That's what we'll have in our hands. The little,pesky Angels against the mighty, powerful Red Sox. Should be 5 games of epic proportions. Whoever wins this could just take the trophy now. These are the 2 teams that have many ways to beat you. Both teams have young pitching and shut-down bullpens. The offenses on the other hand, are like night and day. Both score runs, but in very different ways.
The Angels play National League, textbook, tight baseball. They put pressure on the other team. They steal,bunt,and grind their runs out. And they're great at doing just that. Chone Figgins couldn't hit his way out of a paper bag for the first few weeks of the season, then he just exploded. Hitting pitches through the hole that should'nt have been hit to begin with. Garret Anderson had some flashback moments as he proved he can still be the quiet killer. Reggie Willits was a big ROY choice before he started to stuggle. And he has NO power. But his OBP is near .400 and he resembles the team. An annoying little hitter who makes the pitcher work like a dog for his outs. You know who isn't little? Vladimir Guerrero. Actually, he's quite big. His power #s have taken a minor hit this year, but he is still a huge and very important presence in a line-up that could use more power.
Why did the Red Sox ever get rid of Orlando Cabrera? Theo has made some very questionable hitting moves over the years, and not locking this guy up was one of them. He faded down the stretch, as he usually does. And his OBP is rather low. But he is extremely clutch and his defense is very solid. The left side of the in-field is young and fresh. Howie Kendrick and Casey Kotchman both fit this team perfectly. They make contact, have great fielding instincts, and they have pop.
The Red Sox are different. Unlike the "Idiots" of 2004, they actually have some speed. Coco Crisp can be a terror on the basepaths and Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting like the second coming of Ted Williams. And he sprints toward home like he's got a motor on his a*s. Julio Lugo can run, but he's gotta get on base first. This club's main weapon is still power. The 1-2 knockout punch of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez is torture for pitchers. Mike Lowell was born to be wearing a Red Sox uniform. Seriously, he fits PERFECTLY with this team. And he's gonna marry that Green Monster he loves it so much. I don't blame him. I wanna count how many dents he's left in that wall. Youk never gives the pitcher an easy out and his defense is actually really good. J.D. Drew is.....ehh.
The Angels and Red Sox both are mostly young. Angels have John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar, and Jered Weaver. Red Sox have Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Curt Schilling. The Angels are younger and more fresh but pitching to the Red Sox in Fenway Park is never easy for any pitcher. In October no less. Lackey is very dependable. Always goes deep into games and rarely gets hammered. He has great stuff. Commanding pitches. Weaver is shaping up to be good and looks like he can act sane on the mound, unlike that crazy brother of his. Escobar is very up and down, but he gets the job done. Gives up alot of HRs, which is not the thing you wanna hear if you're facing the Red Sox. The bullpen is great. Francisco Rodriguez is dynamite and Scot Shields is very expandable, even if he has struggled a tad this season. And the Angels have Ervin Santana. You shall now bow down to him and beg for mercy.
The Red Sox bullpen has faded down the road this season and Jonathan Papelbon has never saved a game in the postseason. Yet, the bullpen still is far from bad.Mike Timlin can still pitch, even at 41 years young. Hideki Okajima has had his downs, but that's expected once in a while. Still has an unfair curveball when he's in the zone. The Red Sox dropped J.C. Romero and put Javier Lopez in. I like Romero better, but Lopez has gotten the outs most of the time. The starting pitching is really,really deep. Beckett is now an ace. A heathly one too. Curt Schilling is one of the best big-game pitchers of this generation. Dice-K is a big question mark. He has never pitched in the postseason before and he had one God-awful stretch recently. It'll be very interesting to see what he delivers. He has not been good in huge games this year.
Game #1- Beckett vs. Lackey
Lackey sucks against Boston. He also sucks at Fenway Park. Those are the 2 things he faces in Game 1. In other words, Red Sox win. Lackey will get hammered and stuffed in a garbage can. Then violated. All by the offense of the Red Sox. B-L-O-W-O-U-T. Beckett is a very good big game pitcher. The Red Sox need this first one.
Game #2- Dice-K vs. Escobar
Another blowout. Only different winner. The Angels answer back with an offensive explosion. I don't think you can have alot of faith in Dice-K. He has looked nervous in big games and the 2nd half has been a very hard time for him. The Angels will grind their first few runs and then just keep putting them up.
Game #3- Schilling vs Weaver-
The first nail-biter. I think Curt Schilling will outpitch Weaver, but it'll still come down the to bullpen. Extra innings is a possiblilty. I picking the Angels. The Angels have the best home record in the A.L. In a tight game, that could be the deciding factor. They just win more at home. That is why the Red Sox MUST win the first game of this series. And that is why home-field advantage means alot for this match-up.
Game #4- Beckett vs. Lackey
Lackey will pitch good. So will Beckett. This one will be another pitchers duel. The Red Sox win. The Red Sox are too good to fold in 4 games. The fact is Lackey can't beat Boston. After the tough win in game 3, the Angels are probably gonna have to rest that bullpen. When Lackey comes out and K-Rod can't come in, who you go to? Shields? Don't trust him closing with the struggles earlier this year.
Game #5- Escobar vs. Dice K
Both pitchers won't do that good. Dice-K will fold first. Once again, Escobar isn't dominating but he eats innings and gets the out's one way or another. This brings me to my final point:
The Big Factor- Dice-K is the huge factor to this series. If he sucks and gives the Angels a warm-up to Home Run Derby 2008, the Red Sox are done. They NEED him to pitch good. Not great, but good enough for 7 innings in each game. He'll pitch at home both his games, so that should help. If I was a Red Sox fan(I'm actually rooting for the Red Sox in this one), I would not have much confidence in Dice-K. He has sucked big time against the Yanks. I realize the Yanks have a great offense, but the Angels are just as hard to get through. I notice Dice-K either can't find the plate or he throws it right down the middle. Like it's going through a pipe. And that gyro ball hasn't made an impact.
The Angels will win this series in 5. Now, when the Red Sox sweep, you can rub it in my face all you want. I also said the Brewers were gonna win the N.L. Central, the Yankees wouldn't make the playoffs, the Padres would go to the WS, the Indians would'nt make it, and the Mets would. Damn, I s-uck at life.