Thursday, October 13, 2005

ALCS Game 2: The Phantom Trap

Wow. I didn't see that one coming. It didn't look like the Sox would ever score against the Angels bullpen. But then it happened. The Sox got the biggest playoff break since Steve Bartman went souvenir hunting. Just like that this series is tied and we are off to California.

Now, the controversial third strike call without a doubt changed the course of this game. But just like the Bartman play, it did not cost a team the game. It put a runner on first with two outs. Not exactly a threatening situation for the Angels bullpen. The Angels then let Ozuna steal second without a throw. Then Escobar throws an 0-2 meatball to Joe Crede. Joe Crede, who wakes up in the middle of the night screaming from nightmares of 0-2 curveballs in the dirt. That's what cost the Angels the game.

The Sox caught a break and took advantage of it. Luckily, Mark Buerhle pitched a gem, and gave the Sox the opportunity to steal this one. This is the performance I've been waiting to get form Buerhle since they started to slide in August. That was an ace on the mound.

Looking ahead, I think the Sox would be in a great position if they could just split the next two games. If I were the Angels, I would not want to go into to games 5 and 6, tied 2-2, against Contreras and Buerhle.