A quick recap of the game since its after 1am on the east coast.
Jon Lester pitched around some first inning trouble going 7 innings giving up 1 unearned run and striking out 7. Lester definitely got stronger as the game went on, touching 97 in the 6th and 7th innings. He also struck out the side in the 6th inning, maybe his best inning. Control seemed to be a problem for Lester in the first, but he straightened things out to shut down the Angels the rest of the way.
Both offenses had their chances to break things open, the Angels really only in the bottom of the first. The Red Sox had Jacoby Ellsbury on third base twice early in the night but failed to get him home . After looking terrible in his first two at bats Jason Bay destroyed (seriously it was crushed) a 2 run home run to left putting the Sox up 2-1 in the 6th.
Bottom of the 8th was an exciting inning. Ellsbury made another amazing diving catch for the first out and Youk threw out Vladimir Guerrero trying to go first to third on a flare over first base. Not sure where Vlad was going on that play, but it brought me to my feet, might have been the play of the game. Plays like that are funny, sometimes it sets the tone for the series, I'm reminded of Chuck Knoblock phantom double play in the '99 ALCS, the Sox never recovered from that blown call. (not that the Vlad call was a blown call, just a goofy play that everyone remembers the series for)
Sox added insurance runs on rbi singles by Elssbury and Ortiz in the top of the 9th driving Scot Shields from the game. Angels fans can't be thrilled with their bullpen, as they gave up 2 important runs in the 9th. Ellsbury went 3-4 with two stolen bases, definitely the type of game you want from you're lead off hitter; the Sox offense will go as Ellsbury does.
Papelbon closed out the 9th striking out the side. Pap has yet to give up a run in his postseason career and the Angels are 2-42 off him in October baseball. As the camera pans across the stadium there are a lot of Angels fans with their heads down, I love it. That's also 10 straight playoff wins over the Angels tying a MLB record, tying who you ask? The Oakland A's handed the Sox 10 straight defeats from the 1980's-2003.
Red Sox are up 1-0 in the series. Next game is Friday night, Matsuzaka pitches for the Sox. All of a sudden that 8-1 record the Halos put up against the Sox in the regular season doesn't seem to be holding much water.
John Lackey didn't pitch bad, but his woes against the Sox continue.
Someone needs to review with these umpires what a check swing is, both teams had some terrible calls go against them.
JD Drew looked okay, didn't really see him do anything to test his back. Mike Lowell made all the plays at third base but he didn't look comfortable at that plate, jogging out a couple weak ground balls. It will be important how these guys bounce back, the day off tomorrow will be key.
Memo to Angel fans: when you're team is in the field and the pitcher has 2 strikes on the batter and there is 2 outs you stand up and cheer, you just do it.
NL Division Series Update:
The Phillies beat the Brewers 3-1 in the afternoon game. Cole Hamels went 8 shut out innings giving up 2 hits. Philly's last postseason win you ask...1993 against the Blue Jays, Curt Schilling was the pitcher of record.
The Dodgers beat up the Cubs 6-2 behind the bat of James Loney. Ryan Dempster didn't help himself walking 7, not a typo he walked 7, thats not how you win ball games. Dempster loaded the bases in the bottom of the 5th before giving up the granny to Loney. Old friends Manny Rameriz and Derek Lowe had nights for themselves, Manny added a home run that he hit off his shoe tops and Lowe got the win.
Thats all for tonight, goodnight.