Monday, October 8, 2007
Smell ya later Angels
Well that was pretty easy huh? Thanks to a combination of factors: Beckett's dominant game one performance, the Angels rash of injuries/lack of hitters and the Ortiz-Ramirez duo (baseball's undisputed best 1-2 punch), the Sox rolled in Game 3, 9-1 in Anaheim. Curt Schilling proved once again that he's a big game pitcher, even though he lacks the power stuff from most of his career. Big Schill pitched seven scoreless innings, giving up six hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. His postseason record is now 9-2 with a 1.93 ERA.
Ortiz and Manny capped off a great series for both as they went back-to-back in the fourth, giving the Sox a 2-0 lead that they'd never relinquish. Ortiz had the big two-run homer in the first game and Manny provided the walk-off three-run bomb on Friday night. For the short series, Papi was 5-for-7 with 5 runs, 6 walks, 2 HR's and 3 RBIs. Manny was 3-for-8 with 3 runs, 5 walks, 2 HR's and 4 RBIs. It seems like they both were never in the zone at the same time during the season. Ortiz battled myriad injuries all season and Manny took most of September off. It looks like both of them are tearing the cover off the ball at the exact same time which is bad news for opposing teams.
This never really seemed like a series. Beckett was lights out in game one and game two was close but you had the feeling the Sox would pull it out in Fenway. Yesterday was a forgone conclusion with Schilling against one of the Weavers (albeit the better one, Jered). The Sox move on to the ALCS, which begins Friday in Boston. The Yankees staved off elimination last night with a win but it's hard to see them beating Cleveland two more times (particularly if they have to face Sabathia/Carmona again). My gut instinct is I'd rather see the Sox face the Indians. It's time for someone else to make the ALCS, not just the Yankees and Sox. As fans we certainly eat up the rivalry but something different would be nice. Bigger picture, I think the Sox matchup better with the Indians since the Yankees owned us the second half of 2007 and they'd have big momentum if they can come back from down 2-0. We'll see how it plays out but you have to be happy if you're a Red Sox fan, they look very balanced and solid at the perfect time.