Pre-Game Notes: Red Sox at Angels
|10.08.09 at 6:14 pm ET|
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Red Sox will use their “regular” everyday lineup for Game 1 against the Angels, with Victor Martinez catching Jon Lester:
–Outfielder Rocco Baldelli still cannot run due to his strained hip flexor. Nor has he been able to hit. As a result, the Sox had no choice but to leave him off the roster for the Division Series.
–Daisuke Matsuzaka will be available as a long reliever for Game 1. He will long toss, alongside Jon Lester, prior to Game 1 in case he is needed.
–The team feels that Hideki Okajima is in good shape after the left-handed reliever missed time late in the season with a sore right side that required acupuncture and rest. Manager Terry Francona said that Okajima was tested fairly thoroughly on Wednesday and responded well.
A few more interesting notes on the groundhog day series between the Red Sox and Angels:
–The two teams are meeting for the fifth time in the postseason, having done so previously in 1986, 2004, 2007 and 2008. The Sox have won each of the previous series, claiming nine wins in 10 games this decade of 12 of the last 13 dating to Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS.
–The Angels are 0-5 all-time in Game 1 of Division Series. They have also lost their last five home games in the postseason to the Sox.
–In a shocking development, the Angels hate to hear about the details of that history.
–The Angels were tremendously strong down the stretch, particularly in their starting rotation. “Los Angeles” starters had a 2.52 ERA over their final 34 games, averaging more than six innings per start in that span. Halos starters also led the A.L. with 70 wins.
–The 2009 Angels are the only team in MLB history with 11 players who drove in at least 50 runs.
–The Sox are the ultimate “Wild Things,” having entered the playoffs as a wild card seven times. No other team has punched a postseason ticket as a wild card more than three times.
–Jonathan Papelbon’s record scoreless innings streak to start his postseason career now stands at 25 innings. He is closing in on Christy Mathewson’s record of 28 straight shutout innings, achieved from 1905-1911.
–Jon Lester’s 1.95 ERA in five postseason starts is the third lowest in Sox history among starters with at least 30 innings, behind Babe Ruth (0.87) and Ernie Shore (1.82).
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