|Third inning: Zeros abound||10.06.08 at 6:31 pm ET|
Erick Aybar started the inning by chopping a grounder to third. Lester, thanks to both his two-seamer and cutter, is one of the best pitchers at eliciting broken bats and grounders. He finished the regular season with a 1.40 groundball-to-flyball ratio, ranked 11th in the A.L. He finished, coincidentally, tied with John Lackey in the category.
Chone Figgins could be forgiven for pumping himself up for games by humming “Gettin’ Figgy With It” to himself. In the interests of helping him, and you, here is the almost-eponymous video:
As soon as I dropped that bad boy into the blog, Figgins got a single to left. Coincidence? Figgins, it is worth noting, has been a constant on-base presence for the Angels since hitting a triple in his final at-bat of Game 2.
After Garret Anderson grounded out (see above!), Lester walked Mark Teixeira to put runners on first and second. In case you were wondering, Lester allowed opposing hitters a .253 average with runners in scoring position this year, basically the same as his overall .256 mark.
That brought Vlad Guerrero to the plate, still in pursuit of his first RBI of the series. The Angels cleanup hitter engaged in an impressive battle with the southpaw, but squibbed a grounder to second on which Dustin Pedroia made a nice diving shovel play to conclude the inning.
Lackey had to wait to return to the bump, but made such quick work of the Sox (eight pitches to get a Jed Lowrie flyout and groundouts from Jason Varitek and Jacoby Ellsbury) that it is difficult to describe. I will mention this: Lowrie looked like he squared a ball to deep center, but the ball fell well short of the warning track.
Two conclusions: 1) The ball has approximately zero carry on this sub-50 degree night; and 2) It was yet another reminder that Lowrie, who hit just two homers this year, but hit plenty of warning track fly balls, has a great deal of potential to develop into a slugging shortstop if he fills out a bit.
Red Sox 0, Angels 0
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