ALCS Game 1: Sabathia falters, Beckett shines


It was supposed to be a duel of aces, but the Red Sox got to C.C. Sabathia early and often. For the second straight start, Sabathia was trying to be too fine and ended up walking five batters and lasting just 4 1/3 innings in the series opener in Boston. The 3-4-5 hitters for the Red Sox went a combined 5-7 on the night with two doubles, six walks and six RBI. Ouch. Rookie Jensen Lewis was touched up for two more runs in the fifth, then the Indians bullpen did its job, but it was already too late.

The lineup did a great job of waiting out Sabathia, and they had 12 hits and 8 walks on the night. David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez reached base ten times on the night, and Mike Lowell and Bobby Kielty both had key hits for Boston. In fact, every starter had at least one hit tonight.

Travis Hafner homered for the Tribe in the first inning, but the Indians didn’t get much daylight after that, as Josh Beckett slammed the door on them over six innings, allowing just two runs on four hits. For the second straight outing, Beckett struck out at least seven batters and walked nobody. His curveball was really on tonight, and he had guys looking downright silly swinging at that nasty breaking ball. Again, proof positive that this man deserves the Cy. Lifted after just 80 pitches, the Red Sox wisely chose to save his precious arm with a lead of 8-2 after six. That leaves the possibility that Beckett could return early in Game 4 if needed, though I don’t foresee then really needing him to do so.

The early lead gave the Sox the opportunity to get the bullpen some work, and Mike Timlin, Javier Lopez and Eric Gagne all got an inning each. Lopez just isn’t a very effective pitcher, and I would like to see him replaced on the roster, should we advance. Gagne made it through unscathed, though he did load the bases again on a couple of hits and a walk.

It’s great to start off the series with such a decisive win. I am somewhat worried about game 2, but I believe if we can beat Fausto Carmona tomorrow, that the Indians will be ready to fold.

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