It’s the top of the 6th inning here at a downright FREEZING Fenway Park, and I dare say this series is over.
In the bottom of the 5th, John Lackey got the double play grounder that he needed, but series goat Howie Kendrick booted it, allowing a run to score. The next batter, Dustin Pedroia, smacked a double off the monster, scoring Jason Varitek to give the Sox a 2-0 lead.
The way the Angels are stranding runners on base (helped by some nice defense tonight from Youk and Kotsay at first) this game is all but over. As Lynchie has been saying, the Red Sox are totally in their heads, both at the plate and in the field.
In other news, I don’t think Sox fans should be too worried that Mike Lowell has been removed from the roster and thus out for the ALCS (and probably the World Series, should they make it). The injured 3rd baseman has looked awful at the plate and in the field, where he simply can’t get his legs into any throws. Right now the Sox are a better team with Youk at third, although I can’t understand why Sean Casey, a proven postseason performer, can’t get any looks at first base.
By the way, what are the odds that the immortal Gil Velazquez (he who replaced Lowell on the roster) comes up with a key play at some point in these playoffs? It’s been that kind of run for the Sox.
It’s also been that kind of run for the Tampa Bay Rays. After never having a winning season in their young history, the Rays ran over Chicago, winning the 4th game of their series 6-2 and advancing to the ALCS. If the Red Sox do indeed advance, they will have their hands full with the Rays, who played them to a stalemate in the regular season. Evan Longoria is the real deal for that team, and Haverhill native and Northeastern grad Carlos Pena always seems to step up against the team that never really gave him a chance. Should this one end in the Sox favor, it will be a fun series to watch starting Friday night.