David Ortiz shows his frustration after striking out in the bottom of the 9th. (AP Photo)
If last night proved anything, it proved that the ALDS match-up between the Red Sox and Angels is going to be a good one. I have to give the Angels credit here - on a night where their greatest slugger was out of the line-up (Vlad the Impaler) they still found a way to score enough runs off of two of Boston's best pitchers (Beckett & Wagner). They came from behind late, got a key bloop hit (this sounding familiar?), and most importantly for them - they were able to instantly erase the stench & bad karma that surrounded the previous nights game. So props to the Angels. They ended our winning streak, won a tight game in Fenway, and were able to grab some momentum that may very well carry over into the playoffs.
What left a bitter taste in my mouth with this game is the past ball on strike three from Jason Varitek, which ended up tying the game at 3-3 for the Angels. This is the second night in a row this has happened late in the game on a key third strike with Varitek, and it seems pretty unacceptable and Little League to me. We all know and unfortunately accept that V-Tek can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag anymore as he's now hitting a Michael Jordan-like .212 in 345 AB's. Pathetic. I'll give him credit for having productive AB's even though he's not getting hits I guess, which is evident with his .317 OBP. However - that's not going to cut it for me. We all know he "calls a great game", but if you can't hit a baseball, can't throw out a runners stealing bases, and can't stop key pitches from going through your five hole in a playoff atmosphere then what exactly are you doing to help this team win games? Maybe he's distracted because Nick Green's now tapping Heidi Watney, who knows.
I understand V-Tek's a good leader and is a calming force for our pitchers, however, does that ball get past V-Mart or even Dusty Brown for that matter? Tek's been an all-time great for the Sox, no doubt about it, but he looks like a dead-man walking out there, and you just pray he doesn't do something like last night to cost us a playoff game.