Saturday, October 04, 2008

Talk about the best case scenario.

The Red Sox leave the greater Disneyland area with a 2-0 lead over the Angels in the ALDS. They have won 11 post-season games in a row over California/Anaheim/Los Angeles dating back to the Dave Henderson/Donnie Moore thing in the 1986 ALCS. The 1-8 regular season record the Sox complied against the Halos seems like it happened a decade ago, not this summer.

The game itself was an epic. The Sox jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first on the strength of a 3-run bomb by Jason (not-Manny) Bay. The Angels started to peck away, scoring single runs in the 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th to tie the game 5-5. Then J.D. Drew followed up a Papi double with a two run homer in the 9th, Papelbon closed things out and the Sox won 7-5.

Oh, yeah, and Josh Beckett, the Bob Gibson of the 21st century, starts at Fenway Sunday night.

Three important points about this game:
  1. Daisuke really wants to make me pull my hair out sometimes. After three innings of the Good Daisuke, he reverted to the Bad Daisuke in the 4th and 5th. You know the difference, right? The Good Daisuke is relatively economical with his pitches, doesn't walk a lot of guys, gives up some hits and gets some strikeouts. The Bad Daisuke goes into a lot of deep counts, walks a few batters and is at around 110 pitches by the 5th inning, forcing Francona to go to the bullpen earlier than he would like. (I found it amusing that TBS announcer Buck Martinez actually called him "the Bad Daisuke" last night.) The 5th was the worst, as Matsuzaka walked the first two batters, loaded the bases with none out, and somehow managed to wiggle out of the inning with only one run having scored. I don't know how, but we really need the Good Daisuke to hang around longer when he pitches again this post-season.
  2. Papelbon had to come in for a six out save, but that's not as bad as it sounds. He only threw 21 pitches, only struck out one batter and got the Angels to hit the ball at people. Anyone who thought Pap's last regular season garbage time outing against the Yankees meant anything needn't worry. The dominant Papelbon of the 2007 World Series run is here again.
  3. How does J.D. Drew get out there after basically not having played for six weeks and hit a huge, game-winning home run? No rehab, no extra BP, just gets out there and hits. If this guy had any capability to stay healthy at all, he'd be well on his way to Cooperstown by now.


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