Posts Tagged ‘2003 World Series’

The first game, I could understand.  We were away, we were nervous, we were getting back in the groove.  But I can’t really understand last night.  Josh Beckett started last night.  You know, Josh Beckett? Mr. October? The showstopper? Yeah.  Not so much.  We lost, and we’re down 0-2 in the series against the Angels, and I think I speak for all of Red Sox Nation when I say that this is not a situation in which any of us want to be.  We should be dominating.  Instead, we’re being dominated.   Red Sox Nation holds its breath as one as we wait for tomorrow.  And it’s not a very pleasant feeling.

Beckett cruised through six.  He attacked the corners.  He had great movement on everything.  His fastball was biting.  He was working quickly and efficiently.  It was his last two-thirds of work that did all of us in.  The Angels scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh.  That’s more than Beckett is supposed to give up in an entire regular season game, let alone any postseason contest.  There was an RBI single and a two-RBI triple.  Painful.  His line was four runs on five hits in 6.2 innings pitched with one walk, three K’s, and 105 pitches.  I assure you that the MVP of the 2003 World Series did not have a line like this.  Wagner and Papelbon were fine enough.

The lineup did nothing.  Again.  Youk doubled.  Ellsbury tripled, and V-Mart singled him home in the fourth.  That was it.  We held a one-run lead for all of half an inning.  Unbelievable.  We lost, 4-1.  And you know what’s really scary.  We won last year’s playoff opener against the Angels by that same score.

It’s difficult to talk about the rest of the lineup when they didn’t do anything.  If they take some swings, if they run a bit, then you can say things like, “Oh, he had health issues but they seem to have cleared up,” or “That’s a very good sign because he’s on the verge of breaking out.” But you can’t say that if you don’t have a good handle on what everyone looks like offensively, which you certainly don’t have if all they do is stand in the batter’s box and then leave.  We had six baserunners all night, only four hits, and only three walks.  At the very least, we’re moving in the right direction.  Our leadoff man got his bat on the ball, and we had some extra-base hits in there.  That’s good.  Now we just need everyone to do that.  It shouldn’t be that hard; we’ve been doing it all season long.

If there’s been one bright spot so far in this series for us, it’s our defense.  Mikey Lowell is showing absolutely no signs of hip issues whatsoever.  He robbed Torii Hunter of an extra-base hit in the fourth by diving to his right and making the catch.  And let me tell you, that ball was hit hard, so Lowell’s reaction time had to be quick.  He says he feels better than ever.  And obviously Pedroia made one of his diving stops to record an out of his own.

That’s pretty much all there is to it.  Unfortunately.  Very, very unfortunately.  Moving forward, we have Game Three tomorrow.  At last, it’s a day game, but that’s not nearly as important as the fact that we’re going home! That should turn some things around, but we’re not out of the woods yet.  If it were Lester on the mound, I’d feel pretty good.  If it were Beckett on the mound, I’d feel even better.  But it’s Buchholz on the mound, and he hasn’t been so hot lately.  So not only are we now on the brink of elimination from the playoffs, but we turn to a young, unseasoned, slightly struggling starter to keep us in it.  I don’t really know how I feel about that, but I can tell you that the word “security” isn’t the first one popping into my head.

We’re the Boston Red Sox.  We’re the kings of comeback.  Let’s show the Angels why.

Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis

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