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2007 American League Championship Series
From BR Bullpen
|2007 American League Championship Series|
|Boston Red Sox||Cleveland Indians|
|96-66 in the American League||96-66 in the American League|
|2007 MLB Postseason|
|AL||BOS - LAA||BOS - CLE||BOS - COL|
|CLE - NYY|
|NL||ARI - CHC||ARI - COL|
|PHI - COL|
|<< 2006||2008 >>|
 The Teams
 Series results
|1||Cleveland Indians 3 vs. Boston Red Sox 10||October 12||7:00 p.m.||C.C. Sabathia (0-1) vs. Josh Beckett (1-0)|
|2||Cleveland Indians 13 vs. Boston Red Sox 6 (11 inn.)||October 13||8:00 p.m.||Fausto Carmona (ND) vs. Curt Schilling (ND)|
|3||Boston Red Sox 2 vs. Cleveland Indians 4||October 15||7:00 p.m.||Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1) vs. Jake Westbrook (1-0)|
|4||Boston Red Sox 3 vs. Cleveland Indians 7||October 16||8:00 p.m.||Tim Wakefield (0-1) vs. Paul Byrd (1-0)|
|5||Boston Red Sox 7 vs. Cleveland Indians 1||October 18||8:00 p.m.||Josh Beckett (2-0) vs. C.C. Sabathia (0-2)|
|6||Cleveland Indians 2 vs. Boston Red Sox 12||October 20||8:00 p.m.||Fausto Carmona (0-1) vs. Curt Schilling (1-0)|
|7||Cleveland Indians 2 vs. Boston Red Sox 11||October 21||8:00 p.m.||Jake Westbrook (1-1) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-1)|
 Game 1
|WP: Josh Beckett (1-0) , LP: C.C. Sabathia (0-1)|
|Home Runs: CLE - Travis Hafner (1)|
- Attendance: 36,986
Boston won Game 1 over Cleveland by a convincing score of 10-3. This was supposed to be a battle between the team's two aces, Josh Beckett for the Red Sox and C.C. Sabathia for the Indians, but only Beckett was in dominant form. Coming off shutouts in his last two postseason starts - Game 6 of the 2003 World Series and Game 1 of the ALDS a week earlier - he gave up a home run to the game's third batter, Travis Hafner, but was solid thereafter, pitching six innings while allowing two runs on four hits and striking out seven without giving up a walk. For Sabathia, though, it was a different story. The Indians' one-run 1st-inning lead was short-lived, as after one out Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez hit consecutive singles to tie the score at 1-all.
Ortiz and Ramirez would prove to be an unsolvable riddle for the Cleveland pitchers all night: both went 2 for 2; Ortiz added two walks and a hit-by-pitch, and Ramirez three walks. With the heart of the Red Sox's batting order continually on base, the Indians could not elude trouble for long. It came in the bottom of the 3rd, when Boston batted around the order, scoring four runs on two doubles, three walks and a hit-by-pitch; Mike Lowell delivered the big blow with a two-run double and Boston had a 5-1 lead. The Red Sox added three more runs in the bottom of the 5th to put the game completely out of reach. The first four batters of the inning reached base, the fourth being Bobby Kielty, starting in right field for J.D. Drew against the left-hander Sabathia, who delivered a two-run single to chase the Cleveland starter. Jensen Lewis came in to pitch but was greeted by a run-scoring double by Jason Varitek, bringing the lead to 8-1.
The rest of the game was academic. Asdrubal Cabrera drove in Casey Blake with a single in the top of the 6th, but Boston got the run back and added another in its turn at bat when once again, its first four batters reached base; the fourth was Ramirez, who drew a bases-loaded walk, and Lowell followed with a sacrifice fly off Tom Mastny, Cleveland's third pitcher of the inning, to make it 10-2. Boston's bullpen then went to work. Mike Timlin pitched a scoreless 7th inning, Javier Lopez gave up a a sacrifice fly to Cabrera in the 8th, and Eric Gagné loaded the bases but struck out the side in the 9th to put Boston up, one game to none.
 Game 2
|WP: Tom Mastny (1-0) , LP: Eric Gagné (0-1)|
|Home Runs: CLE - Jhonny Peralta (1), Grady Sizemore (1), Franklin Gutierrez (1); BOS - Manny Ramirez (1), Mike Lowell (1)|
- Attendance: 37,051
The Cleveland Indians became the first team to even a series in the 2007 Postseason when they defeated the Boston Red Sox, 13-6, in 11 innings. The pitching match-up for the game featured young 19-game winner Fausto Carmona for the Indians and veteran Curt Schilling for the Red Sox, both coming off outstanding performances in the Division Series. However, the bats would dominate the early innings of Game 2.
Cleveland started by scoring a run in the top of the 1st inning on a lead-off double by Grady Sizemore and another double by Victor Martinez. In the bottom of the 3rd, Carmona walked Manny Ramírez with the bases loaded and two outs. The next batter, Mike Lowell, hit a single into right field, which allowed two more runners to score, giving Boston a 3-1 lead. The Indians took back the lead in the 4th on a Jhonny Peralta three-run blast. They pushed their lead to 5-3 the following inning, with a solo shot by Sizemore; two more singles in the inning chased Schilling, bringing in reliever Manny Delcarmen.
The see-saw affair continued in the bottom of the 5th inning, as Boston again scored three runs, when Manny Ramirez hit a two-run home run off Rafael Perez, followed by a solo shot by Lowell. The Indians tied it right back in the 6th inning when Franklin Gutierrez drove in Peralta from third with a ground out. At that point, with the game tied 6-6 and the bullpens in the game, the scoring suddenly stopped. Jensen Lewis and Rafael Betancourt put up a neat string of zeros for Cleveland, while Hideki Okajima, Mike Timlin and Jonathan Papelbon did the same for Boston.
The game went into extra innings, and Tom Mastny pitched a perfect 10th against the heart of the Boston order - David Ortiz, Ramirez and Lowell. Running out of options, Red Sox manager Terry Francona brought in former Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagné to pitch the 11th inning; he had been acquired from the Texas Rangers at the trading deadline, but had pitched poorly for Boston. Gagné struck out lead-off batter Casey Blake, then the floodgates broke open: Sizemore singled and Asdrubal Cabrera walked. Indians manager Eric Wedge called on former Red Sox Trot Nixon to pinch hit for Josh Barfield; Francona replied by bringing in left-hander Javier Lopez. Nixon was known to struggle against lefties, but still managed a single, scoring Sizemore. Lopez then uncorked a wild pitch for a second run. Reliever Jon Lester eventually struck out Blake again to end the inning, but not before five more runs had scored, three on a home run by Gutierrez, for a 13-6 lead.
Wedge brought in his much-maligned closer Joe Borowski to finish the game. With that huge lead, it did not matter that he put two runners on base before inducing a game-ending double play grounder by Julio Lugo. The two teams now headed to Cleveland tied at one game apiece.
 Game 3
|WP: Jake Westbrook (1-0), LP: Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1), SV: Joe Borowski (1)|
|Home Runs: BOS - Jason Varitek (1) CLE - Kenny Lofton (1)|
- Attendance: 44,402
The two teams moved to Cleveland, OH for Game 3, which saw Japanese sensation Daisuke Matsuzaka take the mound for Boston, facing groundball specialist Jake Westbrook for Cleveland. Westbrook's assortment of sinking pitches worked their magic in the early going, as the Red Sox hit into rally-killing double plays in each of the first three innings. For their part, the Indians got on the scoreboard early, thanks to a two-run home run by Kenny Lofton in the bottom of the 2nd inning. In the 4th inning, the frustration continued for the Red Sox as David Ortiz hit a lead-off double, only to see Manny Ramirez's ground ball through the middle of the infield hit him, putting him out for interference. Westbrook escaped that inning with no further damage and put down the Sox in order in the top of the 5th.
In the bottom of the 5th, the Indians padded their lead on a single by Casey Blake followed by a walk to Grady Sizemore. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a single, and Travis Hafner hit into a fielder's choice to put two more runs across. Another single by Ryan Garko chased Matsuzaka from the game, trailing 4-0. In the 7th, Boston finally scored some runs, thanks to a single by J.D. Drew followed by a Jason Varitek home run. An infield single later, Westbrook's night was over, but Boston's offense could not muster a single baserunner the rest of the way against relievers Jensen Lewis, Rafael Betancourt and Joe Borowski. Borowski picked up his second save of the postseason in closing out the 4-2 win.
 Game 4
|WP: Paul Byrd (1-0), LP: Tim Wakefield (0-1)|
|Home Runs: BOS - Kevin Youkilis (1), David Ortiz (1), Manny Ramirez (2); CLE - Casey Blake (1), Jhonny Peralta (2)|
- Attendance: 44,008
Game 4 featured the two teams' back-of-the-rotation starters, breaking ball specialist Paul Byrd, who had won the ALDS clincher over the New York Yankees, for Cleveland, and knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, making his first appearance of the postseason after having been sidelined by an injury for much of September, for Boston.
Both pitchers got off to good starts, with Wakefield only giving up a double to Jhonny Peralta over the first four innings. However, he completely fell apart in the 5th. Casey Blake led off the inning with a solo home run that put the game's first run on the scoreboard. Wakefield then gave up a single to Franklin Gutierrez and hit Kelly Shoppach with a pitch. Grady Sizemore forced out Shoppach, moving Gutierrez to third. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a pop-up in foul territory towards the right side of the field. First baseman Kevin Youkilis appeared to have it under control, but the ball fell from his glove. Given a reprieve, Cabrera then hit a line drive towards second baseman Dustin Pedroia which looked like a potential inning-ending double play; instead, Wakefield stuck out his glove, deflecting the ball, which fell behind the mound for an infield single that drove in a second run. After a second out, Victor Martinez, playing first base for a change, singled for a 3-0 lead. That was the end for Wakefield, but the next batter, Peralta, sent a pitch by Manny Delcarmen to the right field seats, making the score 6-0. Blake would drive in another run before the inning ended.
In the meantime, Byrd was keeping the Red Sox's bats completely in check. However, with none out in the top of the 6th inning, while trailing 7-0, the Red Sox hit back-to-back-to-back home runs, to make the score 7-3. It was the first time in League Championship Series history that a team had hit three consecutive home runs. The successful batters were Youkilis and David Ortiz, who teed off Byrd, and Manny Ramirez whose shot was off reliever Jensen Lewis. The fireworks ended there though. Lewis pitched two innings, giving up only a single after Ramirez's long ball, and Rafael Betancourt got the last six outs without allowing a single baserunner. Jon Lester pitched three scoreless innings for Boston, but it was in vain given the Indian bullpen's dominance. The postseason's weird scheduling meant that Boston would now have to wait almost 48 hours hours before facing elimination in Game 5, also to be played in Jacobs Field.
 Game 5
|WP: Josh Beckett (2-0), LP: C.C. Sabathia (0-2)|
|Home Runs: BOS - Kevin Youkilis (2)|
- Attendance: 44,588
The Boston Red Sox avoided elimination with a 7-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 5. The two pitching aces who started Game 1 were back on the mound, C.C. Sabathia for Cleveland and Josh Beckett for Boston. Beckett was once again in dominant form and proved too much for the Indians' hitters to handle: over eight innings, he scattered five hits and a walk to earn his third win of the postseason.
Both teams scored a run in the 1st inning. Kevin Youkilis hit a one-out home run for Boston; with two outs, Manny Ramirez hit a double, but he was thrown out at the plate on Mike Lowell's subsequent single. For Cleveland, Grady Sizemore opened the game with a bloop double down the left field line that Ramirez could not reach. A weak single by Asdrubal Cabrera put runners at the corners. Sizemore scored when Travis Hafner hit into a double play. After those initial fireworks, Beckett proceded to muzzle the Indians, not allowing another baserunner until two were out in the 5th. For their part, however, the Red Sox had Sabathia continually in the ropes. A double play ground ball prevented massive damage in the 3rd, but it was followed by a walk to David Ortiz and Ramirez's drive off the top of the centerfield fence. Ortiz scored easily, but Ramirez stood at the plate, thinking he had hit a home run, and only made it to first base when the ball bounced back on the field. The Red Sox placed their first two runners on in the 4th, only to see Coco Crisp fail to lay down a sacrifice bunt and strike out, and Julio Lugo hit into an inning-ending double play. In the 5th, they loaded the bases after two outs, but Bobby Kielty ended the threat with a fly to deep right field.
After an easy 6th inning, Sabathia came back to start the 7th in spite of having needed a slew of pitches to get that far. He was greeted by a double by Dustin Pedroia and a triple by Youkilis. Rafael Betancourt came in relief, but Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field to make the score 4-1. With Beckett dominating, Boston started to sense they would be heading back to Fenway Park for a sixth game. The Red Sox confirmed the outcome in the 8th inning, thanks to the Indian bullpen's wildness. J.D. Drew, in as a defensive substitute for Kielty, drew a lead-off walk off Rafael Perez. After one out, Crisp hit a comebacker to the mound that should have been an inning-ending double play, but Perez threw wildly to Jhonny Peralta at second and everyone was safe. Lugo layed down a perfect bunt single to load the bases. Tom Mastny replaced Perez. A passed ball, two walks and a sacrifice fly later, Boston was up, 7-1. Closer Jonathan Papelbon, who had barely been used since the postseason started, came in to pitch the 9th in order to get some work in. Another scoreless inning ended the game.
 Game 6
|WP: Curt Schilling (1-0) , LP: Fausto Carmona (0-1)|
|Home Runs: BOS - J.D. Drew (1); CLE - Victor Martinez (2)|
- Attendance: 37,163
After another off-day, the Boston Red Sox tied the Series at three games apiece by jumping on Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona early and leaving little doubt about the game's outcome in a convincing 12-2 win. After the Indians went out in order in the top of the 1st, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis led off the bottom of the inning with infield singles and David Ortiz walked to load the bases. Carmona struck out Manny Ramirez and retired Mike Lowell on a weak fly to right, but J.D. Drew followed with a grand slam, giving the Red Sox a commanding 4-0 lead. With Curt Schilling in the midst of another great postseason outing, that was all the offense they would have needed. Schilling pitched seven innings, only giving up a solo home run to Victor Martinez in the 2nd inning and a triple to Ryan Garko, on a ball mis-judged by centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, starting in place of the non-productive Coco Crisp, to lead off the 7th; Garko would come to score on a sacrifice fly by Jhonny Peralta.
However, by that time, the score was already 10-2, thanks to a six-run outburst by Boston in the 3rd. Carmona walked the first two batters he faced that inning, and then allowed a run-scoring single to Drew, ending his night after only two innings. Rafael Perez was unable to stem the bleeding, allowing another run-scoring single to Ellsbury after one out, followed by a double to Julio Lugo and another walk. The Indians would then commit two errors, Perez gave way to Aaron Laffey, and before the third out was recorded, everyone in Fenway Park knew there would be a Game 7. The two Red Sox relievers who had faltered in Game 2, Javier Lopez and Eric Gagné, pitched scoreless innings after Schilling left, while Boston added two more runs off Joe Borowski in the 8th to complete the scoring.
 Game 7
|WP: Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-1) , LP: Jake Westbrook (1-1) , SV: Jonathan Papelbon (1)|
|Home Runs: BOS - Dustin Pedroia (1); Kevin Youkilis (3)|
- Attendance: 37,165
Three years after their memorable comeback win over the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, the Boston Red Sox completed another remarkable comeback by defeating the Cleveland Indians, 11-,2 to take the American League Championship Series by 4 games to 3 after having trailed 3 games to 1. The score in Game 7 may have seemed like another rout, but in fact the game was a nail-biter until the 8th inning.
For the third consecutive game, the Red Sox scored in the 1st inning; in fact, Indians starter Jake Westbrook, the winner of Game 3, was lucky to be only down 1-0 after giving up four hits in the inning, including an RBI single to Manny Ramirez; a bases-loaded double play grounder by J.D. Drew limited the damage. The Red Sox grounded into another double play in the 2nd, this time by Julio Lugo, but it was enough to score Jason Varitek, who had led off the inning with a double. Boston made it 3-0 in the 3rd on a double by Kevin Youkilis and a sacrifice fly by Mike Lowell. This was just enough of a cushion for the inconsistent Daisuke Matsuzaka, who gave up single runs to the Indians in the next two innings, the first on doubles by Travis Hafner and Ryan Garko, and the second on singles by Franklin Gutierrez and Casey Blake and a sacrifice fly by Grady Sizemore.
Hideki Okajima replaced Matsuzaka to start the 6th inning, with Boston leading, 3-2. The Indians blew a great chance to tie the game in the top of the 7th. After one out, Kenny Lofton reached on a two-base error by Lugo. Gutierrez followed with a single to left which seemed certain to tie the score, however third base coach Joel Skinner held up Lofton. The next batter, Blake, hit into an inning-ending double play that clearly demoralized Cleveland. The Red Sox added two runs to their tally in the bottom of the 7th off the heretofore unhittable Rafael Betancourt, when Dustin Pedroia tagged him for a home run with Jacoby Ellsbury on base as a result of an error by Blake.
The game and the series were decided in the 8th inning. With Boston leading 5-2, Sizemore led off for Cleveland with a bunt single and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with another hit. Jonathan Papelbon replaced Okajima with the tying run at the plate but struck out Hafner, induced Victor Martinez to hit into a fielder's choice and Garko to fly out to escape the inning unscathed. Boston then put the game away in the bottom half of the inning with a six-run outburst highlighted by doubles from Lowell, Varitek and Pedroia - the latter good for three runs - and a home run by Youkilis. Papelbon set down the Indians in order in the 9th to earn the two-inning save and confirm Boston's place in the World Series against the Colorado Rockies. Josh Beckett was named ALCS MVP for his two outstanding performances in Games 1 and 5.
 Related Sites
|Major League Baseball American League Championship Series