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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Jed Lowrie carries the Red Sox to their fourth ALCS in the last six seasons

I alluded to it during the Celtics title run in the spring and summer but I can't emphasize the fact enough that I'll never take this for granted. Sure in the company of my fellow Massholes, I will talk a big game and boast that this success across New England pro sports will continue forever but I see the writing on the wall (especially with the Cubs collapse fresh in my mind). Despite how great they are at this moment, each local franchise will go through downtimes in the future (except for the Bruins who will always be mediocre). Hopefully, by that time I'll be married to Jessica Biel and will have no use for sports.

The Boston Red Sox won game 4 of the ALDS, 3-2 over the Angels as rookie shortstop Jed Lowrie came through with the key hit, a walk-off RBI single in the ninth off Angels reliever Scot Shields that scored Jason Bay.

On a related note, Julio Lugo was arrested for robbing a 7-11 in East Boston last night. Just kidding,a although I'll be the first one to help Lugo pack his bags and get the hell out of town. No use for that bum anymore.

Hate to be redundant but Jon Lester once again delivered in a huge game. The workhouse and second best lefty in MLB (behind Johan Santana) pitched seven scoreless innings on a cold night, which was just what the Sox needed since every bullpen arm had been used the last few games. Lester allowed four hits, walked two and struck out four. He left with a 2-0 and should have gotten the win if not for some shaky moments by Hideki Okajima and especially Justin Masterson.

Boston broke the scoreless tie with two runs in the fifth off Angels starter John Lackey. Jacoby Ellsbury's groundout drove in Mark Kotsay and Dustin Pedroia broke out of his series-long slump with an RBI double off the Monster which scored Jason Varitek.

After Mark Teixeira and Vlad Guerrero walked, Torii Hunter scored them both with a clutch RBI single off Masterson in the eighth. All the air went out of Fenway as fans realized how screwed the Sox would be if they had to fly back to Anaheim for a game five with Dice-K starting. Yuck.

The Angels series could be summed up by what happened in the ninth. Pinch hitter Kendry Morales led off the ninth with a double and yet he couldn't score. Howie Kendrick bunted him over but then Erick Aybar blew a squeeze play with one out. Aybar missed on a bunt attempt, Jason Varitek caught the ball and ran up the third baseline to tag pinch runner Reggie Willits who was too far off third (anticipating the bunt).

Kevin Youkilis and Kotsay both had superb defensive plays earlier in the game, another thing which separated these two teams in such a tight series.

From there, Jason Bay hit a bloop ground-rule double to right, Kotsay hit a rope that Teixeira (how good is he?) dove and caught before Lowrie stepped up.

The Red Sox will go to Tampa Bay on Friday for Game 1 of the ALCS. Facing off against a division foe, especially such a fresh-faced up and coming team means this best of seven series should be pretty exciting.

The only bad news coming out of Fenway last night was that Mike Lowell is out for the ALCS and probably the rest of the playoffs with the hip injury.

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