Friday, October 09, 2009

Thoughts on Game One

  • You really can't overstate how important it was to get game one. If the Angels had lost again, after getting another excellent start, you have to think it would have started some sort of death spiral. But they didn't win in a throw-away type laugher. They didn't win on a controversial finish. They simply outperformed Boston at the plate and in the field, and were the better team. They haven't won anything yet, but this is a good start.
  • I'm really glad that neither of the awful C.B. Bucknor calls had an impact on the game beyond John Lester's pitch count. They'll be footnotes now, but today would have been lousy with whiny Red Sox fans complaining that the fix was in.
  • That said, there were two bad calls that had an effect on the game. Lackey through ball four to Kevin Youkilis and got a lucky strike call from Joe West to keep the at bat alive, and got an inning ending ground out two pitches later. He handled David Ortiz pretty well, so it may not have mattered, but he was really struggling with his control right there, and who knows what happens if he walks three straight.
  • The second bad call, at least from the replays I've seen, was on the bases loaded double play. Looked to me like Torii Hunter avoided the tag at third, and that cost the Angels at least one run.
  • It may be the last time Lackey pitches for the Angels, but two things about that possibility jumped out at me. First, if it is his last start in Anaheim, he just made about a million more per year with that start. Second, with the run support and defense that he got, he may be a tad more inclined to stay in SoCal. At the very least, he won't have a bad taste in his mouth from another excellent performance that went for naught.
  • Chone Figgins was the only Angel who failed to reach base. The only other Angel without a hit was Bobby Abreu, but he also had no official at bats. Contrast that to last year where, for a few games, the entire bottom of the order was a black hole. This was a team effort. The defense was excellent, Kendry Morales provided a huge two out hit, and Torii Hunter, was very vocal on the need for the big performers to step up, provided the offensive heroism. That's a nice way to get things started.
  • Another good pitching matchup tonight. So many things can happen in a short series that even a 2-0 lead won't give me much satisfaction, but I think the Angels exorcised a couple demons last night, and I think they'll all be a bit more relaxed tonight.
On a final note, I missed the last two innings of the game (in real time) because I had tickets to see a really great band called The Subjects. I only mention this because I missed the first and second games of the ALDS in 2002 for the same reason (only then it was Gomez and the Super Furry Animals). I think we all know how that turned out. So I'm doing my part.

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