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Home » 2007 PostseasonOctober 2007 » Divine


ALDS Game 3: October 7, 2007
WinRed Sox 9 W: Curt Schilling (1-0) 3-0
Angels 1 L: Jered Weaver (0-1) 0-3
Highlights: No one on earth could feel like this
I’m thrown and overblown with bliss
There must be an angel
Playing with my heart

Because they certainly weren’t playing on the field.

Already down Gary Matthews, Jr. and Bartolo Colon for the series, regular first baseman Casey Kotchman was replaced by Kendry Morales about a half an hour before first pitch due to a non-baseball related illness. Garret Anderson left the game in the top of the third, at last conceding he couldn’t see out of his right eye because of conjunctivitis.

Even with a full and healthy complement the Angels would have been hard-pressed to defeat the Red Sox. Curt Schilling displayed his postseason virtuosity with seven innings of six-hit ball. He has made the transition from power to finesse as easily as Picasso ranged from realism to cubism, painting the black with painstaking precision. Four Angels struck out and only one got a free pass. Only Maicer Izturis managed an extra base hit and even that one could have been added to Coco Crisp’s highlight reel had the center fielder held onto the ball.

The first few innings amused Angels fans and spurred them to play with their newest bauble, the Rally Racket. The novelty was the only thing making noise in the park. The Red Sox failed to convert a leadoff walk by Manny Ramirez and double by Mike Lowell into a run in the second inning. Ramirez was surprisingly spry on his run from first to third; he ended his jaunt with his hand hooking the hot corner sack to halt his momentum and reach safely but was abandoned by J.D. Drew, Jason Varitek, and Crisp.

The home team kept their fans sitting on their hands in the bottom of the third by stranding Chone Figgins at third base. Rookie Reggie Willits came to the dish with the bases loaded and two out in place of Anderson. Willits wouldn’t cherish his first postseason appearance as the ball he popped into foul territory was caught by a tripping Varitek.

Nostalgic for the Thunder Sticks, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez reminded the crowd of that bygone gadget in the fourth with back-to-back homers. Ramirez tied Bernie Williams for most postseason four-baggers with 22. Despite his greater talent, Jered Weaver, in times of hardship, reminds one of his older brother. Neither sibling maintains his composure in dire circumstances.

Justin Speier reversed the shutout innings of his bullpen mate Scot Shields in the eighth. Boston batted around and padded the lead enough to allow Eric Gagne to take the mound.

In the midst of the seven-run torrent, Jacoby Ellsbury pinch ran for Ramirez. He dashed from first to third on Lowell’s double down the left field line and slid head-first into home on a hit and run. Again the defensive swap paid immediate dividends as the rookie outfielder elevated to snag Orlando Cabrera’s rope in the bottom of the eighth.

The champagne bubbled once again, but no amount of inebriation will dull the five long days of anticipation before the first game of the American League Championship Series. Every angle, mundane to grandiose, will be explored. It will take at least a week for my brain to finally be purged of Frank Caliendo’s impersonations only to be to refilled with the unceasing promotion of the latest Fox fare.

Such is the price we pay for postseason play, and it is entirely worth it.

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