Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wanted: Bats That Work

After Game Two of the ALDS, a game where the Angels established a dominating 2-0 lead with a 4-1 victory, it has become apparent Boston's problem doesn't reside on the mound or in the field. It resides at the plate.

Game Two marked the third post-season game in a row where the Red Sox registered four or fewer hits, a streak only topped by the 1906 White Sox in the World Series. During that streak, the White Sox managed to win two games. If only Boston could say the same.

Instead, Beckett kept Boston in the game until the bottom of the seventh when the Angels were able to break a 1-1 tie with a two-out three-run rally. The Boston response never came. And that has been the basic flow of this ALDS so far.

Both teams have gotten good starting pitching, but the Angels have been able to find and exploit the opportunities that fall to them in the course of the game. This is the kind of thing the Sox were able to do in 2007 and 2008. But this year it's been the Angels creating and cashing in on those breaks.

And now the Sox are coming home with their backs against the wall. It's not impossible for them to pull this off. After all, they've come back from larger deficits in the past. But it won't be easy.

Game Three gives us Scott Kazmir and Clay Buchholz. This will be Clay's first post-season appearance. And while it would have been great to have it come in a less...dire situation, he has shown the skills this year to pitch effectively. Kazmir rediscovered his stuff after getting traded from the Rays to the Angels. He was 2-2 with a 1.73 ERA in six starts with the Angels, and he beat the Sox twice this year while pitching for the Rays.

But the focus tonight has to be on the Boston hitters. They must break out tonight and starting hitting like they did in the regular season. This is a prolific lineup and one that can do real damage. All they have to do is remember that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nope, the problem was clearly at the mound.