Saturday, October 04, 2008

This is not an Angels-bashing blog

Francisco Rodriguez is one of major league baseball's top closers. Halo fans would argue he is baseball's best, at least when it comes to the regular season. But fans of teams that have tasted postseason success know that October ain't July or August. K-Rod found that out last year in game two, when old friend Manny Ramirez touched him for a game-ending blast.

That was last year, right? Rodriguez registered a ML record 62 saves in 69 chances (his fourth consecutive season of 40+ saves) in 2008 and was one of the reasons why many baseball prognosticators (including some of the Boston beat community, like Bob Ryan) had already knighted the Angels ALDS champs and were talking about a World Series spot. Of course, playing the actual games can often confound the tripe coming from punditry.

With the Red Sox jumping out early (courtesy of Mr. Bay's second home run in as many games), the good guys were up 5-2 after four when the Angels began clawing their way back. Texiera's sac fly tying it in the 8th had me considering the possibilities of going back to Boston potentially all even. Then came Drew's heroics in the 9th.

Maligned of late for not answering the call, a charge that's haunted Drew (who earlier doubled and also made a stellar catch up against the wall) his entire MLB career, he turned around a K-Rod fastball, crushing it to dead center. There was little doubt when he hit it that it was out. Sox up 7-5 and the monkey had climbed squarely back in place for the Angels, a team with little to show (0 for 11) for their postseason efforts against the Sox.

With Beckett back in Boston, ready for game three, the bandwagon seems to be full, with a few standing room spots still available. Hey Mr. Plaschke, you might want to rethink your wet dream of a column predicting an all SoCal World Series.

Red Sox trivia: Jason Bay's homer in the first makes him the first Boston player to ever homer in his first two postseason games.

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