**Angels Blank Red Sox 5-0**
John Lackey and the California Anaheim LA Angels bullpen were too much for the Red Sox hitters last night and the Halos took game one of the best of five series by a score of 5-0. Lackey was opposed by Boston's Jon Lester, who threw a big mistake pitch to Torii Hunter in the fifth inning, who slammed it into the rockpile in left centerfield for a three run home run. The game had been scoreless until that point. Lester summed up his very shaky fifth frame...
“It wasn’t the best inning I ever pitched,” said Lester of the fifth. I’m happy with my thought process and the conviction I had with my pitches. With Hunter, I tried to throw a two-seamer down and away but I left it middle and up.”
It was in Hunter's power zone, let me tell you that. Boston leftfielder Jason Bay added this...
“Lackey shut us down to four singles and we made three errors - I think we can do better,” said left fielder Jason Bay, who had one of the club’s four hits. “The first couple of innings we got his pitch count up, but then he settled in. Jonny pitched well other than that one pitch to Torii. People forget that that’s a pretty good team over there. It’s not going to be like last year where we came in here and won two games. We’ll get Josh out there and hopefully come home with a split.”
Let's face it...when you're limited to four hits, all singles, you ain't going to win many ballgames. A split would be very, very nice, to put it mildly. But LA deserves all the credit and the important victory. They outplayed, outpitched and outperformed the Boston Red Sox, so there are no bitter feelings in my house. Sure, the umpires made a couple of curiously deranged calls but in the end, they really didn't alter the scheme of things. Here is the Boston pitching line to give you a better idea of what happened...
Player................IP H R ER BB K HR BFP Pit B-S
J. Lester (L 0-1) 6.0 4 3 3 4 5 1 28 100 39 - 61
R. Ramirez 0.0 1 1 1 1 0 0 3 10 5 - 5
T. Saito 1.0 2 1 1 0 0 0 3 11 3 - 8 9.00
D. Bard 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 12 3 - 9 0.00
So it's turn the page time as Boston pins its hopes on Josh Beckett, who has always thrived in the postseason. He'll be opposed by Jared Weaver in this upcoming MUST game for the Good Guys. Boston does not want to go home down two games to none. I don't care who'll be pitching games three, four and five, coming back from a 0-2 hole is damn near impossible. I'm pretty sure the Angels set out to prove that their past postseason failures against Boston were exactly that, in the past. They sure showed it last night. Oh, it's another 9:37pm EDT start tonight. That'll change when the series moves to Fenway although the specific starting times have not yet been announced.
In other Thursday playoff games, the Dodgers put the Cardinals in a hole. They're up two games to none. And the Phillies-Rockies series is now knotted at one. Good stuff all over the country. That's October for you (and me).
I hope your Friday will be a great one and don't forget to click on the title of this post for SI's full playoff coverage of all the teams lucky enough to still be playing. Enjoy the game tonight as the Red Sox lumber will awaken and Josh Beckett will do what he does best...as Bruce would sing, "we'll shut 'em up and then we'll shut 'em down." AMEN to that.
As always, BE WELL. Thanks. GO SOX. TONIGHT!