The Sox are off on their way to the land of the La Las (otherwise known as Las Angeles) to face the Las Angeles Angels of Anaheim (they don’t have enough fans in Anaheim so they incorporated LA too). Many Sox fans will be chanting the same thing they did this summer with the NBA Finals: “Beat LA”. Odd how that works out.
Also, as to the question of Lester starting instead of Josh? Well, aside from my concern that Becks won’t be ready to pitch at all (an irrational fear, I hope) Lester is a great back-up. I mean, how many teams would kill to have Lester or Dice-K come and be their Ace? (The Mariners, Nats, Os, Pirates and Padres are all raising their hands). I think pitching wise, so long as Becks is healthy, we’re in good shape.
Lets look at the top 10 teams for the year…(* indicate post-season berth, bold and italics are to make a point)
1. Las Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) 100-62 AL West *
2. Chicago Cubs 97-64 NL Central *
3. Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays 97-65 AL East *
4. Boston Red Sox 95-67 AL East *
5. Philadelphia Phillies 92-70 NL East *
6. Milwaukee Brewers 90-72 NL Central *
7. New York Yankees 89-73 AL East
8. New York Mets 89-73 NL East
9-10 Minnesota Twins/Chicago White Sox 88-74 AL Central (one of them will *)
Sorry, a friend of mine continually claims that the national sports media has an east coast bias. But check out the top 10 teams! Half of them are from the east. Also, the AL has 6 of the top spots, and their final playoff contender, the LA Dodgers, are ranked 14th (going by wins/losses) falling behind every team in the AL East except for the Orioles. If we were to go purely on wins/losses, there would only be one playoff team in the AL not from the East. And it would mean that half of the NL teams came from the East. So there is your east coast bias. Well earned, in my opinion.
So break out the beer, the rally caps/towels/flags/t-shirts and get set for a great October. Lets go over some final stats before the Sox take the field against the Angels very late tomorrow night:
Red Sox: .986
Edge: Red Sox (mostly because they’ve had Youk playing at either corner and 4 different people at short and still have a better fielding percentage than the Angels)
Red Sox: .252 (let us mention this, though. Pedroia has hit .583 against the Angels in Anaheim this year. Astounding!)
Red Sox: 4.01 ERA (3 starters: 2.58 ERA)
Angels: 3.99 ERA (3 starters: 2.48 ERA)
Edge: Angels (but only slightly)
Papelbon and co: Only 1 Angel has a hit against him in the past 2 years, no one has a hit this year against him
K-Rod and co: Record-setting year, the Sox are batting .133
against him this season
Edge: Neither. While the Angels bullpen has been more consistent, the Red Sox bullpen is coming in hot. It’s anyone’s ballgame.
Edge: Red Sox have talented and experienced veterans/youngsters, and they have been well prepared this year with all the various injuries.
Angels: K-Rod is clutch. I mean, big time clutch, plus the extra bats added this year will be a big help.
Red Sox: Dice can load the bases, and 9 times out of 10 get himself out of it. Lester…he turns around series, Becket…domination. The Sox got grit, and everyone has pulled their weight this year because of injuries.
Edge: Red Sox (again, very slight)
This is going to be a good series. I can’t wait to watch!