Red Sox Record for the Week of October 5: 0-3
It took them five tries, but the 2009 ALDS is when the LA Angels of Anaheim finally beat Boston in the postseason. Game 1 was no fun (5-0 loss), nor was Game 2 (4-1 loss), and Game 3 ended in agony (7-6 loss). What more needs to be said?
Angels starting pitchers John Lackey and Jered Weaver out-pitched Jon Lester and Josh Beckett respectively in Games 1 and 2 in Anaheim), combining to go 2-0 and allowing just one run in 14 2/3 innings to a strong and â€“ compared to last year fully â€“ healthy Boston lineup. In his duel with Lackey, Lester knew he couldnâ€™t afford to make one big mistake but in the fifth, thatâ€™s exactly what happened when he left one pitch up in the zone to Torii Hunter, who crushed it for a three-run bomb, the only runs he surrendered and the only ones Anaheim would need. It was a solid outing otherwise from the Sox co-ace.
But for the second postseason in a row, Beckett did not pitch like an ace, allowing four runs in 6 2/3 innings in Game 2, with the likes of Bobby Abreu, Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar doing the bulk of the damage. Unlike 2008, he doesnâ€™t have lingering health issues to blame. He just got beat.
In Game 3 in Boston, the youngster Clay Buchholz, with the season on the line, made his playoff debut and not only pitched better than Lester and Beckett, but out-pitched Anaheimâ€™s Scott Kazmir, allowing two runs to the latterâ€™s five. The Sox offense, led by Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez and J.D. Drewâ€™s two-run shot, finally erupted after two games of relative silence. But an unexpected bullpen collapse by veterans Billy Wagner and Jonathan Papelbon in the eighth and ninth innings cost the Sox the game and eventually the season, as they combined to surrender five runs and blow leads of 5-2 and 6-4 before losing one final time, 7-6.
In a scarily ironic coincidence, the Angels had a 5-2 lead over Boston in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS, but blew the lead, the game by a score of 7-6 and eventually the series in seven games.