Saturday, October 6, 2007


Manny Ramirez homered off Francisco Rodriguez with two outs in the ninth inning Friday night, and the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 to take a 2-0 lead in their AL playoff series.

Boston, which tied the game in the fifth thanks to a friendly -- and legal -- grab by the son of a Red Sox part-owner, has a chance to complete the sweep on Sunday in Anaheim when Curt Schilling faces Jered Weaver in Game 3.

Schilling, the bloody-socked hero of Boston's 2004 title, was on his way to the West Coast with Games 1 and 4 starter Josh Beckett, manager Terry Francona said a few hours before Friday's game. If so, they landed in time to catch the ending of the grueling, 4 hour, 5 minute affair, in which Daisuke Matsuzaka needed 60 pitches to get through the first two innings and lasted just 4 2/3.

Four relievers from Boston's well-rested bullpen threw 4 1/3 innings of hitless ball. Anaheim's relievers matched them until Julio Lugo opened the Red Sox ninth with a single off losing pitcher Justin Speier. On a hit-and-run, Lugo took second on Dustin Pedroia's grounder.

It was Boston's eighth consecutive postseason victory over the Angels, who blew a 3-1 lead in the 1986 AL Championship Series and got swept in the first round of '04 when the Red Sox ended their 86-year championship drought.

They could be well on their way again.




Yakyuu Shonen said...

It seems like a popular thing for people to go on predicting how the Red Sox and Yankees are going to lose this series. Well, uh, the Yankees aren't silencing those people, but the Red Sox are moving down the opposition with hitting and pitching.

Just because the Red Sox are all hyped-up, that doesn't mean that they're over-hyuped, y'know? Anything can happen, but Bloody-Sox Schilling knows what he's doing in the postseason and this could be one of them thar sweeps.

ColbyPants said...

Unlike the Yankees, who are kind of one dimensional tending toward offense, the red sox are arguably the most balanced they have ever been, even in the 04 championship year. Do I know if they will make it that far again, nio. But they look poised to pass a banged up Angels team and make a deep run.


Yakyuu Shonen said...

The Red Sox do have some weak spots, I think, but overall, they are still probably the most well-rounded team out there. I do defend Yankees pitching, especially Chien-Ming Wang, but as far as the whole pitching staff, I think the Red Sox are the envy of the MLB. (Yeah, yeah, the Padres have great pitching, but tell me they wouldn't rather be in the Red Sox spot now).

I might give the pitching a bit of an advantage over 2004, though that team had its share of good pitching, too. I'm inclined to think that the 2004 team may have been slightly better at the plate, but that's not to talk bad about this team.

I haven't checked any numbers to back me up on this, though....

I don't see any reason why the Red Sox couldn't win the World Series this year. However, I might have said that about the Yankees or Angels, too. Pitching wins championships (though hitting can get one into the playoffs - i.e. Yankees as opposed to Padres).

That being said, I think that perhaps the Rockies have forgottten to make any sort of plans to ever lose again, so I dunno.

ColbyPants said...

2004 Red Sox = 949 Runs, 4.18 ERA

2007 Red Sox = 867 runs, 3.87 ERA

Mind you, during the 06 and 07 seasons the Red sox were setting all time record in offensive proficiency. So they are slightly less potent a lineup (anbout a 1/2 run per game, 5.85 Runs per game in '04 vs 5.35 in '07), but they have a much better pitching staff, especfially the bulpen, which is the best in the AL. the Padres might have better pitching be they couldnt hit to save thier life. The difference between '04 and now is that the sox are less reliant on the longball, and have some team speed in Lugo and Crisp.

The Yankees middle relief and the back end of their bullpen is scary. so if they can hit their way through to the next round, more power to them. The problem is they have to face Sabathia and Carmona again before this series is over, which is a tough task.

Frankly, regarding the Angels, i feel bad. they are so banged up that they cannot come close to putting their best team ont he field. Yesterday they fought valiantly, butr didnt have quite enough. If they had the team they could field when ldve been a hell of a series.