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The L.A. Angels of Anaheim might have had the best pitching staff coming into the playoffs. The might have had one of the most dynamic offenses. I guess the Red Sox hadn’t heard. Because the Red Sox swept the Angels in three games and barely gave them a fighting chance.
Curt Schilling worked seven dominant innings last night giving up no runs, six hits, one walk, and four strike-outs.
Theo Epstein had to say of Schilling
“His style has changed, but the results in the postseason remain the same. That’s a real tribute to him… That’s what makes him special.”
Along with Schilling, Josh Beckett and the bullpen were dominant. Only Eric Gagne did poorly for the bullpen. Daisuke Matsuzaka sunk under the pressure of his first post-season start in my opinion. The Red Sox had to take him out after 4.2 IP after giving up 3 ER. Dice-K was already at 96 pitches so he worked himself into an early leave.
When it comes to hitting in the playoffs it seems you either hit or you don’t. Same way its been so far. Not suprisingly the Red Sox regular season’s best hitters are doing the best. David Ortiz is hitting .714 with 2 HR’s, 3 RBI and 6 walks. Manny Ramirez is hitting .375 with 2 HR’s including the walk-ff shot in Game 2, and 5 walks in 8 AB’s. Mike Lowell is batting .333 with two 2B’s with a .556 SLG. The last is Kevin Youkilis who has shown power in these short three games. He has a 2B, a HR, and a .583 SLG% with a .250 average. Everyone else has struggled. Now Ortiz, Ramirez, Lowell and Youkilis need to keep swinging to score against the Indians.
Not surprisingly, Dustin Pedroia has struggled at the beginning of the playoffs. Like he struggled at the beginning of his major league career, he seems to at first struggle in new situations. This is a concern because he has earned his top of the order spot over the year and he’s not moving. If Pedroia can swing well all of Boston’s offense will flow better with him at the top.
Boston’s next game is vs Cleveland on Friday at 7:05. It’ll be Josh Beckett vs C.C. Sabathia at Fenway.