Wednesday, October 3, 2007

ALDS Game 1: Beckett pwn3d the Angels!

Josh Beckett, backed by a solo homer by Kevin Youkilis and a two-run shot by David Ortiz, lifted the Red Sox to a 4-0 victory over the Angels in Game 1 of this best-of-five American League Division Series at Fenway Park.

Beckett did so by firing one of the best games any Boston pitcher has had during the month of October. Beckett's complete-game shutout was the first for the Red Sox in the postseason since Luis Tiant stymied the Reds in Game 1 of the 1975 World Series.

"He went out there and executed pitches, in my opinion, probably better than he has at any point of the season," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He attacked the strike zone with all of his pitches -- cut his fastball. He pounded the strike zone with three great pitches."

Beckett (four hits, no walks and eight strikeouts) was so good that the packed Fenway house stood up and applauded for the mere fact he came back out for the ninth inning. Not that there seemed to be a doubt.

"It's a really cool thing to be able to go out there and be the only pitcher that pitches for your team that day," said Beckett. "After eight innings, I don't think they ever really thought about taking me out. It was just one of those deals that it was kind of known throughout the dugout that I was going back out there."

Beckett, who went 20-7 during his breakout season, picked up right where he left off in his first postseason outing since Game 6 of the 2003 World Series, when he willed the Marlins past the Yankees. In fact, with his latest batch of goose eggs, Beckett became the seventh pitcher in postseason history to produce shutouts in back-to-back starts.

Daisuke Matsuzaka takes the ball for Boston in Friday's Game 2; he'll be opposed by Kelvim Escobar.




Yakyuu Shonen said...

Man, this makes his last postseason win look sloppy... Back in 2003 he won the World Series, but he allowed five hits and two walks. Apparently, he decided that wasn't good enough and stepped it up a notch for this year.

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