American League Championship Series - Game 1
Red Sox 10, Indians 3
Red Sox lead, 1-0
I'm quite certain that the rest of this series won't be as easy as the Sox made it look last night, but if Manny and Papi are half as good as they were in Game 1, Indians pitchers are in for a long, generally unpleasant slog. After a perfect 10-for-10 outing against C.C. Sabathia and friends, the Sox 3-4 bats have reached base 29 times in 36 postseason plate appearances - a tidy .806 OPB. Those are Nintendo numbers, well past the point of ridiculous into plaid territory.
Josh Beckett was the beneficiary last night, even as he probably didn't need the largesse. The Sox' offense outburst allowed Terry Francona to get Beckett out of the game after 80 pitches and 6 innings of 2-run ball, and preserve the option to bring the ace back on short rest for Game 4. The only real moments of trepidation came when heart attack in waiting Eric Gagne decided to load the bases in the top of the 9th, just for kicks, before finally striking out Grady Sizemore to end the game. I do appreciate the soon-to-be former Sox reliever for giving me just a few moments of irrational postseason white-knuckle tension - the rest of the game didn't offer much in the way of suspense.
Speaking of Nintendo, as I did above, Indians' Game 2 starter Fausto Carmona brings an array of pitches that heretofore have only been available to video gamers. His fastball is explosive and his slider beyond absurd. He pitched 9 innings of 3-hit ball against the Yankees in his last outing, so he's at the very top of his game. In July, he beat the Sox, 1-0, throwing 8 scoreless innings and allowing only 4 hits. How the Sox got 4 hits is beyond me. Immovable Object, meet the Irresistible Forces in the middle of the Sox' lineup. This should be fun, to the extent I can have such a thing while watching October baseball.