Red Sox - 000 000 200 - 2 7 0Varitek's two-run home run to center in the seventh gave me hope, but after that, Red Sox hitters -- including Youkilis, Ortiz and Ramirez in the top of the eighth -- went 1-for-9 (a weak infield single from Lugo). (box)
Spiders - 020 020 00x - 4 6 1
Matsuzaka's line was not all that impressive (4.2-6-4-2-6, 101), but he wasn't that bad. He did not get several calls on the corners -- Brian Gorman's tight strike zone did not play to his strengths. (He did not speak with the media after the game.)
Lofton hit a two-run shot in the second and the Spiders added two more in the fifth. With one out, Blake lined a single to left. He went to second on a wild pitch and Sizemore walked. Cabrera singled past Pedroia's dive to center and Blake scored. Hafner's grounder up the middle was gloved by Peewee, who made a fantastic play running to second for the force and throwing across his body to first. But the throw was a hair too late -- and Sizemore scored.
Westbrook escaped trouble early. In the second, Manny walked, Lowell singled and Drew reached on Garko's error at first. Bases loaded, no outs. But Varitek popped out to shallow left (no chance to tag) and Crisp grounded into a 6-3 DP.
Ortiz lead off the fourth with an opposite field double, but was erased when he started towards third on Manny's grounder and the ball hit him in the left thigh. Manny got credit for a single, but Westbrook (6.2-7-2-3-2, 104) retired Lowell and Drew on grounders. With the Sox chasing his sinker, Westbrook had only three of his 20 outs in the air.
With one out in the sixth, Youkilis singled. Ortiz was ahead 3-0 when he fouled a pitch off to left (very surprising to see him swing in that spot). He took the next pitch for ball four. With two on, Westbrook fell behind Manny 3-0. His next pitch was inside and high -- clearly a worse pitch than balls 2 and 3 -- but Gorman called it a strike. The pitch should have loaded the bases and brought Lowell up as the potential tying run. Instead, Manny fouled off two pitches, then grounded into a double play.
(An almost identical call went against Crisp in the seventh. After Varitek's home run, Crisp got ahead 3-1. Again, Westbrook threw ball four, but it was called a strike. Crisp eventually struck out. In fairness, Boston did get a few calls as well, mostly notably a called strike two for Timlin against Garko in the fifth that led to a strikeout that stranded two Spiders.)
Against Borowski in the ninth, Lowell (b) popped to first, Drew (ffbf) flew to center and Varitek (bcbcfbfff) popped to third.
Daisuke Matsuzaka / Jake Westbrook
If Matsuzaka has good control of his breaking pitches, and he and Varitek don't suddenly decide to throw a ton of fastballs, he should be fine. Dice:
"Having watched Beckett and Schilling start in the previous two games, perhaps Beckett was more successful in holding their lineup to fewer runs. But I personally feel that I can learn more from the way Schilling pitched."Boston cannot lose the ALCS: Cool!
Game thread is at ThreadSox tonight. I'll be taping the game and watching it Tuesday morning.
(*: Or Dragons, if you prefer.)
(Picture found at Baseball Musings)
I recently googled "Buffyvision" -- look what came up first!