to be dealing with. During Tuesday's batting practice, it was a reality experienced by many of the pitchers shagging fly balls, including Jake Peavy. "It's scary bad. It really is," said Peavy regarding the outfield sun. "I could not catch the ball. Hopefully Vic [right fielder Shane Victorino] and Ells [center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury] are a little bit more prepared than whomever they have. It's really right-center to right where it's brutal. It's brutal. It's very hard to keep the ball off the bat the whole way unless it's hit low. But once it gets up and into the sun it gets into that area where you can't see the ball. It's brutal." For what it's worth, the weather forecast for Friday is partly cloudy with high's in the mid-70's.