First inning: If you like runs, this was your inning

Rob Bradford
October 03, 2008 - 3:07 pm
Just wanted to pass along how we're going to be doing things tonight ... Alex Speier and will be alternating between innings with one post per frame. If there is a scoring play (or other newsworthy item) we will break in and give you a flash. I know you cared. Dustin Pedroia was saying before the game that he saw one pitch to hit during the entire Game 1, and that one was let go to allow Jacoby Ellsbury to steal. It was all part of what figures to be a very careful approach by Angels pitchers, as we documented earlier today. This from Pedroia: '€œI started noticing it in September,'€ he said. '€œCertain teams pick which guys they want to beat you and which guys they don'€™t want to beat you. If you get a pitch to hit, you have to swing at it, and if you don'€™t, you can'€™t swing at it. The case (Wednesday) night I didn'€™t get a pitch to hit and I chased out of the zone a couple of times and walked a couple of times. They weren'€™ t giving in, but hopefully the next game is different. '€œI could have walked three times. I forced the one I hit to right. I was trying to create something. You get impatient not getting pitches to hit, especially me because I never really ahve got that in my life.'€ He ultimately had to chase strike three. David Ortiz broke up the no-hitter. Here comes some semi-useful info: The hit, which was to right field, extends Ortiz's division series hitting streak to 13 games, tying Bernie Williams for the second-longest in division series play. Derek Jeter is tops at 15. Remember when Ortiz wasn't that good in the playoffs, starting the 2003 ALDS 0 for 16 in the post-season. After a Kevin Youkilis bloop single, Santana was faced with runners on first and second. In that situation this season the Angels starter had held opponents to a .175 batting average. So much for trends. J.D. Drew doubled into right-center field to score Ortiz and put runners on second and third. Again, Santana was pretty good in these situations this season, that being second and third, holding his opposition to a .143 clip with --- pay attention --- no home runs in 19 plate appearances. Again, so much for trends. Jason Bay went rock-pile, giving the Red Sox a 4-0 lead out of the gate. After a Mark Kotsay single, that's five hits in a row for the Red Sox. Santana came into this season allowing a .248 batting average in the first inning, and had only given up two homers in 32 starts this season. Bay becomes the first Red Sox player to hit home runs in his first two post-season games. Matt Holliday was the last major leaguer to accomplish such a feat, doing it last season. During the regular season, the Red Sox had 49 occasions in which they scored four or more runs in a single inning. Make that 50 now. But here's a mind-blower: When the Angels got the first two outs of an inning without giving up baserunner, they allowed an average of 0.1 runs per inning. The Red Sox just exceeded that by 40 times. And a post wouldn't be complete without a little dose of Gary from Chapel Hill: "The Red Sox have now scored four runs in the first inning three times in the post-season, the others coming in Game 1 of the 2004 World Series and the other in Game 7 of the 2007 ALCS (thanks to Drew's grand slam). As for Drew, he appears to be moving pretty well tonight. Along with the comfort level of having his agent, Scott Boras, sitting behind home plate tonight (back from Chicago), Drew really likes playing on this surface. Because of the climate, the Fenway Park grass was described by the outfielder as more like "shag carpet," which isn't as conducive as the Angel Stadium shorter cut. Daisuke Matsuzaka entered tonight having 13 first-inning runs, holding opponents to a .208 average and a .354 OBP, the highest such number of any inning up until eighth inning. The Angels managed to put a dent into Daisuke's numbers when Torii Hunter managed a multi-hopper Not only does Hunter get a big hit, but he already came away with the quote of the pre-game: "You know what the Red Sox have done. Last year they won the World Series, they're champs, and we know that. But we also are professionals and we're competitors and, yeah, you give 'em respect but at the same time I'm trying to break that respect. I'm trying to take that crown off your head. "So, I mean you can't give a team too much respect because you give 'em too much respect and you get laid back and you're like, 'Oh, they're the Red Sox, they're the champions.' Forget that you've got to come ready to play and before I bring that dog with you, forget about that." Good times! Red Sox 4, Angels 1