For the record, this day was as close to being my dream come true as is possible without the A’s being in the playoffs. After watching the team I really do like (the Rays) jump all over the White Sox, and go up 2-0 in the series with their 6-2 win today, tonight’s game was not only awesome, but everything we’ve ever wanted in a playoff game.
And indeed, the late game had a little bit of everything, including a bunch of temper tantrums. After the Red Sox jumped out to an early lead, 5-1 (helped by 4 runs in the first off Santana, who did settle down, but not before another Bay homerun), the Angels chipped back in just about every inning as they entered the bottom of the eighth down 5-4, before handing Papelbon a blown save. Paps came in after a lead-off triple and retired three batters in less than ten pitches. But he allowed the run to come home, tying the game at 5, and giving hope to the Angles, who had fought long and hard to play on. Although Vlad, Teixeira and Hunter combined for eight hits, Howie Kendrick did nothing but add to his LOB total, bringing it to 11 in the series, as he has gone 0-9 and barely even touched the ball.
It seemed as if the Angels were just one big hit away from breaking open the game in every inning, but they could not (they recorded eleven hits, only one of them went for extra bases) and as the Battle of the Closers roared on in the 8th and 9th, K-rod (are we surprised?) was the one who failed to live up to his “Best. Closer. Ever.” moniker. In one of two sweet swings for A’s fans, Ortiz almost homered to open the ninth, settling instead for a double. After a temper tantrum by Aybar at second on a very close call on the runner getting back, J.D. Drew made it a moot point by absolutely BLASTING a homerun off K-rod to hand the Red Sox a 7-5 lead that Paps would hang onto in the ninth. Kendrick (surprise, surprise) made the last out on a weak swing for yet another K.
It was like Christmas and puppies all rolled up into one. That's now 11 straight loses to the Red Sox, and nine playoff games lost in a row.
So every series is at 2-0; both NL teams play tomorrow; both AL teams on Sunday.