|Sixth inning: Kotsay||10.06.08 at 7:29 pm ET|
The sixth was defined by smashing defense by the Red Sox corner infielders. Jon Lester shattered Vladimir Guerrero’s bat, eliciting a shallow pop-up towards the third-base coach’s box. Mark Kotsay, who has received raves from manager Terry Francona for his natural ability at the position, got a great break on the ball and made a sliding catch.
Torii Hunter then dribbled a grounder to the ostensibly out-of-position Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis, who is rocking a playoff beard in the tradition of, well, people in other sports, made a brilliant play, coming in on the ball, picking it and firing to first in one mellifluous gesture.
Lester then got Mike Napoli to fly to the edge of the left-field Wall. It must be said that Lester has a good sense about exactly how to pitch to his home park’s dimensions. Come to think of it, we wrote about the phenomenon, getting some pretty interesting thoughts from former Sox southpaw Bruce Hurst on why left-handers, unexpectedly, are so successful in the Fens. I was particularly surprised to discover that the Sox have only had four left-handers make 30 or more starts in a season since 1988.
Pity John Lackey. He’s been little short of dominant, with nothing to show for it. He made a single mistake in the first game, and made two mistakes (the Kotsay single and Pedroia double) in tonight’s contest, and he could get the stink end of the stick despite having allowed four runs in 13 innings (2.77 ERA) so far, after retiring the Sox in the sixth.
Congrats, by the way, to loyal blogophile Rebecca on her first day in the new office.
Red Sox 2, Angels 0
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