I spent my afternoon watching the Angels-Red Sox game. What fun that was. While I was officially neutral on the Red Sox-Angels series (it would be like trying to decide to root for arsenic or cyanide!), I have to say, now that it's over, and I can't karmically jinx things, I really, really enjoyed seeing the Red Sox lose.
I also appreciated seeing Bobby Abreu being an Anaheim hero.And I especially cherished seeing Jonathan Papelbon (aka Cinco Dopo) give up three runs in the ninth, when he was literally one strike away from getting the win. So much for his 0.00 postseason ERA. So much for him being better than Mariano Rivera. His lousy outing reminded me of when Omir Santos and the Mets, in one of their few 2009 season highlights, destroyed Papelbon. Or when Baltimore beat up on him, in a game where they trailed by nine runs. Sox fans are already tired of Papelbon's mouth; wonder if they're going to be sick of him as a closer, as well.
Seeing Billy (Country Time) Wagner give up two runs was also fun as well. Wheeee!
I was very shocked Boston lost, but perhaps they have gotten a little too complacent, thanks to all their comeback wins in recent years. The Red Sox have done a 180 from their "OMG, something's going to go wrong!" attitude, to this "don't worry, we'll get 'em later" lethargy. And they didn't seem to take their opponent seriously, until it was too late. It didn't appear to occur to Boston that, much like the Sox were once sick of losing to the Yankees, that the Angels were sick of losing to the Red Sox. As friend of the Squawkers Bob Ekstrom put it last week, "When you punch an opponent in the mouth enough times, he’s eventually going to punch you back."
What also struck me is how quiet Fenway Park was throughout the game, even when the Sox were winning. It was not a raucous crowd at all. Where was the home field advantage?
Papelbon will get the blame for this loss, but he isn't the only one to blame for the sweep. The Sox's hitting was anemic - Jacoby Ellsbury had the most hits for the series, at three. David Ortiz hit .083!
Friend of the Squawkers Larry Milian asked me about this series on the radio the other day, and I told him what I've said before - ever since the 2006 Tigers killed the Yankees, I stopped trying to wish for one team as being a better matchup in the postseason. But now, that I can speak about the Angels, I will close with this prediction. Just like the Angels got the Red Sox monkey off their backs this year, the Yankees are going to finally get that Anaheim rally monkey off their own backs this year!
What do you think? Tell us about it!