The Red Sox take game 2 of the series 7-5. Jonathan Papelbon gets the win, while Francisco Rodriquez takes the lose.
Reactions & Thoughts
*Ervin Santana did exactly what I thought he would in the first inning of the game. Santana is one of those guys who, even though they sport a nice ERA and strikeouts per 9, they never really scare you when they pitch (see Dice-K). The Red Sox were patient to see a few pitches before putting the ball in play, and ended up scoring 4 runs on a JD Drew double and a Jason Bay 3-Run HR. The Angels had a similar aggressive approach against Dice-K in the top on the inning and score a run on a Torii Hunter single.
*The biggest concern of the game for me was Dice-K. Coming in, I thought that game 2 was going to be the game that the Sox lost because I simply don't have faith in him (how many pitchers who are 18-3 can you say THAT for?). Dice-K was spotted a 5-1 lead, and yet barely managed to make it through 5 innings. He ended up giving up 3 runs and walked 3. Dice-K nibbled away through the game and almost got burned for it, I'm somewhat glad he didn't get the win because he really didn't deserve it. If John Farrell is still the pitching coach next year, he really needs to sit down with Dice-K about his approach.
*Jason Bay has been incredible in his first postseason of his career. He has 5 hits in 9 at-bats with 2 HR's and 5 RBI's. He jump started the Sox when they needed it in game 1, and he really deflated the Angels in the top of the 1st in game 2 with his 3-run blast.
*Jonathan Papelbon still hasn't allowed a run in 17.2 innings in his postseason career. Call me biased but aside from Mariano Rivera, Papelbon is the best closer in the AL, hands down (although Joe Nathan is close).
*...speaking of closers, K-Rod is really showing why his league record for saves this year, is truly an anomaly. Two years in a row with the Angels down a game against the Sox, they needed K-Rod to step in and shut down the Red Sox for an inning or two, and whats he do? Last year he gives up a walk-off 3-run HR to Manny Ramirez (8-5 win). This year he gives up a 5-5 tie breaking 2-run HR to JD Drew, not 10 minutes after the Angels had battled back to tie the game. Do whatever you want in the regular season, but the real stars come to play in the postseason.
*Mike Lowell did not play due to his hip. We all know how Lowell has a partially torn labrium in his hip and plans to get offseason surgery to fix it. The Red Sox are obviously a much better team with Lowell in the lineup, but Kotsay has been filling in at first base nicely so far. If Mike Lowell plays even half of the postseason I'd be surprised.
*The Angels have to be happy about the trade for Mark Texieria. He has been the only person in that lineup that I've dreaded seeing at the plate. He was 3-3 with 3 runs score, a walk, and an RBI in game 2, to go along with a 2-4 in game 1. I would be incredibly surprised if they didn't resign him.
This was the best game of the postseason as a whole so far. Again, I'm glad the Sox won. I'll be at the game tonight to watch Josh Beckett and the Sox (hopefully) close out the Angels again.
On a side note, boy was I, and basically everybody else, wrong about the Cubs/Dodgers series. Poor Cubs.