After the Red Sox pulled out a come-from-behind win over the Angels on Wednesday night, veteran L.A. outfielder Torii Hunter criticized some of his teammates. Hunter said they were playing the Red Sox “nervous,” and that when they play that way, they are bound to make mistakes like they did in that tough loss.
Hunter’s words must have caught his teammates’ attention, because Thursday night it was the Angels turning the tables and squeaking out a win over the Red Sox.
But Hunter’s point about the Angels being nervous against the Red Sox doesn’t miraculously disappear with one win, especially with these two teams once again on a collision course to face each other in the ALDS.
The Angels’ struggles against the Red Sox in the postseason have been well documented. It must be frustrating to get knocked out of the playoffs by the same team year after year. Heck, the Angels won 100 games during the regular season last year, and once again they were out after the first round.
Terry Francona constantly says that things in baseball have a way of evening out. Will this be the year the Angels finally get their due triumph over the Red Sox? After the first two games of this last series, it would seem not. But seeing how they turned the tide Thursday night, maybe they have a chance. What are the odds of a team scoring the tying run on a two-out, strike-three passed ball/wild pitch two nights in a row?
The Sox capitalized on mistakes Wednesday to come back and win, but they couldn’t pull off the magic for a second straight night. The bloop hit that fell in for Boston’s Alex Gonzalez on Wednesday fell in for the Angels’ Howie Kendrick on Thursday.
In the end, I still think the Red Sox have a mental edge over the Angels, especially come October. And with the Sox clicking the way they have been, with good starting pitching and the offense on a roll, it would be tough for any team to stop them.
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