Red Sox short hops10/08/2004 11:23 PM ET
By Paul C. Smith / MLB.com
With Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez going 1-2, the Red Sox figured they had a good chance to go up 2-0 in this short series. And only one team, the 2001 Yankees, had ever come back to win a five-game ALDS after losing the first two games at home. But the Angels might have done just that.
If they had won Game 3, the Angels would have gained oodles of confidence and momentum. They might have beaten an unpredictable Tim Wakefield on Saturday and sent the series back to Anaheim, where all the pressure would have been on the Red Sox to salvage something. As several Boston players said after Friday night's win, "We knew we had to win Game 3. That was crucial."
Stats all, folks
A look at the key statistics from the Angels-Red Sox ALDS.
||the staff really only gave up one big inning
||sure, they left a lot of men on base, because they get a lot of hits
||averaging more than eight runs a game translates into a lot of wins
||boston's defense wasn't great but it didn't hurt either
||.476 BA, 4 runs, 3 SBs
||David Ortiz said it best: "Thanks, Jesus"
||.545 BA, 5 BBs, 4 runs, 4 RBIs
||that's why the Angels walked him so much
||.091, 0 HR, 0 RBIs
||he didn't hit and he couldn't effectively bunt in the crucial 10th
Behind the numbers
The Angels' pitchers simply did not give themselves a chance. They knew the Red Sox were going to hit. And Boston had 35 hits in 27 2/3 innings. But the Angels threw in another 26 walks, six of which were intentional. Add on four wild pitches and you might understand why Anaheim pitchers will focus on throwing strikes ... first thing next spring.
When Jeff DaVanon drove the ball to deep center field leading off the top of the 10th inning, everyone expected him to be standing on third base ready to score the Angels' go-ahead run. But Damon's catch put an end to all that.
It's a darn good thing Terry Francona did not pinch run for Ortiz in the eighth inning, as was suggested by many, because Ortiz would not have come to the plate in the 10th.
Lowe and behold
Derek Lowe may have been imminently hittable the final month of the regular season but bringing him in for the 10th inning worked out just fine. Lowe had the law of averages and Orlando Cabrera behind him.
"For us, it's only going to be satisfying if we win it all. We have eight more games to win." -- Damon
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.