It was about ten minutes before 1 AM in Boston when the Red Sox won the wild card, the team's sixth playoff appearance in the last seven years. By the end of the Angels' win over the Rangers in Anaheim most players were in the clubhouse watching the final outs. Then they celebrated.
We'd rather do it on the field in front of the fans but we don't care how it comes. ... [T]his is just step one.Lowell plans to take batting practice today with an eye towards playing on Thursday.
The Red Sox have lost seven of their last nine games. Michael Silverman notes that other title-winning teams have slumped on the eve of the playoffs: The 2000 Yankees finished the season 3-15; the 2002 Angels closed the season 5-8; and the 2006 Cardinals went 4-10 over their final two weeks. The 2004 Red Sox were 9-7 in their last 16 games and the 2007 team was 7-8 in the final two weeks.
Terry Francona and Victor Martinez were blunt in their assessments of Clay Buchholz's start last night.
I thought they were sitting soft, especially late in the count, when he got some changeups up. I thought they did a good job of picking out one speed. He was elevating a little bit, and they hit it a long way.Martinez:
When you throw up and pretty much in the middle, I mean, I think anybody can hit those kind of pitches.
The Red Sox announced their minor league players of the year: Casey Kelly was the Pitcher of the Year and Ryan Kalish was named Offensive Player of the Year.