Angels - 000 000 000 - 0 4 0Beckett: 9 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 8 K, 108 pitches
Red Sox - 103 000 00x - 4 9 0
Youkilis's solo home run into the Monster Seats in the first got the Red Sox on the board. Yook also doubled into the left field corner with one out in the third, right before Ortiz belted a dong down the right field line. It was his 9th post-season home run. Then Manny walked, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on Lowell's single to center. (box)
Beckett was absolutely masterful (and dominant!). Figgins singled to start the game, then Beckett set down the next 19 batters in a row (with only three balls hit out of the infield). Only two Angels runners got to second base all night: Figgins in the first and Aybar in the eighth. Figgins was the only Angel to touch third.
Beckett went to a three-ball count only twice: Figgins in the first (single) and Izturis in the fifth (pop to short). He went to two balls on only six other batters.
Pedroia, 2B Figgins, RF
Youkilis, 1B Cabrera, SS
Ortiz, DH Guerrero, DH
Ramirez, LF Anderson, LF
Lowell, 3B Izturis, 3B
Drew, RF Kotchman, 1B
Varitek, C Kendrick, 2B
Crisp, CF Napoli, C
Lugo, SS Willits, CF
John Lackey (3.01, 144 ERA+) / Josh Beckett (3.27, 139 ERA+)
While Tim Wakefield is not on the Red Sox roster, the Angels have left off outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. (left knee injury) and pitcher Bartolo Colon (right elbow pain). Vladimir Guerrero (right triceps tendinitis) will likely start the series as the DH (he has not played the outfield since September 4).
Also, Dan Lamothe of Red Sox Monster invited me to take part in a blogger roundtable of previewing the series (along with Ian Bethune of Sox & Dawgs, Mike Colucci of Red Sox Stats Guy and Cam Smith of SoxNest). Read it here.
Both NL series start today: Rockies at Phillies at 3 and Cubs at Diamondbacks at 10.
Papelbon: 2006 to 2007. ... The Globe has a feature on Mike Lowell. ... Scouts discuss the Angels.
It stinks. It really does, but it's not like it was in '99. They're not taking me out because they think I can't get hitters out. This was a decision we made as a team. Trust me, it was a hard decision to make when I was sitting in that office. It's hard to take yourself out of the equation sometimes ... but in a short series with the rules changing, I don't want to hurt us.ESPN's Jonah Keri has the "Thinking Fan's Approach" and "Nonthinking Fan's Approach" to the ALDS. Also, 9 of 10 ESPN writers pick the Red Sox, 7 of 10 pick Cleveland, 8 of 10 pick the Cubs, and 6 of 10 pick the Phillies.
The Herald's Michael Silverman says: Red Sox in 5. The Globe's writers' picks are here.
Rob Bradford writes about Manny Ramirez, "by all accounts one of the smartest, best-prepared hitters in the history of the game".
Later in the workout, which is done 30 minutes before every game, Page throws four rings at Ramirez. Each ring has a different colored ball attached to it, and Page calls out the color of the ball Manny has to grab out of mid-air.At the beginning of this season, I mentioned the ultra-fine point pens (0.25 mm line width) I keep score with. I was surpised to learn that there is exists an even-finer 0.20 mm pen. But I never saw it for sale at my store in Manhattan.
"It's comical how good he is at it," Page said. "Other guys try it, but they don't come close."
Most people also don't realize Ramirez is the only position player who routinely stretches and runs with the pitchers. And hardly anyone sees Manny in the weight room nine hours before the first pitch of night games, at home and on the road.
Well, guess what I found three weeks ago in Mississauga -- and am breaking out for the first time tonight? 0.20, baby!