For the second straight night the Red Sox’ hitters had no answer for the Angels’ pitchers, and for the second straight night the Angels won convincingly. Speed and timely hitting did it this time, with a Howie Kendrick steal followed up by Maicer Izturis’ poking one through the right side, followed by an Izturis steal, followed by a HBP and a triple and that was all she wrote. The Angels are up 2-0 heading back to Boston, and while the 2004 ALCS was nice and everything, miracles like that don’t grow on trees. Boston is on the brink of oblivion, and they know it.
Evidence: Francona plans to bring Jon Lester back for Game 4 — if there is a Game 4 — on short rest. Beckett would get the same short rest in the unlikely event of a Game 5. Lester has pitched on short rest only once in his career, allowing four runs (including two homers) over five innings on April 23, 2008. Oh, and that was against the Angels. Beckett last pitched on short rest in September of 2004 against the Expos. He had better results: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER 8K and the win. You probably don’t remember that one as much as his only other time starting on short rest.
Generally speaking, though, it’s a sucker’s bet to throw a starter on three days’ rest in the playoffs. Teams have done it 72 times since the three-tier playoff system kicked off in 1995. Those teams have lost 45 of those games and have won only 27. Indeed, teams have lost eight of the last ten times a manager was desperate enough to start a guy on three days rest in the postseason.
But maybe it works if a team is really, really desperate: you’ll recall that the Red Sox started Derek Lowe on two days rest in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS against Yankees. That worked out pretty well.
Major League Baseball just announced the broadcast schedule for both Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) of the NLCS and the entire World Series.
There are no surprises here. The World Series games are all on Fox. The pregame show starts at 7:30 and the games themselves start just after 8pm Eastern Daylight Time, regardless of whether it’s Chicago or Los Angeles representing the National League. For some reason Game five of the World Series, scheduled a week from Sunday if it comes to pass, starts seven minutes later than all of the other games. Maybe something super exciting will happen then.
David Ortiz had a whale of a final season with the Red Sox. It was so good that he was asked, many, many times, if he was thinking of reversing his retirement decision and coming back for 2017. Ortiz always said no, he was still retiring, occasionally making mention of his aching feet and the physical grind his 40-year-old body was undergoing.
We now know just how much of a grind it was. Indeed, it was extreme. We know this because Dan Dyrek, the Red Sox’ coordinator of sports medicine services, tells it to Rob Bradford of WEEI. Dyrek says that the injuries to Ortiz’s feet, which were often referred to as achilles tendon problems, were way, way more complicated than that, affecting every muscle, bone and tendon in his feet in chain reaction fashion. Dyrek:
“He was essentially playing on stumps. Instead of having this nice, flexible, foot, ankle, calf mechanism to act as a shock absorber, he was playing on stumps. And you can do that for only so long. He was in warrior mode trying to play through this. Once we diagnosed him and saw what was going on and started explaining things to him, there was actually a sense of relief because now he had an explanation of what he was in such excruciating pain.”
That Ortiz was able to even walk through what Dyrek describes is pretty amazing. That he was able to put up a near-MVP season with all of that pain is incredible.