Covering the Angels and Analyzing the Team’s Past

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October 5, 2008

Angels Live Another Day

by @ 10:31 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels and Red Sox were even at 4′s and took the game into the 12th before Erick Aybar drove in the go-ahead run to give the Angels another shot at a series comeback.

The Angels loaded the bases off Josh Beckett in the first, but could only score one run on Juan Rivera’s walk. The Sox took the lead with three in the second before Mike Napoli blasted his first homerun of the night, a two-run shot above the Green Monster to tie the game. He then drove a solo homerun in the fifth for the go-ahead run. Boston evened it up in the bottom half, and the Angels were shut out until the 12th when Napoli got a leadoff single and came around to score on Aybar’s single, his first hit of the ALDS.

Joe Saunders didn’t make it out of the fifth inning and was tagged for four runs on five hits, including a three-run Boston rally in the second. Arrendondo, Oliver, Shields, and K-Rod then held the Red Sox scoreless until Weaver tossed the last two innings, getting the win as a reliever.

Game 4 is set for Monday night, and the Angels look to become the fifth team to rally back and win the series after being in an 0-2 hole. John Lackey and Jon Lester will face off, a rematch of Game 1 in which Lester came out on top after giving up no earned runs through seven.

One Response to “Angels Live Another Day”

  1. Stephen Boyd Says:

    suject: “Anything short of an Angel World Series championship will be construed as complete failure”


    Welcome to hell, Angel fans…

    Are you guys as bummed as I am?

    I think Howie Kendrick should get a full share of the BoSox playoff prize money.

    He earned it with some of the most pathetic defense I’ve seen played in an Angel playoff series.

    And when we’re at it, be sure and reserve a share for Eric Aybar. Not for missing the bunt, but for failing to sacrifice his body after missing the bunt. In a suicide squeeze it’s the batter’s responsibility to get wood on the ball. If he can’t get wood on the ball, it’s his responsibility to have his body positioned so that in the event that he misses, he gets flesh on the ball.

    For those of you who don’t know, a hit batsman while in the process of swinging with less than two strikes is treated the same as a foul ball. Strike one and the lead runner walks leisurely back to the bag.

    Save another playoff share for our own Mike “Einstein” Soscia for leaving the near crippled Vlady in the 8th inning of Game 1 with the score tied and him as the lead runner on 1st base, and would be pinch runner Reggie Willits resting comfortably in the dugout.

    As a matter of fact, for the lightbulb going off in his head with the idea of batting Garret Anderson in the two spot – a spot he hadn’t seen since 1995 – give Soscia another full share for that stupendous idea. Didn’t so much fake out the Red Sox as it did GA who looked completely puzzled everytime he was at the plate.

    He’s still the best manager in baseball, but sadly that doesn’t say much for the rest of the league…

    If you ever read anything I’ve posted you know Gene Mauch is my all time managerial hero. Gene handed the umpire a different lineup card every day. The only thing you could count on was that Brian Downing would be batting lead off.

    Now, there is a science behind this. By doing this, hitters see a greater variety of pitches because they may be protected in the lineup one day and then find themselves batting in front of a .240 utility infielder the next. It’s a good idea because as it turns out, your lead off hitter is only batting lead off in the 1st inning. After that, everyone in the line-up has to take their turn batting lead off in the subsequent innings. Therefore, Mauch was actually doing two things: 1. he trained every hitter in the lineup to be a leadoff hitter by showing them a greater variety of pitch sequences throughout the season; and 2. he made it very very difficult for a battery to prepare to face an Angel lineup when the opposition didn’t know who was going to be in the line-up and in which order they’d see them.

    Pretty smart hey?

    Now back to 2008.

    The wrong time to begin such a hitting program is Game 1 of the ALDS.

    What an idiot. What a moron. Watching Mike manage Game 1 brought back memories of the 1986 World Series game 6 when Bill Buckner watched the ball skirt between his legs in the 10th inning to give away the game to New York. To be a fan of baseball managers is to know that the real fault of the 1986 World Series belongs squarely on the shoulders of John McNamara who suddenly went brain dead while in the bottom of the 10th inning when his team had a 5-3 lead and he mysteriously didn’t put in a defensive replacement for the nearly crippled Billy Buck.

    Fans, being the geniuses they are, blame Buckner to this day while McNamara escaped unscathed.

    All that being said and all anger aside, again, Soscia is the best manager in baseball and we are lucky to have him.

    To me he combines the strategies of the two best little ball managers I’ve ever seen – Whitey Herzog and Gene Mauch.

    Interestingly, he doesn’t remind me at all of Tommy Lasorda. He doesn’t get emotional as Tommy did, he doesn’t step into the third base coaching position to motivate his players during team slumps as Tommy did, and most importantly, he doesn’t buy into the importance of left handed relief as Tommy did.

    But in fact he did choke big time in this playoff series. The sooner we all own up to that the sooner we can move on and prepare for the hang over in the coming winter months.

    Steve Boyd

    p.s. Go Angels!!!

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