The Boston Red Sox are riding the .500 line after taking three in a row off of the Los Angeles Angels. Now, Daisuke Matsuzaka will have to shake off the rust from his first start, in which he got tagged for six earned runs on seven hits against the Orioles, in order to complete the sweep of the Angels and give the Red Sox a winning record.
The Boston Red Sox are picking up speed against the Los Angeles Angels at home. Tonight, John Lackey will take the hill to protect his new house against his old team.
The Boston Red Sox finally came alive in a big way last night, routing the Angels, 17-8, on twenty hits. Having turned it around as of late, Jon Lester will take the hill to face Ervin Santana tonight.
After a sweep by the Orioles that can be described as nothing short of embarrasing, the Boston Red Sox will start fresh as the Angels come to Fenway Park to face Clay Buchholz.
Mike Scioscia released his postseason roster on Sunday, giving fans even more to feast on as the postseason nears. The team will consist of 15 position players and 10 pitchers.
Primary: Mike Napoli
Reserves (2): Jeff Mathis, Bobby Wilson
While Napoli is the Angels’ primary catcher, Mathis will begin the series catching Lackey – much to the Sox’ benefit. Mathis is a very poor hitter (.211/.288/.308), so his free at-bats will kill any rallies when he limps to the plate. Wilson, the team’s #3 catcher, will provide depth and late-inning roster flexibility.
Shrowded in as much secrecy as a Cold War nuclear test or New England Patriots injury, the California Angels have yielded very few signals as to the makeup of their postseason roster. While the starting lineup is generally set, the rest of the team is in a state of flux.
There have been some indications, however, from sources close to the team of what their roster will look like in the ALDS. Most pundits agree on the following roster developments:
1) The team is confident in its first three starters: John Lackey, Jered Weaver, and Scott Kazmir.
2) The team will opt to go with either Joe Saunders or Ervin Santana in the fourth spot, though Saunders seems to be the frontrunner at the moment…
Now that the Magic Number is down to zero (special thanks go to Texas for their Heimlich Maneuver on the Red Sox choke job), the Sox can safely prepare for the Anaheim Angels.
Make no mistake, this is not the Angels teams of past years, who had been thoroughly cooked by the Sox and served on a platter. They have a lot of advantages over the Boston club: they are healthier, have a deeper rotation (though not as top heavy), and they have momentum from four straight wins and a recent division clincher over the Rangers.
Still, with a new sworn enemy for the next two weeks, let’s remove the veil from the Angels and find out who this team really is.
Where to start? Hmm… how about the sluggers?
1B Kendry Morales: This guy has had one of the biggest turnaround seasons in recent memory. It looked like he was headed straight for the former-prospect label after three lackluster stints with the big club. He’s been a completely different hitter in 2009, however, as he’s added power and learned how to hit major league off-speed and breaking pitches (particularly the change-up and curve). He has had problems making contact this season though, which is probably the only part of his game that has regressed…
With just under three weeks left in the regular season, the field is almost done filling out, with just five teams holding real hopes of reaching the post season: Boston, New York, Detroit, Minnesota, and Los Angeles.
Anaheim is up 6 in the West, Detroit is up 4 on Minnesota in the Central, the Red Sox are up 6 ½ in the Wild Card and the Yanks are about to clinch the East, up 6.5 games.
So, how do these teams stack up?
It’s not everyday that Red Sox fans get to see Alex Gonzalez at the bottom of a walk-off pig-pile. It’s even more rare to see him take a walk. But last night, he did both, leading the Red Sox past the Los Angeles Angels, 9-8.
Both Paul Byrd and Angels’ starter Joe Saunders pitched some uninspired baseball, but it was the quick feet and quick thinking of the Red Sox that brought home the seventh win in eight days for Boston.
In his first game back since June 19, Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched a surprisingly decent an unagitating outing, as the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of California of the United States of North America, 4-1.
The multi-million dollar man notched over six shutout innings, giving up only three hits. Unfortunately, he walked just as many batters, but the five strikeouts on 93 pitches were certainly a step in the right direction.