ALDS Game 2 is set for tonight at 9:37 PM at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The Red Sox will try to even the series against the Angels with Josh Beckett on the hill leading the defense, before they head home to play at Fenway Park. Beckett over the years has experienced his fair share of MLB playoff baseball. In 2003 he led the Florida Marlins past the New York Yankees to win it all, holding a 1.10 ERA in his two World Series starts. In October of last season he struggled with an oblique injury, but for this year Beckett seems healthy and optimistic.
“He works really hard every day of the week,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “So when his day comes, he can go out and be ready to rise to the occasion. He doesn’t have to try to push a button. He’s prepared for what he’s supposed to do. Because of his talent, he put that together in a lot of big situations. He’s come up big.”
Don’t miss the Sox when they come back to Boston for a pair of battles at Fenway. America’s most beloved 37,000+ capacity ballpark is without a doubt most thrilling during MLB post-season play.
Fenway Game Times and Probable Pitchers:
Home Game 1 - Sunday, October 11th, 12:07 PM – Fenway Park
Scott Kazmir (Angels 10-9) vs. Clay Buchholz (Red Sox 7-4)
Home Game 2 - Monday, October 12th, 8:37 (7:30 if only game) - Fenway Park
If Necessary Joe Saunders (Angels 16-7) vs. Red Sox starter TBDBoston Red Sox ALDS tickets are available now!
John Lackey allowed just four hits in seven innings from the mound as the Los Angeles Angels went on to defeat the Boston Red Sox 5-0 in their opening ALDS matchup. Knowing he hadn’t earned a post-season win since 2002 going into yesterday’s game, Lackey was more than happy to finally help his squad in October. “Even in the bullpen, I knew my arm was feeling good,” he said. “The extra rest that I had really helped me out. I really felt like my arm was pretty live tonight. Our fans get dogged for not being loud enough, but they brought it tonight, and that ovation I got coming off the mound meant a lot to me.”
Jon Lester for the Red Sox let up three runs from one big mistake in his five innings pitched. The flaw in his outing came in the fifth when he left a fast ball right over the plate for Torii Hunter to smash over the center field wall. The three run jack scored Erick Aybar and Bobby Abreu.
Game 2 is scheduled for October 9th. Red Sox ace Josh Becket will be taking the mound against the 16-8 Jered Weaver. Don’t miss the chance to see your Red Sox when they come back around to Fenway Park! ALDS tickets are available now!
Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels
The Red Sox (Wild Card) and Angels (AL West Champs) since 2004 have met three different times in the American League Division Series in 2004, 2007, and 2008. Boston has the clear advantage thus far based on what history tells us, knowing they’ve won all three previous ALDS battles with ease. In their first two meetings the Sox swept LA en route to winning the World Series. In 2008 it took Boston four games to beat the Angels, where they advanced and eventually lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series.
Even though the Angels haven’t been too successful in the playoffs against Boston, they seem to be more confident than ever looking ahead to their October stretch. “I really like this team, where we are,” said Angels veteran right fielder Bobby Abreu. “I feel like it’s our time, I really do.” LA is one game up on the Red Sox for 2009, winning five out of their nine games played.
Series Schedule and Probable Starting Pitchers:
Game 1 – Thursday, October 8th, 9:37 PM – Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Jon Lester (Red Sox 15-8) vs. John Lackey (Angels 11-8)
Game 2 – Friday, October 9th, 9:37 PM – Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Josh Beckett (Red Sox 17-6) vs. Jered Weaver (Angels 16-8)
Game 3 – Sunday, October 11th, Time TBD – Fenway Park
Clay Buchholz (Red Sox 7-4) vs. Scott Kazmir (Angels 10-9)
Game 4 – Monday, October 12th, Time TBD – Fenway Park If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
Game 5 – Wednesday, October 14th, Time TBD – Angel Stadium of Anaheim If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins
Right after the Minnesota Twins barely edged the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central tie-breaker game, the club had less than a day to pack up and travel to the Bronx for their ALDS meeting against the New York Yankees. This matchup will surely favor the Yankees, knowing their 7-0 2009 regular season record against Minnesota. Manager Joe Girardi believes this year’s Yankee team won’t take any opponent lightly no matter how well they have previously performed.
“It’s a lot different team,” said Girardi. “I sense that there was a determination after what we went through last year when we didn’t make the playoffs. You don’t play this game and put all that hard work in to just make the playoffs. There’s a goal set. And the goal was set when we went to work last winter.” Despite the Bronx Bombers success all season long, don’t be surprised if Minnesota can ride off their high energy and come in looking to spoil a game or two.
Series Schedule and Probable Starting Pitchers:
Game 1 – Wednesday, October 7th, 6:07 PM – Yankee Stadium
CC Sabathia (Yankees 19-8) vs. Brian Duensing (Twins 5-2)
Game 2 – Friday, October 9th, 6:07 PM – Yankee Stadium
A.J. Burnett (Yankees 13-9) vs. Nick Blackburn (Twins 11-11)
Game 3 – Sunday, October 11th, Time TBD – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Andy Pettit (Yankees 14-8) vs. Carl Pavano (Twins 14-2)
Game 4 – Monday, October 12th, Time TBD – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
Game 5 – Wednesday, October 14th, Time TBD – Yankee Stadium If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona has announced the starting rotation for their ALDS showdown against the Los Angeles Angels this week. Jon Lester will get the nod for Game 1 against Angels right-hander John Lackey. Game 2 will feature Red Sox ace pitcher Josh Beckett against the 16-8 Jered Weaver. Clay Buchholz will take Game 3 for Boston with Games 4 and 5 left up to Francona, who will consider either Daisuke Matsuzaka or Lester again on three-days rest.
Looking ahead to this series the Sox believe they can outpitch the Angels through their endless supply of heaters between the starting rotation and the bullpen.
“Not to take anything away from those finesse pitchers, but if that day, you don’t have your great stuff, your power arms seem to be able to get away with a little more,” said Red Sox third basemen Mike Lowell. “No matter what, it’s hard to hit 95 (mph) unless you’re throwing it down the middle. But I think there’s a little more leeway for a guy with a power arm to battle through a couple of innings where he doesn’t have sharp stuff and make an adjustment, than a guy who doesn’t have velocity, who might get touched up pretty early.”
The first Sox/Angels contest will take place either Tomorrow or this Thursday. Boston Red Sox Playoff tickets are available now!
Jon Lester proved he is back and ready for October, allowing just two hits over 6 1/3 shutout innings as the Boston Red Sox went on to win over the Cleveland Indians 3-0 yesterday at Fenway. Fellow players and coaches were glad to see the 15-8 Lester back in regular form after his dismal outing last Friday against the New York Yankees, where he served up eight hits with a side of five runs in two innings pitched.
“I think it’s a relief just to see him pitch again,” said third baseman Mike Lowell. “We were all very relieved. He was very effective, which is a good thing going into his next start, which is going to be very big for us.” Lester will likely get the nod for Game 1 of the ALDS against the Los Angeles Angels. For now the Sox have three more regular season contests left with Cleveland before heading into the playoffs.
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In last night’s 12-0 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays, only two usual starters took the field last night at Fenway Park. Tim Wakefield allowed five runs on seven hits over three innings for his final regular season outing. “I don’t want to give up on the team, regardless if I’m 60 percent. I feel like I’m needed. The staff has made it clear that I’m needed to be out there, and I’m going to go out there at 40 percent if I have to,” said Wakefield. ”Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough tonight and ‘Doc’ pitched a great game for them.” Doc (referring to Blue Jays ace pitcher Roy Halladay) let up just three hits in his full nine innings of work.
Although Boston hasn’t been looking too sharp this past week, the most important thing for them is to prepare for their potentially long playoff stretch ahead. Manager Terry Francona said after the game that “We’re trying so hard to keep our pitching not only in order, but strong going forward.”
Josh Beckett despite recent back problems suggests that he will be ready to go when post-season play comes around. “Absolutely, I think I’ll make my next start,” said Beckett. “I think if I had to I could probably – I don’t think we’re going to need this – but I could go sooner if I needed to…I think right now we’re just kind of looking at Saturday to hopefully set things up.” Saturday will mark the Red Sox second to last season game against the Cleveland Indians before they take on the playoffs.
Boston will be starting their ALDS series against the Los Angeles Angels either October 7th or 8th (depending on which schedule the AL leading New York Yankees decide to take). The Sox are 4-5 this season against LA but have sent them home in the division series three different times back in 2004,2007, and 2008.
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