Red Sox Turn to Josh Beckett to Even Series

Red Sox Turn to Josh Beckett to Even Series It won’t be do-or-die time for the Red Sox, but it will be close as they take on the Angels in Game 2 of the ALDS. The Halos got the best of the Sox on Thursday, winning 5-0 thanks to a home run by Torii Hunter and outstanding pitching from John Lackey.

On Friday, it will be playoff ace Josh Beckett, who struggled in the 2008 postseason due to a rash of back pain, on the hill for the Red Sox.

WHEN & WHERE

9:37 pm ET (TBS), Oct. 9, 2009
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, Calif.

RECORDS

Red Sox  (95-67, 2nd  place in AL East)
Angels (97-65, 1st place in AL West)

HEAD TO HEAD

The Angels shocked the Red Sox in Game 1, as Lackey bested Jon Lester, 5-0. Lackey and reliever Darren Oliver limited the Sox to four hits. It was the first time in 15 playoff games against the Sox that the Angels got a win from a starting pitcher. It was the Angels’ first playoff win at home since the 2005 ALCS, and it was also their first win in Game 1 of a division series. 

SKINNY

Although history was not on the Sox’ side in Game 1 of the ALDS, it should be Friday. The Sox are 3-0 in their previous three ALDS Game 2s (2004, 2007, 2008) against the Angels. The Sox are 2-0 in Anaheim, 1-0 at Fenway. In six regular-season games in Anaheim this season, the Sox were 2-4.

STARTING LINEUPS

Red Sox
Angels
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF  Chone Figgins, 3B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Bobby Abreau, RF
Victor Martinez, C Torii Hunter, CF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B Vlad Guerrero, DH
David Ortiz, DH Kendry Morales, 1B
Jason Bay, LF Juan Rivera, LF
Mike Lowell, 3B Maicer Izturis, 2B
J.D. Drew, RF Mike Napoli, C
Alex Gonzalez, SS Erick Aybar, SS

STARTING PITCHERS

RHP Josh Beckett (17-6, 3.86 ERA) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (16-8, 3.75 ERA)
Beckett has been one of the most successful pitchers in recent postseasons. He is 7-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 13 playoff games (12 starts). He was named the World Series MVP with the Marlins in 2003 when he went 1-1 with a 1.10 ERA against the Yankees, shutting out New York 2-0 in the decisive Game 6.

In seven postseason starts with the Sox he is 5-0 with a 3.65 ERA. In 2008, he was 1-0 in three starts against the Angels (one start, no decision) and Rays (two starts in the ALCS), with an ERA of 8.79 when he was hampered by an oblique strain.

He missed his next-to-last start of the regular season because of back spasms, for which he received cortisone shots. In the second half he was 6-3 with a 4.53 ERA, including a stretch of five starts when he allowed 14 home runs, going 1-1, while the team was 3-2 in those games. He faced the Angels twice this season, on April 12 in Anaheim and on Sept. 17 at Fenway. He was 0-1 in those games while the team was 0-2.

Weaver has just two postseason games on his resume, both against the Sox. In 2007, he took a loss, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts in five innings. Last year, he earned the win in the Angels’ only victory of the ALDS in Game 3 at Fenway, pitching two scoreless innings of relief, giving up a hit and a walk with three strikeouts.

In the second half, Weaver was 6-5 in 15 starts, with a 4.47 ERA and one complete-game shutout. Weaver faced the Sox twice this season, both in Anaheim, going 1-1, allowing a combined one run (earned) on eight hits, three walks, and 12 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.

STAT SHEET

Red Sox
The Sox are 79-70-1 all-time in 150 postseason games. The Yankees (341), Cardinals (184), Dodgers (166) and Braves (155) have more playoff games.

The Sox are 16-11 in 28 overall postseason series, going 5-2 in the ALDS, 4-5 in the ALCS, and 7-4 in the World Series.

The Sox are 36-40 all-time in road playoff games, including a 9-9 mark in the ALDS, winning six of their last nine Division series games.

Jonathan Papelbon has thrown 25 scoreless innings over 16 career postseason appearances, the most career innings in major league history without allowing a run. It is the second-longest scoreless innings streak to begin a postseason career behind Christy Mathewson’s 28 shutout innings from 1905-1911.

David Ortiz was hitless in Game 1, ending his streak of hitting in each of his previous seven career playoff games in Anaheim beginning Oct. 12, 2002. He is 10-for-29 (.345) in playoff games in Anaheim. It was the longest road hitting streak ever against the Angels in the playoffs.

The Sox are 3-9 in their last 12 regular season games at Angels Stadium, but 6-3 all time in the playoffs, winning six straight games before Thursday’s loss.

The Sox are 12-2 against the Angels since Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS, including an 11-game win streak through Game 2 of the 2008 ALDS, the most consecutive victories in major league postseason history by a team against a single opponent.

Angels
For the first time in 15 playoff games against the Sox, the Angels got a win from their starting pitcher Wednesday.

The Angels are 1-6 in home playoff games going back to the 2005 ALCS against the White Sox.

The Angels are 8-12 all time in ALDS games over five total series played, and are 1-5 all time in Game 1 of a division series.

The Angels set a team record with 47 come-from-behind wins and 37 wins against left-handed starters, this season.

The Angels are 2-9 in their last 10 playoff games against the Sox, including a record of 1-5 in Anaheim.

The 2009 Angels are the only team in history with 11 players with at least 50 RBIs each.

The Angels won seven of their final eight games of the regular season to end with a season-high 32 games over .500.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox
Tim Wakefield, hampered by an ailing back and leg, is not on the ALDS roster.

Manny Delcarmen’s back has been stiff since a car accident Saturday, and he is not on the ALDS roster.

Rocco Baldelli
’s left hip has kept him off the ALDS roster.

Nick Green is hobbled by an ailing back and leg and is not on the ALDS roster.

Angels
Reliever Jason Bulger received a cortisone shot in his shoulder on Sunday, but is on the ALDS roster.

THIS DATE IN RED SOX HISTORY

In 1915, Woodrow Wilson becomes the first president to attend a World Series game. Red Sox pitcher Rube Foster limits the Phillies to just three hits en route to a 2-1 victory in Game 2 of the Fall Classic.

OVERHEARD

“There was no digestion. I don’t make those decisions. That would be a great question for Tito, maybe.”
–Josh Beckett, on how he took the news that Sox manager Terry Francona would start Jon Lester in Game 1 of the ALDS and Beckett in Game 2

PRESS BOX

Red Sox
The Sox offense lacked spark in Game 1.

Sloppy defense didn’t help the Sox.

Neither team was happy with the umpires.

Terry Francona nearly missed Game 1.

The Sox need Josh Beckett strong in Game 2.

Angels
It was a reversal of fortune for the Angels.

John Lackey finally got his revenge on the Sox.

The Angels’ energy is all positive now.

The Angels have a rare ALDS lead.

The Angels need Jered Weaver to overcome his second-half falloff.

MLB
Mark Loretta and the Dodgers stunned the Cardinals.

The Rockies evened their series with the Phillies.

Phillies starter Cole Hamels left the park when his wife went into labor.

Phil Hughes can be a difference-maker for the Yankees.

Alcohol ads and Nick Adenhart’s memory don’t mix.

OUTLOOK

The Sox will need Josh Beckett to resume his postseason dominance to avoid returning to Boston down 0-2 in the best-of-five series. The Sox’ offense was held quiet in Game 1 but will need to come out strong in Game 2. Look for Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia to set the tone at the top of the lineup.

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