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Tag:Boston Red Sox
Posted on: October 8, 2008 2:58 pm
 

This story's getting old

Manny is in Dodger blue, Papi looked like he aged five years since last season's ALDS, Beckett was not his dominating self and Schilling is not in uniform, off blabbing somewhere to anyone that will listen. And the Boston Red Sox still beat the Angels in the postseason. No, it wasn't Manny or Papi, heck, it wasn't even Youkilis or Pedroia that did the Halos in this time. It was Jason Bay in his first taste of playoff baseball, JD Drew with a bad back and some dude named Jed. Speaking of Jed Lowrie's game winner in Game 4, is it me or did it seem like that grounder took like 10 years to reach the outfield grass?

Nope, no Josh Beckett either. I mean, he was there and he pitched OK in Game 3, but it was not the Josh Beckett whose appearance on a mound in October generally means the opposing team has no chance. Instead, a young pitcher named Jon Lester became Beckett, allowing zero earned runs in 14 innings against the Angels.

The point to all this? Boston had players step up and rise to the occasion. It seems since 2004, they always do. For the Angels, Mike Napoli played the role of hero one night, hitting two home runs off Beckett to key a win in Game 3, and while John Lackey pitched great, he was still outdueled twice by Lester who was just that much better.

The Angels had plenty of baserunners in this series, and the team's heart-of-the-order guys got their share of hits, but in Games 1 and 2, there was no one on base when those hits came and when there were guys in scoring position, the big hit was nowhere to be found. Torii Hunter came up big in a few spots and Vlad and Teixeira got some hits, but none left the yard and none came when we really needed them. In the playoffs, clutch is everything, and the Angels have been anything but clutch in the postseason since that magical run in 2002. The team really needed a guy like Juan Rivera or Howie Kendrick or Erick Aybar (even with that bloop in Game 3, he was 2-for-the-series) to come through. They didn't. Instead, a guy named Jed is a hero and we're thinking about how the team will look next season.

I'm not quite ready to resign myself to the thought that 2002 will be it. Our only taste of magic. But come playoff time, if we're matched up with a certain team from the New England area again, I may be tempted to pop in my 2002 World Series DVD and relive some happier times. If we do win another title, and I think we will, I guarantee we will not go through Boston to win it. This was our year to erase 22 years of heartache against them, and we couldn't do it. Like the title says, this story's getting old.

Posted on: April 24, 2008 7:33 pm
 

Road Warriors

In a previous post I called this road trip a “test.” Well, half the test is done, and after taking 2 of 3 from the Red Sox (albeit, a flu-ridden, sore neck-ridden Sox club) in Fenway, which has been less than hospitable to the Halos in recent years, I feel pretty confident jotting a big B+ in red pen on the work of the team thus far.

In all honesty, this could have, and probably should have, been a sweep. We were slated to face the two best pitchers the Sox have in Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka, but both were scratched, forcing the Sox to call up some emergency starters from the minors. Hey, emergency starters or not, you still gotta hit the ball, and the Angels did, getting production from up and down the lineup. Offensive heroes were Jeff Mathis, Gary Matthews, Erick Aybar and Casey Kotchman with honorable mentions going to Torii Hunter and Maicer Izturis, who seems to be coming out of his early season slump.

As for the pitching, not bad considering how hot the Red Sox bats have been and how good they are in their ball park consistently. Weaver went in game 1 and kept us in the game without his best stuff, which has yet to make an appearance thus far. Garland was solid in game 2 getting the win, and really, only made one bad mistake which David Ortiz turned into a souvenir. And today, Saunders pitched into, and more importantly, out of trouble, picking up his fourth win of the season.

The bullpen seems to be stabilizing somewhat, preserving wins in two of the three games with Speier, Shields and Franky all looking pretty good. They weren’t lights-out, but against that lineup, who is? My worries about the early season struggles of the pen are slowly being eased with every lead they hold onto. Franky’s velocity is coming back and his changeup is becoming every bit as devastating as his slider.

Off to Detroit to cool off some more hot bats.

 
 
 
 
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