Wednesday, October 03, 2007

On the Plus Side, It Didn't Take Long

The Angels picked up where they left off in 2005, unable to mount any offense, but you've got to hand it to Beckett. He was very impressive. They can talk all they want about making him work, but the guy was firing strikes all night, and the only thing you accomplish by taking pitches is getting yourself behind in the count. We've all seen the Angels struggle against mediocre pitching before, but that wasn't the case tonight. Remember, Beckett has a pretty stellar post-season history, so it's not like they got shut down by John Garland.

Still, the offense certainly didn't inspire confidence. They haven't really seen Dice-K yet. Usually you figure that matchup goes to the pitcher, but anything can happen.

With luck, Rivera will be able to play the outfield on Friday, allowing either Willits or Izturis to head to the bench. Either would have been preferable to Aybar in a pinch hitting role tonight.

Other positives: Lackey sharpened up considerably after his rough start, which couldn't have surprised anyone. But it's a reason for optimism if they can get this to a fourth game. Of course, that means Beckett again, but at this point, I'd take it. Santana also looked terrific in his relief role. The off-day tomorrow could be huge in that it will allow him to pitch in game five if a) Escobar's shoulder doesn't hold up, or b) the Sox force him into 100 pitches through five innings, both or which aren't particularly improbable.

And hey, they lost game one every time in 2002. Not over yet.

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