ALDS Game 2: Bullpen, Ramirez come up huge

Bottom of the ninth, deadlocked at 3-3. After surprisingly shaky starts by both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kelvim Escobar, the Angels got their first look at the Boston bullpen in this series. Both pens pitched well, keeping each other hitless going into the ninth. Despite some unfavorable calls by the home plate umpire, Jonathan Papelbon makes it through 1 1/3 unscathed, bringing us to the bottom of the ninth.

Props to Julio Lugo, who managed to pull an outside pitch between short and third for a single to lead it off, and Dustin Pedroia on successfully moving him over on a hit and run. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. Scioscia brings on Francisco Rodriguez. After Kevin Youkilis struck out, they walked David Ortiz, and you just knew it was gonna happen. Second pitch, Manny Ramirez absolutely crushes a belt-high inside fastball over the Monster, over Landsdowne St, over everything. He throws his hands up as he starts walking to first base; it is a thing of beauty. Good thing we saved all the walk-offs for the playoffs.

Key play of the game: Unknown boy literally grabs a foul ball out of Jeff Mathis‘ catcher’s mitt, extending Manny’s at-bat and allowing the tying run to score in the fifth. He instantly becomes a hero and a lifelong friend of Stephen King, who is sitting right behind him.

You might say that winning like that is “cheap”, but this is the playoffs, and that is what home field advantage should be about, Bartman notwithstanding. I was also not real proud that Vladimir Guerrero had to leave the game after getting smacked in the back by a Manny Delcarmen fastball. He throws 96+ mph. Ouch.

What to say about Dice-K? He totally sucked tonight. I am still a believer in him, but when he’s bad, he’s pretty darn bad. Meanwhile, the hero in the shadow, Hideki Okajima, flashed some wonderful changeups in working out of the seventh and the eighth innings. He looks okey-doke to me.

Going into Los Angeles with a 2-0 lead is the best possible scenario for us. The Angels have been the toughest team in the majors at home this season, but with Curt Schilling on the mound next and more injuries to deal with, something tells me they might just fold.

Oh, and did I mention that the Yankees lost with Joba the Hut on the mound? I believe that’s 0-2 for them.


One Response to ALDS Game 2: Bullpen, Ramirez come up huge

  1. donchoi says:

    Danny Vinik, that’s his name. If he were 21, he would not have to buy a drink for the next 3 years at least. But, at 17 years old, he’ll have to wait on that one. That was a great heads up play, Danny, and Red Sox Nation owes you one.

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