Can the Angels win the ALDS? Yes, they can!!!!
I know it was only one win, but last night's Game 1 victory over the Red Sox has given the Angels something they haven't had when facing Boston in a long time: hope.
Don't tell me anymore that the Angels can't get over on Boston. Last night proved that yes, they can.
Yes, they can shut down Boston's potent line-up
Yes, they can beat an ace power pitcher in the post-season.
Yes, they can get some power from their own bats in crucial situations.
Yes, they can hit with runners in scoring position.
Yes, they can out-pitch other teams.
Yes, they can overcome unlucky breaks and bad calls rather than having a mental meltdown.
Yes, they can seize control of their own playoff destiny. For the first time time since the fateful Donnie Moore game, the Angels hold a series lead over the Red Sox. All the pressure that the Angels might have been feeling coming into the series has begun to lift itself off their shoulders and will now start to find its way to the shoulders in the other dugout. This is the moment they have been waiting for all season long, a chance to prove that there is no such thing as hexes and that the best team will prove victorious.
Their Game 1 win has shaken them free from the shackles of self-doubt and freed them to believe in their own abilities and play the game their own way. Now it is up to the Halos to recognize that the future they dreamed of is truly attainable and ripe for the taking.
Boston Red Sox @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Angels Lead 1-0)
Starters: BOS - Josh Beckett (17-6, 3.86 ERA) LAA - Jered Weaver (16-8, 3.75 ERA)
Game Info: 6:37 PM PT TV-TBS, Radio-ESPN Radio, KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM
- Will Jered Weaver back up his strong regular season with strong post-season start tonight? Weave wasn't considered good enough to be part of the post-season rotation last year, but he is getting a big start tonight. He has been working hard all season long to prove he is a top of the rotation starter and a good performance tonight would go along way toward affirming that.
- Can the Angels beat Josh Beckett? Beckett has built his reputation on being a post-season stud and had a complete game shutout against the Halos in 2007, but the Angels did rough him up a bit when they faced him last year.
- Are we in trouble with C.B. Bucknor taking over home plate umpire duties tonight? CB had a horrid night in Game 1 and will now be responsible for the strike zone. This strikes me as a bad idea, especially since he was twice voted the WORST umpire in all of baseball according to the players. If there is a positive here, it is that bad umpires tend to favor the home team, so this might actually work in the Angels' favor.
- Bobby Abreu actually puts a ball in play tonight.
- Vladimir Guerrero registers an extra-base hit, just his third career post-season extra-base hit, but strikes out in all of his other at-bats once again forcing everyone to ask why it is he is still batting clean-up against power pitchers when we all know he can't get around on a good fastball anymore.
ZERO Tolerance for…
- I wish for Mike Napoli to have a big offensive night. Jeff Mathis did a great job calling the game last night, but the Angels are still a better team with Napoli in the line-up. He has looked close to breaking through the last few weeks and we all know that Nap can go on torrid power surges, but he is going to have to be impressive in this game to convince Sosh to stick with him as his primary backstop.
a loss. I know that is obvious, but if the Angels lose tonight, then the tables will turn on them once again. The pressure will once again be back on them as they will have lost homefield advantage, meaning they'll have to win at least one game in Fenway Park. The playoffs are all about momentum and a loss tonight would give it all to Boston while totally deflating the Angels' new found confidence.
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