The Boston Red Sox Take A Commanding 2-0 Lead Over The LA Angels
First and ninth inning home run magic propelled the Boston Red Sox to a 7-5 victory over the LA (California) Angels Friday night, and their flight home must have been a happy one. Jason Bay launched a three run shot in the first, an inning that Boston scored four times. Now that's a nice crooked number! Jason had three hits for the day. The Sox eventually expanded that lead to a 5-1 advantage before the Halos made it 5-3, then 5-4 and finally 5-5. They tied the score after eight full innings. But then the bookend to Bay's first inning tater happened. It was the ninth inning, Francisco Hernandez, the owner of the all-time single season saves record, was pitching, and JD Drew, the player of the game (along with Bay) with three hits, hit a monster shot to make the score 7-5 good guys. And that's where it stayed. Jonathon Papelbon pitched the final two innings and gave up one run, but that was it. Ervin Santana was floured, battered and fried early and only pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up those five runs on eight hits while walking none and striking out three. Matsuzaka, handed a 4-0 lead, was no better, always escaping disaster of his own creation. He did not have his control, what there is of it, and when his pitches found the zone, as they often did early, they were hit, hit squarely for base hits. He pranced and danced through minefields of his own creation for five innings, throwing a bulky 108 pitches in that short span. Now that's a ton of pitches! It was a typical Daisuke start, disappointing to say the least. An ineffective Okajima followed, and then the 'pen gates opened up with Jed Masterson and finally, FINALLY, Jonathon Papelbon, who recorded the final six outs without any of his baserunners getting anywhere near the plate. Game two hero JD Drew and Angel manager Mike Scioscia had this to say after the game, a game which put the Angels into quite the hole...
"There's probably no greater feeling as a baseball player," Drew said. "You battle all year to get to this point, and you get to experience that. I hadn't played in six weeks, so I'm thankful to be out there and just run around and play with our team. To contribute in a key situation is huge."
"We have a challenge," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "This game ain't over until somebody wins three games, it's that type of series. We go into Boston, win a game, and the pressure is back on them. We need to play baseball."
Peter here, and Mike, I think the pressure is on you and your team. Good luck against Beckett. The Boston ace has gotten the green light from the team of doctors and his manager, who watched his 67 pitch side session yesterday. He was rearing back and throwing everything with no fear whatsoever. Josh knows he can end this series on Sunday with a great outing, and a pitch count should not be a factor.
You can click on the title of this post for more coverage of a joyous night in Anaheim, joyous for Red Sox Nation, at least. The Angel fans raised the roof while their team was rallying but walked tomb-like, dusty and dead, as they filed out of the stands. Yes, they were thinking this...that team from Boston has beaten us eleven straight times in the postseason. And I would say to them this...let's make it an even dozen.
Have a wonderful weekend, enjoy the off day, and get ready for baseball on Sunday at a relatively normal time...shortly after 7:30pm EDT (TBS & TBSHD)...now that's more like it! Please leave me some comments so I know you're out there, and enjoy basking in the glow of yet another postseason Red Sox win. GO SOX, and as always, be well.