Angels in the Playoffs – Part 1
The Angels lost 4-0 at Boston tonight, to fall behind 1-0 in their best-of-five series.
As I wrote on Sunday, I think the only scenario the Angels have for taking this series is to split one of the first two games. Given John Lackey’s poor record in Fenway Park, and Josh Beckett opposing him, I figured we’d lose Game #1 and our best chance to win at Fenway would come with Kelvim Escobar in Game #2.
Assuming the Angels win on Friday, they will have to sweep Games #3 and #4 in Anaheim or else they’ll have to return to Boston for the deciding Game #5, most likely with a rematch of Lackey and Beckett. I’m not optimistic that the Angels triumph in that scenario.
If you look back at 2002, the Angels lost Game #1 of their ALDS at Yankee Stadium, then won Game #2 before sweeping the next two in Anaheim, avoiding a return to New York for a decisive Game #5. That needs to be the scenario in 2007.
If there was any silver lining in tonight’s dark cloud, it was the two shutout innings of relief by Ervin Santana. Ervin struck out two of the six batters he faced, not allowing a baserunner.
Matt Hurst of the Riverside Press-Enterprise continues his vendetta against Ervin. On September 30, Hurst wrote in his blog:
… If you were the Angels, who would you take into the bullpen? Ervin Santana, Dustin Moseley, Bartolo Colon, Chris Bootcheck? How can the team rely on Colon and Santana when they’ve been unreliable all season and Moseley and Bootcheck have?
I do know that the Angels really like Santana pitching out of the ‘pen (why, I have no idea, but they do) and I know that Moseley’s arm is out of whack lately – his second-half ERA is over six – and Bootcheck has been solid and can pitch in several roles. Colon can throw the stuff out of the ball for one inning or perhaps pitch two or three in a pinch.
Well, at least Hurst admitted that he has no idea, and that the Angels do. Progress.
In watching the videotape of the Angels’ post-game celebration after winning the division title, Santana granted an interview in English to Jose Mota. If you’ve read Hurst, you know one of his gripes is that Santana will only speak to him now through a translator. The main gripe began when Ervin granted an interview to a Los Angeles Times news reporter instead of one of the beat writers assigned to cover the Angels, e.g. Mr. Hurst.
I never understand why some people can’t grasp the adage, “You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.”