10/08/2004 10:00 PM ET
Angels short hops
Bullpen deserves kudos in finale
BOSTON -- One of the biggest strengths for the Angels all season was their impressive bullpen and on Friday it almost gave the Anaheim faithful another memorable night.
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
Almost being the operative word.
Instead, Angels fans will want to forget the 8-6 loss to Boston and three-game sweep in the American League Division Series.
But kudos to reliever Brendan Donnelly, who kept the Angels within striking distance with 2 1/3 scoreless innings that included five strikeouts. The same goes for Francisco Rodriguez, who allowed only one run and two hits in his 2 2/3 innings of work.
It's easy to blame Jarrod Washburn for giving up the home run to David Ortiz in the 10th inning, but the gutsy lefty entered the game with plans to strike out Ortiz, only Ortiz had other plans.
Starter Kelvim Escobar's 3 1/3 innings did not help the cause, either.
The season is over for the AL West Division champs and the next stop is Spring Training 2005.
Stats all, folks
A look at the key statistics from the Angels-Red Sox ALDS.
||simply didn't have the right stuff to combat the powerful Red Sox lineup
||to compete with the Sox, you have to hit and hit often -- neither happened
||four runs per game? Against the Sox? 'Nuff said
||extra outs, extra outs, extra outs!
Who was hot?
||.500 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBIs
||arguably the toughest out of the series, he showed why he is a big-game player
||.264, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs
||could change the complexion game every time he stepped in the batter's box -- and at times did
||.167, 1 HR, 6 RBIs
||the grand slam in the seventh inning reminded everybody he is an AL MVP candidate
Who was not?
||.143, 0 HR, 0 RBI
||the catalyst did not set the tone
||.154, 0 HR, 0 RBI
||heroic in his ability to play at less than 100 percent
Behind the numbers
The Red Sox leadoff hitters reached base via walk the first three innings, making a difficult task even more difficult for the Angels. Bill Mueller led off the fourth and reached base via an error, yet another example of giving the Red Sox an extra out. Freebies in postseason don't come cheap.
Frozen moment I
Trailing 6-2 with two outs in the seventh, Guerrero connected on a pitch from Mike Timlin and drove it over the wall in right-center for a grand slam to tie the game at 6. That silenced the crowd and changed the momentum of the game.
Frozen moment II
Glaus struck out with the bases loaded on check swing to end the top of the ninth inning. The score was tied at 6 and the big man needed a big hit.
Despite the outcome, bringing in Washburn to face Ortiz was a commendable strategy. Washburn is a gamer and so is Ortiz. Ortiz won this time.
Before Friday, the last time an AL West champion was swept came in 1999 when the Yankees swept the Rangers. New York also swept the Rangers in 1998 and then you have to go back to 1984 to find the previous time an AL West champ was swept in a best-of-five series, when Detroit topped Kansas City.
"First thing I want to do is congratulate the Boston Red Sox organization. They played a great series. I think we had high expectations coming in. Obviously they didn't materialize, but those guys played great baseball out there and tip our cap to Terry Francona and the whole organization. They did a terrific job and I think it showed on the field. They played great baseball." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.