Monday, October 12, 2009

ALDS: LAnaheim 3, Boston 0

It ended where it began, in Fenway Park, on a cool, dry afternoon. It begins with the promise of spring and ends with the inevitability of fall, and while the trappings are similar, the feelings are very different.

    Odds & Ends & the end of the Red Sox playoff "run"...
  • I had sports radio on for a few minutes Friday morning, following the game 1 loss, and the very first call I heard forced me to turn it off. Some alleged "fan" called in to share with the world his conclusion that the Red Sox had "no heart." I know that harsh words turn people off but that's idiocy. In the first place, no one makes it to the Major Leagues without "heart." In the second place, many of the Red Sox players who just got swept out of the playoffs have demonstrated "heart" under whatever definition you want to use. Someone want to tell me that Jon Lester, the losing pitcher in the game that Mr. Knowledgeable Fan was commenting about, Jon Lester who has fought cancer and still has a 2.57 post-season ERA, has no heart? Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell (who has also beaten cancer) combined to go 5-34 in the series. Are they heartless? It's a moronic argument, it's a talking point that enables someone to call and assume an air of moral superiority over vastly more successful individuals, and if it were my show, I'd hang up the instant someone started it.

  • The Red Sox didn't lose because they lacked "heart." They lost because LAnaheim pitched better and hit better than they did over this particular three games set.

  • How much didn't the Red Sox hit?

    Red Sox Schedule Trivia

    J.D. Drew 39120012110.2220.30.5560.8560

    Jacoby Ellsbury 312230100020.250.250.4170.6670

    Jason Bay 38010000330.1250.3640.1250.4890

    Dustin Pedroia 312121002100.1670.2310.250.4810

    Mike Lowell 310120001100.20.2730.20.4730

    Alex Gonzalez 36110000110.1670.2860.1670.4520

    Victor Martinez 311020002120.1820.250.1820.4320

    Kevin Youkilis 312011000020.0830.0830.1670.250

    David Ortiz 312010000040.0830.0830.0830.1670

    Brian N. Anderson 10000000000

    Joey Gathright 10100000001

    Casey Kotchman 310000000000000

    Jed Lowrie 320000000100000

    Totals 359571521178160.1580.2230.2320.4551

    One player had three hits. Three more had two. One player had an above average OBP, one was bad, the rest were awful. They scored seven runs in three games.

  • The offense is solely responsible for the 0-2 deficit. The bullpen takes the "credit" for the sweep. They took a 5-2 lead into the eighth inning yesterday, and then two of the best closers of the past decade crashed and burned. Billy Wagner got two outs while allowing two baserunners. Jonathan Papelbon, who came into the series with no runs allowed in 25 previous post-season innings, allowed both inherited runs to score, and then allowed three more of his own in the 9th. Hideous, unspeakably hideous.

  • (But not heart-related...)

  • And now I'm in the position of rooting for a team that I really hate, because they're the only thing realistically standing between the ultimate team-that-I-hate and the ultimate prize.

So Congratulations! to the LAnaheim Angels, and beat NY!

(One more item - the umpiring was awful in this series, as it has been in the rest, and I'll have more to say about it later. I don't want to include it here, because it had nothing to do with the outcome.)

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