Sox 3, Angels 2
WP: Delcarmen (1-0) LP: Shields (0-1) HRs: None
Boston scored a run in the bottom of the ninth, minutes after Anaheim had a runner tagged out at third on a botched suicide squeeze, to advance to the ALCS for the fourth time in the last six years.
#1 Stunner: Jed Lowrie 2-4 GW RBI
Start packing your bags, Julio.
The Biggest Loser: Scott Shields 1.2IP, 2H, 1ER, 0BB, 3K
The guy was awesome – until he allowed the series-losing run.
What. A. Game.
The Sox dispatched the Angels tonight in one of the most intense, nerve-wracking, stomach churning playoff contests you will ever see, and my heart goes out to my colleague Gil Quinonez and all the other Angels fans for suffering such a crushing defeat.
That being said, bring on the bleeping Rays!
Let me first say that I am in no condition to form cognitive thoughts right now, as I moved from Heinekens to Crown Royal when I ran out of beers (botched packie run by the wife…nuff said) somewhere around the eighth inning.
But even in my shitfaced euphoric state, I can honestly say that was one of the best postseason games I have ever witnessed, and that includes a myriad of Sox/Yanks tilts, memorable ALCS contests and World Series epics.
Neither team wanted to give in, and both starters, Anaheim’s John Lackey and Boston’s Jon Lester, pitched like their MLB Player’s Association card was on the line.
After both starters matched zeroes for four innings, the Sox plated two in the fifth on a ground out by Jacoby Ellsbury and the first hit of the series by Dustin Pedroia to take what seemed like a commanding 2-0 lead.
With Lester on the mound it was commanding. But when Tito went to his bullpen, the lead became mighty tenuous.
Hideki Okajima and Justin Masterson proceeded to give the lead away when they combined for two walks, a passed ball and a two run single by Torii Hunter in the top of the eighth, and when Masterson allowed a lead off double to Kendry Morales in the ninth, it looked like a return trip to LaLa Land was all but guaranteed.
But after a sacrifice got pinch runner Reggie Willits to third, Erick Aybar missed a suicide squeeze attempt, and Jason Varitek chased down Willits and nailed him retreating to third, and even though the Captain dropped the ball, the out was recorded and the momentum swung big time in Boston’s favor.
When Jason Bay dropped a ground rule double into the right field stands with one out in the bottom of the ninth, you could almost feel the electricity in the park seeping through the TV set.Ã‚Â Until Mark Teixeira snagged a sure double off the bat of Mark Kotsay for the second out, and Sox fans started thinking maybe it was not to be.
ThenÃ‚Â shortstop Jed Lowrie stepped to the plate, and one day after he struck out against Scott Shields, the rookie sliced the first pitch he saw from Shields through the infield;Ã‚Â Bay raced home from second ahead of the tag, and the Sox had a date in St. Pete for Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday night.
It was a crazy game and a crazy series, but ultimately Anaheim’s many costly miscues and inabilty to hit with men on base cost the team with the best record in the major leagues a shot at another World Series title.
Instead the Red Sox will attempt to defend their crown. And on that happy note, I will attempt to down my latest Crown.