Boston had a 2-1 lead and there was only one out in the bottom of the eighth -- and that had come on a diving catch by Jacoby Ellsbury. Guerrero had singled to left off Justin Masterson and when Torii Hunter dropped a short pop over the infield and near the right field line, Vlad tried to hobble his way to third. The 3-5 play took all the air out of any potential rally. Howie Kendrick hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning, the Sox got two more runs in the ninth, and Bot slammed the door.
A commenter at the Globe mentioned a key non-decision from Mike Scioscia:
Why wasn't there a pinchrunner for Vlad? The guy is slower than Ortiz and Lowell these days. This was a one-run game in the 8th inning. If Vlad was to get up again in the 9th it meant the Angels would have scored 3 times already. Got to tie the game first.Ellsbury did not think he'd get to Teixeira's pop fly to start that half-inning:
It was hit kind of high, but we were playing deep to respect his power. ... I came in running full speed, and I glanced down at Lowrie, thinking maybe he had a shot at it, hoping he had a shot at it ... making sure we don't collide. It's loud out there, and even if someone calls for it, you're probably not going to hear them. ... I really don't get too fired up when I make diving catches. I was pretty fired up about that one. It was late in the game. Playoffs. First out of the inning. It kind of killed off a potential rally. Definitely my favorite one of the year. Normally, 100 percent of the time, I know whether I can catch a ball. That one, I wasn't sure.Since adjusting his swing to get rid of a lengthy uppercut, Ellsbury has caught fire again. In his last 15 regular season games, he hit .415/.424/.631, with multiple hits in nine of the 15 games. He had three hits last night -- and he's blogging!
Josh Beckett threw long toss (150 feet) before last night's game. Terry Francona would not call him a lock to pitch Game 3, but: "He has to answer some physical questions every step of the way, and today was a good one."
Tito on the absence of Old Yeller:
[O]ur obligations are to put the best out there we can. I've been with Mike for five years now. We have a lot of respect for what he has done. But still, we're always going to do what we think is right for our ball club.The one run the Angels scored off Lester (7-6-1-0-1-7, 117) was unearned. After Jason Bay's home run gave him a one-run lead, Lester struck out four of the next five batters. ... Jonathan Papelbon's post-season shutout streak is now at 15.2 innings.
Jeff Miller of the Orange County Register called last night's game
Game 9 of the Angels Lacking Bashing Strength (ALBS, emphasis on the BS part). ... During their past nine postseason games, the Angels now have scored 16 runs. Not coincidently, they've lost eight of those games. They've lost all eight, in fact, in succession.Enough links to keep you busy all day.
White Sox/Rays at 2:30
Brewers (0)/Phillies (1) at 6
Dodgers (1)/Cubs (0) at 9:30