Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Thursday, April 29th, 2010 | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, MLB, Sports | No Comments
I love this – Howie Kendrick won the game for the Angels on Wednesday night with a 2-out bunt single that enabled the winning run to score from 3rd base in the bottom of the 9th inning to break a 3-3 tie. Kendrick expertly pushed the bunt past Indians’ pitcher Chris Perez and neither 1st base man or 2nd baseman could make the play to get Kendrick out at 1st base. Most walk-off hits don’t occur that way, but when you see an opening (with the right side of the infield playing so deep), sometimes you just have to take advantage of what the other team gives you. Now Perez, however, didn’t feel the same way about the “bush-league” walk off bunt by Kendrick. This is what he had to say: “It was a bad baseball play that happened to work out. I don’t want to say it was bush league. But you never see that. Nintey-nine percent of hitters in that situation would rather win the game with a hit, not a bunt… It was a stupid play that just happened to work.”
I’d love to see what Perez had to say if one of his players made the same smart that Kendrick made to win a game for the Indians. I have a feeling he’d think otherwise. Gotta love baseball players…
Monday, October 26th, 2009 | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Sports | No Comments
The World Series is finally back in New York. The Yankees defeated the Angels 5-2 on Sunday night to advance to their 40th World Series in franchise history. If the Yankees can defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2009 Fall Classic, it will be the Yankees 27th World Championship.
Andy Pettitte pitched a solid game in Game 6 of the ALCS – 1 ER on 7 hits and 1 walk in 6 1/3 innings pitched. Pettitte struck out 6 Angels batters and he won his 16th career post-season game – a major league record. Joba Chamberlain retired the only 2 batters he faced in the 7th inning to get Pettitte and the Yankees out of a “mini” 1-out, 1-on “jam” to preserve the Yankees 3-1 lead. And Mariano Rivera came on for his “typical” 6-out save, although he did give up a run on 2 singles to Chone Figgins and Vladimir Guerrero in the 8th inning. But Rivera worked a perfect 1-2-3 9th inning, striking out Gary Matthews, Jr. to end the game and send the Yankees faithful into a tizzy.
After falling behind 1-0 on a Bobby Abreu RBI single in the 3rd inning, the Yankees rallied to take the lead for good with 3 runs in the 4th inning. Two walks and a single from a patient Yankees lineup loaded the bases with just 1 out. Johnny Damon delivered a clutch 2-run single to left, and then after a Mark Teixeira single loaded the bases again, Angels starter Joe Saunders walked Alex Rodriguez to force in a run. Just like that, the Yankees led 3-1 and they could taste another AL pennant. When the Angels cut the Yankees lead to 3-2 with a run off Rivera in the 8th inning, the Yankees answered right back in the bottom of the inning. Robinson Cano led off with another walk just like he did in the 4th inning. Then the Angels defense deserted them again. Nick Swisher reached on a Howie Kendrick error and then Scott Kazmir threw away Melky Cabrera’s sacrifice bunt allowing Cano to score from 2nd base. The Yankees had 2nd and 3rd with nobody out and after a Derek Jeter ground out and a Damon walk, Teixeira drove in the game’s final run with a sacrifice fly to deep center field.
Yankees 5, Angels 2. Game over…
The Yankees will host the Phillies in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night. The $201 million payroll – the largest in all of baseball – finally delivered a shot at a World Series to George Steinbrenner and the Yankee brass – it has been 6 years since the Yankees have played in the Fall Classic. Alex Rodriguez – in his 16-year MLB career – is finally going to get to play in his 1st World Series. After struggling in his post-season performance to date, A-Rod delivered in 2009 – .438 batting average, 5 home runs and 12 RBI’s in the Yankees 9 playoffs games in 2009. CC Sabathia – the Yankees high-priced ace – will square off against his former Cleveland Indians teammate Cliff Lee on Wednesday night. Both pitchers have been “lights-out during the playoff in 2009. Sabathia is 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA in 3 starts (3 ER, 20 K’s and 3 walks in 22 2/3 innings pitched). Lee is 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA in 3 starts (2 ER, 20 K’s and 3 walks in 24 1/3 innings pitched). Should be a classic battle – wouldn’t it be great to see these 2 duke it out in Games 1, 4 and 7?! Can’t wait. We’ll have our predictions over the next 2 days leading up to Wednesday’s contest.
Friday, October 23rd, 2009 | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Sports | No Comments
Talk about a gutsy performance – I was shocked (on so many different levels) to see the Angels defeat the Yankees 7-6 to push the ALCS back to the Bronx for Game 6 on Saturday night.
First: I could not believe how the Angels jumped out to a 4-0 lead before even recording their 1st out in the 1st inning. Torii Hunter’s big 2-run single seemed to relax the rest of the team and electrify the Angels fans. The place went nuts, and when Vladimir Guerrero and Kendry Morales got hits to drive in 2 more runs, I thought I was back on the east coast in Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium. That set the tone for what looked to be an easy Angels win.
Second: But then it all went wrong in the 7th inning. John Lackey, who had allowed just 5 hits to the Yankees through 6 innings, seemed to implode. After Lackey got the 1st out, he gave up a double to Melky Cabrera. Lackey thought he had struck out Jorge Posada, but the home plate umpire called the 3-2 pitch a ball – instead of man on 2nd 2 outs, it was now 1st and 2nd with just 1 out. Lackey lost all focus when he walked Derek Jeter to load the bases, and even after he got the 2nd out of the inning on a Johnny Damon fly out, Manager Mike Scioscia opted to go with a lefty reliever – Darren Oliver – to turn Mark Teixeira around to his “weaker” right side of the plate. Teixeira ended up delivering a 3-run double that cut the Angels lead to 1. After intentionally walking Alex Rodriguez, Oliver served up a Hideki Matsui run-scoring single that tied the game at 4. The Angels still had a chance to get out of the inning all even, but another Scioscia move backfired when K Jepsen gave up a rocket triple to Robinson Cano that brought home 2 runs to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead. You could have heard a pin drop in the stadium as the Yankees players were going nuts in their dugout. Game over, right? No way the Angels could rebound from this disaster – they would go quietly with their final 9 outs and the Yankees would advance to yet another World Series to take on the Philadelphia Phillies who had already disposed of the Los Angeles Dodgers in ho-hum 5-game NLCS for the 2nd year in a row.
Third: A.J. Burnett has settled down after his awful 1st inning, but he let 2 Angels reach base to start the bottom of the 7th inning, and it was Manager Joe Girardi’s turn to remove his starter for a bad reliever. Damaso Marte gave up a sacrifice to Chone Figgins and then got Bobby Abreu to ground out for the 2nd run of the inning. The Angels scored a run to cut the lead to 6-5, but there 2 outs and Phil Hughes could get that final out for the Yankees. Think again… Hughes promptly walked Torii Hunter to put the go-ahead run on base. Then he gave up Vladimir Guerrero’s game-tying single that scored Erick Aybar. Kendry Morales then drove in Hunter with the go-ahead run to give the Angels a 7-6 lead, but would it be enough.
Fourth: Brian Fuentes had blown a save before in the series – on A-Rod’s solo home run way back in the 11th inning of Game 2 that the Yankees ultimately won in 13 innings. Fuentes had to go through the heart of the Yankees order 2-3-4 to record the save. But the baseball gods wouldn’t let the Angels get this far just to have Fuentes blow it, would they?! Well Fuentes sure made it interesting, even after he recorded the 1st 2 outs of the inning. Fuentes then intentionally walked A-Rod – great move Scioscia (seriously!) – but then he walked Matsui and hit Cano to load the bases. What in the hell is going on here? Here we go again – another come-from-behind win for the Yankees as we are forced to listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver get all goo-goo over how good the Yankees are at erasing leads late in games. But my prayers were answered – Fuentes got Nick Swisher to pop out to left field and the Angels lived to see another day.
And I get another day (2 actually) to hope that the Yankees somehow blow this 3 games to 1 lead over the Angels to let the Angels battle the Phillies in the 2009 World Series. Gotta love October baseball…
Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 | A.J. Burnett, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, John Lackey, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, MLB, New York Yankees, Sports | No Comments
WOW – looks like this Yankees team is on a mission. An offensive explosion and another solid starting pitching effort and the Yankees now lead the Angels 3 games to 1 in the 2009 ALCS. Game over? Most definitely.
CC Sabathia has been the man this post-season. On Tuesday night, Sabathia needed just 101 pitches to throw 8 innings of 1 run ball. The lone came around on a Kendry Morales solo HR and he gave up just 4 other hits and 2 walks during the outing. Sabathia also had 5 K’s. In MLB post-season history, when a pitcher pitching on 3-days’ rest faced a pitcher pitching on regular rest, the team with the regular rest pitcher had won 27 of the 34 games played. CC erased that trend quickly and easily on Tuesday night with his dominating performance. In 3 playoffs starts this October, Sabathia is 3-0 in 22 2/3 innings pitched and he has given up just 3 ER, 17 hits and 3 walks during those outings (1.19 ERA and a .200 batting average against). Pretty amazing, especially for a pitcher who had not had the best post-season track record.
Now to A-Rod – got I hate this guy… I guess my time to enjoy A-Rod’s post-season struggles has come to an end. Since A-Rod had 3 HR’s and 8 RBI’s during the 2004 ALDS (against the Minnesota Twins) and ALCS (against the Boston Red Sox), A-Rod has been a major disappointment for the Yankees in October. From 2005 through 2007 (13 games, 44 at-bats), A-Rod delivered a total of 7 hits, 4 runs and only 1 RBI on a solo home run. A-Rod struck out 15 times and walked only 8 times. Plain and simple – he was bad and he didn’t come through in the clutch. But fast-forward to 2009 – A-Rod has been a big reason that the Yankees are where they are. In just 7 games this post-season (17 at-bats), A-Rod has 11 hits (5 home runs), 9 runs scored and 11 RBI’s. He has struck out only 4 times and he has an RBI in each game so far. Last night, A-Rod scored the game’s 1st run after singling to lead off the 4th inning and then his 2-run HR to deep left field extended the Yankees lead to 5-0. A-Rod kept raking in the 9th inning, leading off with a double and then scoring on Jorge Posada’s line out and subsequent error by Bobby Abreu to add insult to injury.
Sabathia and A-Rod have put the Yankees in a position to finish off the Angels in just 5 games. A.J. Burnett will have a chance to win the clincher on Thursday night in Anaheim. Unless the Angels John Lackey can throw a gem against Burnett, I don’t see this series returning to the Bronx for a Game 6…
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 | Alex Rodriguez, Alfredo Aceves, Andy Pettitte, Carlos Ruiz, Casey Blake, CC Sabathia, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Derek Jeter, Howie Kendrick, Jeff Mathis, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Girardi, Johnny Damon, Jonathan Braxton, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Macier Izturis, Matt Stairs, MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Sports, Vladimir Geurrero | No Comments
MLB has gotta be loving this – two walk-off wins for the home team; two 5-4 scores; one series just about done and the other heating up. I live for October baseball!
I am most excited about the Angels rallying to beat the Yankees 5-4 in 11 innings on Monday afternoon. The Angels had struggled all game against Andy Pettitte as the Yankees built a 3-0 lead on solo homers from Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon. Despite blowing some chances early, the Angels hung in there. They cut the Yankees lead to 3-1 on Howie Kendrick’s HR in the 5th inning (that was the 1st home run given up by a Yankees pitcher in the playoffs this year) and then tied it up on Vladimir Guerrero’s 2-run bomb to left in the 6th inning. And after Manager Joe Girardi pulled Pettitte with 1 out in the 7th inning, the Angels immediately capitalized with a triple by Kendrick and a run-scoring sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Macier Izturis off Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain. Just like that the Angels had a 4-3 lead and needed only 6 outs to get the series back in their favor. Jorge Posada’s solo home run to center field put a slight damper on the Angels’ celebration, but the Angels gutted it out in the bottom of the 11th inning. Girardi’s “over-managing” could be called into question with his decision to pull David Robertson (who had recorded the 1st 2 outs of the inning) for Alfredo Aceves. Kendrick came through in the clutch with a single to center field and Jeff Mathis ended the game with a walk-off, 2-out RBI double to deep left field that plated Kendrick with the winning-run. Props go to Kendrick for winning the game for the Angels on Monday. On his triple in the 7th inning, Kendrick hustled right out of the box to get all the way to 3rd base with only 1 out. And in the 11th, even though there was 2 out, Kendrick’s speed enabled him to score all the way from 1st on Mathis’ double.
The win breathes new life into the Angels, and Girardi’s decision to go with a 3-man rotation in the ALCS will be in the spotlight tonight as CC Sabathia gets the nod in Game 4 on only 3 days rest. Sabathia pitched well on 3 days rest for the Brewers in 2008 (2-1, 0.83 ERA), but if he has an off-night, look for the critics to hand Girardi out to dry post-game. Scott Kazmir has had a lot of success against the Yankees (6-5 record and 2.66 ERA in 14 career starts), so it should be a great game to watch on Tuesday night.
The NLCS game was also a back and forth game – a 1st inning Ryan Howard home run gave the Phillies an early 2-0 lead. But then the Dodgers answered with 4 runs during the 4th through 6th innings on RBI singles by James Loney, Russell Martin and Casey Blake and a solo home run by Matt Kemp. After a Chase Utley RBI single cut the Dodgers lead to 4-3 in the 6th inning, it looked like the Dodgers would even the series as closer Jonathan Broxton entered the game in the 9th inning. Broxton (who had converted 36 of 42 save chances with a 2.61 ERA and 0.96 WHIP, but struggled on the road with an 5.81 ERA) even got lead-off hitter Raul Ibanez out, but laid an egg by pitching around Matt Stairs (Stairs had homered off of Broxton in the NLCS in 2008) and allowing him to reach on a walk. Broxton made matters worse by plunking Carlos Ruiz to give the Phillies 1st and 2nd with only 2 outs. Broxton got Gregg Dobbs to line out to 3rd base, but Jimmy Rollins crushed a 99-MPh fastball to deep center field that plated both Eric Bruntlett (pinch-runner for Stairs) and Ruiz with the winning runs. Just like that, the Phillies had a walk-off win to take a 3-1 series lead. The Dodgers have a huge obstacle to overcome. They face Cole Hamels on Wednesday in Game 5 and if they are luck enough to win that one, they will have to beat Cliff Lee in Game 6 in Los Angeles just to get to a Game 7. It’s not looking good for the Dodgers…
Enjoy MLB playoffs action tonight!
Monday, October 19th, 2009 | A.J. Burnett, Alex Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, CC Sabathia, Joe Girardi, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Macier Izturis, Mariano Rivera, MLB, New York Yankees, Sports | 1 Comment
It’s plain and simple – I hate Alex Rodriguez. I was so excited to watch Brian Fuentes close out the 3-2 Angels win on Saturday night. Fuentes even had lead-off hitter Alex Rodriguez right where he wanted him – 0-2 count with a confused look on his face after he guessed wrong on the first 2 pitches. Fuentes even had him off-balanced on the 3rd pitch, but A-Rod got just enough of the pitch to drive it a few feet over the right field wall to tie the game at 3. I would have rather had any other Yankees player tie the game instead of A-Rod. He annoys me show much – he is all show and he has not delivered in the clutch for the Yankees in his previous post-season at-bats. But for whatever reason, A-Rod keeps on delivering in October 2009. Please make it stop soon!
The rest of the game was moot. You knew the Yankees would ultimately beat the Angels at some point to take a 2 games to none lead over the Angels in the ALCS. The fact that it came on a Macier Izturis throwing error that allowed Jerry Hairston Jr. to score all the way from 2nd base made it even all the more frustrating. Once again, the Angels defense allowed the game to get away from them, and they now go back to California with their backs against the wall. Jered Weaver needs to show up big time against Andy Pettite in Game 3 this afternoon – there’s no way the Angels will be able to come back from a 3-0 deficit against the Yankees.
Two other notes – A.J. Burnett threw another solid game for the Yankees. Burnett gave up just 2 ER on 3 hits and 2 walks in 6 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out 4. Sabathia and Burnett – 2 of the Yankees “Big 3″ free agent signings before the season – have really delivered in the clutch this season.
And how about Mariano Rivera – he conserved his pitches so well that he was able to give Manager Joe Girardi 2 1/3 innings from the bottom of the 8th inning through the 10th inning. He allowed just 1 hit with 2 K’s and kept the game going for the Yankees to have a chance to pull off the win.
Game 3 starts today at 4:13PM EST in Anaheim. The game will be televised on Fox…
Saturday, October 17th, 2009 | A.J. Burnett, CC Sabathia, John Lackey, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Mariano Rivera, MLB, New York Yankees, Sports | No Comments
I must give CC Sabathia all the credit in the world. After struggling with the Cleveland Indians (10.45 ERA v. Boston Red Sox in 2007 ALCS) and the Milwaukee Brewers (12.27 ERA v. Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 NLDS), Sabathia has played large (almost as large as his midriff) in the 2009 playoffs for the New York Yankees. Last night in the Yankees 4-1 win over the Angels in Game 1 of the ALCS, he was simply outstanding. Sabathia needed only 113 pitches to throw 8 spectacular innings of 1-run ball. He gave up just 4 hits and walked only 1 batter, while striking out 7 Angels. The key was his command and keeping the speedy Angels baserunners off the bases. In the past, Sabathia has struggled with his control in the post-season. Last night, he was on his game the entire night against a patient Angels team that draws a lot of walks. Manager Joe Girardi could not have asked for a better outing from the ace of his staff.
The same could be said for Mariano Rivera. He is simply the closest thing to perfection when it comes to post-season performance. Rivera has an ERA of .074 in over 80 post-season appearances and he did not disappoint last night, even after the home plate umpire handed Torii Hunter a lead-off walk in the 9th inning with several close calls that went the Angels’ way. But it didn’t faze Rivera at all. He struck out Vladmir Guerrero and got Juan Rivera and Kendry Morales to fly out weakly to the outfield, and just like that the Yankees had a 1-0 lead in the ALCS. And just like that Rivera had another big post-season save – he has the coldest ice in his veins of any reliever that I’ve ever seen.
As for the Angels fielding – I know the conditions were not great, but 3 errors? Come on – this is playoff baseball, from a team that tied a record for best team fielding percentage in franchise history (.986) during the course of the 2009 MLB schedule. A team that committed 85 errors all season long commits 3 errors in 1 game? It was so disappointing and painful to watch. In addition to the 3 errors, Chone Figgins and Erick Aybar miscommunicated on an infield popup that allowed Johnny Damon to score the Yankees 2nd run in the 1st inning. John Lackey wasn’t great – 9 hits, 3 walks and 2 ER (4 runs total) in 5 2/3 innings – but he deserved better fielding behind him.
The 2 teams won’t have much time to react to the Game 1 outcome as they battle again tonight in the Bronx. Joe Saunders will pitch for the Angels while A.J. Burnett will toe the rubber for the Yankees. Saunders was not needed in the ALDS series sweep of the Red Sox, so it will be interesting to see how he fares against the Yankees with 2 weeks in between starts…
Friday, October 16th, 2009 | CC Sabathia, Joe Girardi, John Lackey, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Mike Scioscia, MLB, New York Yankees, Sports | No Comments
The New York Yankees will square off against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 2009 ALCS that begins tonight at the New Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. What a way to usher in a new era in a new stadium – with a potential October/November World Series run.
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia has decided to go with veteran starter John Lackey. Lackey dominated the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS, pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings and leading the Angels to a convincing 5-0 victory that set the tone for the series. In 12 career post-season games (10 starts), Lackey has gone 3-3 with a spectacular 3.02 ERA. Lackey even won Game 7 of the 2002 World Series as a major league rookie.
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has hinted that he might go with a 3-man rotation – CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettite. Sabathia will start in Game 1 of the ALCS tonight. After a rough final start to the season (9 runs on 8 hits in just 2 2/3 innings against the Rays), Sabathia looked like himself in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins. Sabathia gave up just 1 ER on 8 hits over 6 2/3 solid innings. He struck out 8 as well. The Yankees are hoping to get off to a quick start with Sabathia and Burnett pitching well at home.
Catch it all tonight at 7:57PM EST on Fox.
Monday, October 12th, 2009 | Boston Red Sox, General, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals | No Comments
It was an anti-climatic 1st round of the playoffs – with 3 teams advancing with sweeps over the weekend. Although there were some good games in each series, each team advanced with a Game 3 win on the losing team’s home turf over the weekend.
On Saturday, the Los Angeles Dodgers took out the St. Louis Cardinals with a 5-1 win in St. Louis. It was the 2nd year in a row that the Dodgers swept the NL Central division winner out of the playoffs in the NLDS (Chicago Cubs in 2008). The Dodgers will either play the Phillies in a rematch of the 2008 NLCS or the Colorado Rockies. Key game – the Dodgers rallied for 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 2 to defeat closer Ryan Franklin after Matt Holliday’s botched flyball error kept the game alive.
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stunned the Red Sox faithful with a 3-run rally off Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon in the top of the 9th inning. The Angels trailed 5-1 heading into the 8th inning, but scored 2 runs in the 8th and 3 runs in the 9th inning to complete the sweep. The Angels will face the New York Yankees in the ALCS in the Bronx on Friday night. Key stat – Papelbon had never allowed a single run in 27 career post-season innings.
And on Sunday evening, the Yankees completed the 3-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome with a 4-1 win. Some long-time Yankees were instrumental in the Game 3 win – Andy Pettite picked up the win, Mariano Rivera recorded the save, and Jorge Posada clubbed a solo home run in the 7th inning to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Key Game – in Game 2, Alex Rodriguez crushed a 2-run HR to deep right center field off of Twins’ closer Joe Nathan in the 9th inning to tie the game at 3. Mark Teixeira went on to win the game for the game for the Yankees with his line drive walk-off HR to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning.
Stay tuned for some more great MLB playoff action…
Friday, October 9th, 2009 | Adam Wainwright, Boston Red Sox, Casey Blake, General, John Lackey, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mark Loretta, Matt Holiday, MLB, Ryan Franklin, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals | No Comments
There was some great MLB Playoff action on Thursday in both the National League and American League.
In the late afternoon, the Dodgers took a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Cardinals with a dramatic 3-2 9th inning win. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, Matt Holliday misplayed a flyball that would have given the Cards a 2-1 win. Instead, the error kept the Dodgers alive and the Dodgers took advantage. Casey Blake worked a walk off of Cards reliever Ryan Franklin, and Rafael Belliard tied the game with an RBI single to center field. After a passed ball and a walk loaded the bases, Mark Loretta’s pinch-hit single drove in Blake with the game-winning run. The Cards looked to be in the driver’s seat in the series with their 2 aces pitching in Games 1 and 2 – Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. But neither emerged with a win, and the Cards now find themselves in the position of having to win 3 straight games against the Dodgers in order to advance to the NLCS.
Meanwhile in the AL game also on the west coast, John Lackey of the Angels shut down the Boston Red Sox with 7 1/3 scoreless innings. Lackey outdueled Jon Lester who gave up a 3-run HR to Torii Hunter in the 5th inning, and the Angels went on to win 5-0. It was a great start for the Angels who have been eliminated from the ALDS by the Red Sox each of the last 2 seasons and 3 times over the last 5 years.
So far so good for exciting MLB playoff action.