Monday, October 06, 2008

LAnaheim 5, Boston 4 (12 innings)

Odds and ends...

  • Thus endeth Boston's 9 game post-season winning streak and their 11 game post-season winning streak over the Angels.

  • I love the baseball season, having a Red Sox game every night. But I would happily have foregone tonight's game.

  • Boy, that was brisk. They managed to jam 12 innings of baseball into only 5:17. Mercy!

  • Are they paying Buck Martinez by the word?

  • I hope that this is the last we see of Daisuke Beckett - I much prefer Josh.

  • The big hit of the game? Mike Napoli's 2-run HR against Beckett in the 3rd. The Angels had stranded runners over the first two innings, and then handed the Red Sox a 3-1 lead when Hunter and Kendrick forgot they were playing baseball and played "hot potato" instead. Everything was set up to snowball out of control for them, and had Beckett done what Lester did last Wednesday, shut them down following the Red Sox score, I think Boston ends up winning handily. Instead of throwing the 3rd strike for the 3rd out, however, Beckett threw a pitch that Napoli crushed, the game was tied, and the Angels were back in it.

  • Off-topic: Rumor has it that Frank Caliendo is getting his own sketch TV show, and that he'll be doing his excellent impressions regularly on something called "FrankTV." But I haven't seen anything about it. Has anybody got any information on what network might be carrying this, or if it's even real?

  • Speaking of "hot potato," that play enabled Jacoby Ellsbury to do something that had never been done in the history of post-season baseball - drive in 3 runs on a single.

  • How is it that I've been watching this team for so long, and I have to find out from Buck Freakin' Martinez about Javier Lopez' "overwhelming fastball?" If a fastball is "overwhelming," for a Major League relief pitcher, shouldn't it do better than touch 93? Shouldn't a Major League relief pitcher with an "overwhelming fastball" strike out more than 5.8 batters per 9 innings?

  • Buck Martinez obviously thinks he's getting paid by the word.

  • I thought Terry Francona had an excellent game last night, making a series of good moves, none of which worked at all. That's the way it goes - the players have to perform. But the manager has to put them in position to perform, and I think he did. I thought hitting for Varitek in the 9th with Drew was the right move. It didn't work. I thought Cora running for Lowell in the 10th was a good move. It didn't matter. Kotsay hitting for Cash was the right move - that's exactly why there are three catchers on the roster, so they can hit for two of them in key spots. It didn't work. The pitching changes were all good - they certainly didn't lose an extra inning game without having used all of their best pitchers. It just didn't work out. Sometimes that happens.

  • <obligatory statement of the obvious>Boy, this game tonight is important. They sure don't want to be flying back to Los Angeles to try to win a game 5.</obligatory statement of the obvious>

  • Oh yes - you'd never have seen Francona make those moves in a game in April. He understands the difference between strategy and tactics. April is strategy time. October is the result of the season-long strategy paying off. It's also time to start managing for each game, rather than the long haul. So the tactics change. In April, you're trying to maximize the results of the 162-game schedule. In October, you're trying to stay alive or close out a series. Different beasts. One of Francona's real strengths is that he recognizes that, and manages accordingly.

  • <obligatory statement of the obvious>This sure would be a good night for Dustin Pedroia to come out of his 0-13 slump.</obligatory statement of the obvious>

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