Oct 10, 2009, 1:25 PM EST
For the second straight night the Red Sox’ hitters had no answer for the Angels’ pitchers, and for the second straight night the Angels won convincingly. Speed and timely hitting did it this time, with a Howie Kendrick steal followed up by Maicer Izturis’ poking one through the right side, followed by an Izturis steal, followed by a HBP and a triple and that was all she wrote. The Angels are up 2-0 heading back to Boston, and while the 2004 ALCS was nice and everything, miracles like that don’t grow on trees. Boston is on the brink of oblivion, and they know it.
Evidence: Francona plans to bring Jon Lester back for Game 4 — if there is a Game 4 — on short rest. Beckett would get the same short rest in the unlikely event of a Game 5. Lester has pitched on short rest only once in his career, allowing four runs (including two homers) over five innings on April 23, 2008. Oh, and that was against the Angels. Beckett last pitched on short rest in September of 2004 against the Expos. He had better results: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER 8K and the win. You probably don’t remember that one as much as his only other time starting on short rest.
Generally speaking, though, it’s a sucker’s bet to throw a starter on three days’ rest in the playoffs. Teams have done it 72 times since the three-tier playoff system kicked off in 1995. Those teams have lost 45 of those games and have won only 27. Indeed, teams have lost eight of the last ten times a manager was desperate enough to start a guy on three days rest in the postseason.
But maybe it works if a team is really, really desperate: you’ll recall that the Red Sox started Derek Lowe on two days rest in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS against Yankees. That worked out pretty well.
- Report: Red Sox make $95 million offer to Pablo Sandoval 72
- White Sox sign Adam LaRoche to two-year, $25 million deal 34
- Report: Red Sox offer Jon Lester six years, $110-120 million 72
- Report: “There is a 90 percent chance that Pablo Sandoval will sign with the Red Sox” 130
- A’s sign Billy Butler to three-year, $30 million contract 84
- Cardinals reportedly joining pursuit of Jon Lester 65
- Giancarlo Stanton’s contract is backloaded. REALLY backloaded. 148
- Braves and Cardinals swap Jason Heyward and Shelby Miller in blockbuster deal 157
- Braves and Cardinals swap Jason Heyward and Shelby Miller in blockbuster deal (157)
- Giancarlo Stanton’s contract is backloaded. REALLY backloaded. (148)
- Blue Jays sign Russell Martin to five-year, $82 million deal (135)
- Report: “There is a 90 percent chance that Pablo Sandoval will sign with the Red Sox” (130)
- Sexual assualt charges reinstated against Tigers pitcher Evan Reed (128)