Sunday, October 07, 2007

Red Sox 07 ALDS Game 3 Recap


Press PassBox Score Play - by - PlayGame Recap
Boston 0002 00 0 7 0 9 10 0
Anaheim 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 8 0

W: C. Schilling (1-0) L: J. Weaver (0-1)
HR ➢ Bos: D. Ortiz (2), M. Ramirez (2)

☼ Sun 1a - Schilling - 7 innings of shut out ball.
☼ Sun 1b - Ortiz - Home run in the 4th
☼ Sun 1c - Ramirez - Home run in the 4th as he and Papi went back to back
☁ Cloud - none - Weaver made two mistakes and the Sox made him pay. The way that Schilling was pitching he would have had to be perfect. Well, no one is perfect.

Game thoughts!

Well this game did not start off well. A 1-2-3 first half of the inning is never good in a play off game. Especially, since the new Schilling was starting his first play off game since BS II. Would Schilling* be his usual play off pitcher or would he be more like the Maddux** play off pitcher?

Schilling got the first out and then his personal nemesis (o-cab) singled to center bringing up the ever-dangerous Vlad. A line out to third and then GA flied out to right. End of 1 and its 0-0.

Weaver appeared to show some nerves in the second when he walked MBM and Lowell doubled to left. A close play at third but even with over sliding the base MBM kept his hand in contact and it was 2nd and 3rd with Drew, Tek and Coco coming up to bat. Alas, Drew swung at the first pitch and hit a tapper back to Weaver. Tek and Coco then K'ed and it was Lob-otomy time. A wasted opportunity was in the books.

The Angels though took that momentum and promptly wasted it. Thanks to an inning ending double play (Izturis single with 1 out) Curt only faced the minimum number of batters.

Weaver returned to being good in the third as he set down the Sox 1-2-3 again. At this point I was wondering if we would be regretting that 2nd inning debacle. I really started wondering when the Angels put the following events together. Rivera single, Napoli K, Figgins FC, O-cab single (Figgins to 3rd) and a walk by Vlad. Bases loaded, even with two outs is not endearing to my heart. In fact it is down right suicidal to my heart. Thankfully, GA's pink eye meant he had been taken out of the game and replaced by Willits, who then popped out to Tek. End of the third and Schilling had thrown 40 pitches and the score was 0-0. I also took a deep breath!

Top of the fourth saw really the only two mistakes that Weaver made all day. On his 0-1 pitch to Papi he tried to get a ball down and inside, only Papi put a swing on the ball and deposited said ball in the tunnel area in right field. 1-0 Sox. MBM then followed his fellow Dominican with his own blast. His was to deep, deep, center field and came on a 3-2 curve that, well, just didn't curve. 2-0 Sox and I was starting to relax. It didn't matter that the next three went down in order, the Sox had the lead finally.

The bottom of the 4th is why I gave Schilling top billing in the sun awards. In the first three innings the Angels kept on getting at least one base runner. After being spotted a 2 run lead, Curt had his first 1-2-3 inning. A thirteen pitch 1-2-3. That quickly the team was back in the dug out ready to put more pressure on the Angels. That is what you want your starting pitcher to do after you have scored runs. Have a quick 1-2-3 inning and get the bats swinging, hoping to add more runs.

The top of the 5th was really the last gasp for Weaver. After getting Coco to ground out on the first pitch of the inning we saw a Lugo single, a Pedroia walk (Lugo stole second on the 3-0 pitch) and then another lob-otomy moment as Youkilis grounded into a DP. Still, Weaver was now approaching 90 pitches and we were only in the fifth. Schilling meanwhile was sitting at 53 pitches. We were looking good.

A seventeen pitch inning did not make me sit easier though. Of course ten of those came against Figgins. Still, Schilling was now in position for another post season win. All I wanted was one more solid inning from him.

Not surprisingly, the top of the sixth saw nothing shattering for the Sox. Weaver walked Ortiz on six pitches and Shields was brought in to face Manny. Again the Angels bull pen showed why they are considered good. A fly out from Manny and a Double Play grounder by Lowell and it was time for Schilling to trot out for the sixth inning.

70 pitches in the books for Schilling would he start to tire? No, he would not. Nine pitches later and he was walking towards the dug out. In my mind his day was over, but at 79 pitches you can never be sure.

Shields set down the Sox 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Still tight game, but would Schilling be able to hold the line?

A lead off double, had me doubting the chances of Schilling. A Kendrick ground out moved Izturis to third and it looked like the Angels would probably post a run on the board. Not so fast Skippy, Rivera popped up to Youkilis and on the seventh pitch to Napoli, Schilling got him to chase a splitter in the dirt. Seven in the books and this game was over.

Well, actually it wasn't really over as there was two more innings to play yet, but with this bull pen I felt it was over. To remove any doubt though, Lugo started off the eighth by inducing a lead off walk. Speier relieved Shields and on the second pitch Pedroia doubled to deep left. Lugo was running hard and on a close play at the plate, scored the third run with Dustin going to third on the throw. Youkilis hit a sac fly to center and it was 4-0.

The Sox weren't done though. Papi hit a single, MBM walked, Lowell doubled scoring Papi, Drew got Ellsbury (who pinch ran for MBM) home with a fielders choice, Tek doubled scoring Lowell, Coco singled scoring Drew and Tek, Lugo popped out and then finally Dustin ended the inning with a ground out. Eleven men to the plate and seven runs scored. Game, Set and Match. An excuse me run in the ninth against Gagne was the end of the scoring in this series. Sox Win!! Sox Win!!!

* Schilling record
** Maddux record

♊ - Morbid and creepifing I can handle as long as we do it quiet like.

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