Red Sox - 400 100 002 - 7 14 0Wow. After Chone Figgins tripled off Justin Masterson to begin the bottom of the eighth and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly off Jonathan Papelbon, Boston stormed back against Francisco Rodriguez in the top of the ninth.
Angels - 100 110 110 - 5 12 2
David Ortiz pounded Frod's first pitch to deep right. Reggie Willits leapt at the wall, the ball hit in, and then fell out of, his glove, and Flo had a stand-up double. Coco Crisp went in to run before Kevin Youkilis grounded to third. With J.D. Drew at the plate, Frod tried to pick Crisp off second. His throw to Willie Aybar was in plenty of time, but Aybar neglected to tag the Crisp and Ococ slid back in between the shortstop's legs. Drew swung and missed on two pitches and worked the count to 2-2 before crushing a home run just to the right of dead center.
Drew: "I squared it up really nice."
It broke the tie and gave the Red Sox a 7-5 lead. Frod continued to melt down, allowing an infield hit to Jason Bay and a line drive single to Mark Kotsay. Jason Varitek hit into a double play to end the inning.
Bot had come in after Figgins's triple and had retired three straight Angels in the eighth on only seven pitches. Torii Hunter began LA's last gasp with a hard bunt towards third. Youkilis sprinted in, bare-handed the ball and fired to first. One out. Pinch-hitter Gary Matthews popped a full count pitch towards the third base camera pit. Yook ran over, timed his leap, and snared the ball over the heads of the crouching photogs. Then Bot whiffed Howie Kendrick to give Boston a 2-0 lead in the series.
The ninth-inning dugout TBS shots told you everything you needed to know about this series. The Angels were in shock, staring out at the field with glassy, dead eyes. As Frod struggled to get outs in the ninth, they knew they were playing their last home game of the 2008 season. As the Red Sox rolled to their 11th straight post-season win over the Angels, they knew they were finished. (And WTF was with the announcing team of Chip Caray and Buck Martinez? Were they auditioning for jobs as LAA's Hawk Harrelson-type announcers? I watched the last 3-4 innings on mute.)
The game looked initially like a rout, as the Sox scored four times in the first. But the Angels chipped away, scoring one in the bottom of the first, on three straight singles from Mark Teixeira, Vladimir Guerrero and Hunter. Boston made it 5-1 on back-to-back doubles by Alex Cora and Jacoby Ellsbury, but the Angels got that run right back. Juan Rivera walked to start the fourth and scored on Chone Figgins's singled to left.
Matsuzaka walked Teixeira and Vlad to begin the fifth and Hunter singled home Tex. After that, Dice bore down, striking out Rivera, getting Kendrick on a fly to center, and retiring Kendry Morales on a pop to third. But that was the night for Dice (5-8-3-3-5), who threw 108 pitches in five innings, including 61 (!) in his final two innings.
Hideki Okajima pitched a perfect sixth, but allowed hits to Teixeira and Guerrero to begin the seventh. At that point, those two guys were 8-for-8 in reaching base. Masterson came in and got three outs, but not before walking two more Angels (the first on a blown call by the home plate umpire) and forcing in LA's fourth run.
The Red Sox wasted a golden scoring chance in the sixth. With one out, Kotsay reached on Hunter's error on a fly ball right at him in center. Varitek singled, chasing Santana, and Jose Arredondo walked Cora to load the bases. Ellsbury fanned on a slider in the dirt and Dustin Pedroia (0-for-5) grounded to second. Boston also could do nothing with a couple of two-out singles from Drew and Bay in the seventh.
But in the end, Boston dined out on monkey burgers. They get to enjoy another off day on Saturday before getting back to some broom work on Sunday.
Ellsbury PF5, Pedroia K, Ortiz single, Youkilis single, Drew double (1-0), Bay home run (4-0), Kotsay single, Varitek P6.Earlier this evening, Tampa Bay beat the White Sox 6-2, to take a 2-0 lead in the other ALDS. The NL is off tonight.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (2.90, 158 ERA+) / Ervin Santana (3.49, 125 ERA+)
Red Sox Angels***
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Chone Figgins, 3B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Garret Anderson, LF
David Ortiz, DH Mark Teixeira, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B Vladimir Guerrero, DH
J.D. Drew, RF Torii Hunter, CF
Jason Bay, LF Juan Rivera, RF
Mark Kotsay, 1B Howie Kendrick, 2B
Jason Varitek, C Jeff Mathis, C
Alex Cora, SS Erick Aybar, SS
Mike Lowell calls Game 2 "a monster game for them and a tremendous opportunity for us".
The Angels are facing the possibility of heading back to Boston down 0-2. The worst case scenario for the Red Sox has them tied 1-1 with Josh Beckett set to pitch on Sunday night.
Yesterday, Beckett had what Terry Francona called "a pretty aggressive side [session] ... Nothing was cut short. His fastball had some finish to it and he threw all his pitches." Depending on who you asked, he threw either 65 pitches (John Farrell) or 67 (Francona).
[T]he extension that he was able to get with his fastball, the down-and-away area to a righthanded hitter, which is always going to indicate the furthest extension from the throwing arm [was good]. There was no discomfort in the oblique. So provided that there's no concerns coming out of his exam, or a follow-up exam tomorrow, he should be on line for Sunday.So Dice now has a mohawk? I could not find a picture though.
Lowell probably will not be in the lineup tonight. Francona may rest Lowell and play Mark Kotsay (7-for-18 against Santana) at first, moving Kevin Youkilis to third. (More on Yook's great play late in Game 1.)
Mike Timlin says "there's a real possibility" he could retire after this post-season. ... Transcripts of Thursday interviews with Francona, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Mike Scioscia and Howie Kendrick.
A Boston victory tonight would set a franchise record of nine consecutive postseason victories. The MLB record is 12, set twice by the Yankees. ... In the eight wins so far, the pitching staff has a 1.88 ERA. ... A win tonight would also set a major league record for consecutive playoff victories against a single opponent (11).
Starting times for the rest of this series were announced:
Only one other game today:Game 3: Sun at Boston, 7:17 PM
Game 4: Mon at Boston, 8:37 PM
(8 PM if CWS-TBR series over)
Game 5: Wed at Anaheim, 9:37 PM
(8:37 PM if CWS-TBR series over)