2009 American League Division Series 2
From BR Bullpen
|2009 American League Division Series|
|Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
97 - 65 in the AL
|3 - 0
|Boston Red Sox|
95 - 67 in the AL
|2009 MLB Postseason|
|AL||NYY - MIN||LAA - NYY||NYY - PHI|
|LAA - BOS|
|NL||LAD - STL||LAD - PHI|
|PHI - COL|
|<< 2008||2010 >>|
The second American League Division Series of 2009 matched the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, winners of the Western Division, with the Boston Red Sox, the league's wild card team. It was the fourth meeting between the two teams in recent years, the Red Sox having beaten the Angels on the last three occasions they met, the 2004, 2007 and 2008 American League Division Series. Their most famous meeting, however, had come in the 1986 ALCS, but that was ancient history.
 The Teams
 Series results
|1||Los Angeles Angels 5 Boston Red Sox 0||October 8||John Lackey (1-0) Jon Lester (0-1)||9:37 p.m.|
|2||Los Angeles Angels 4 Boston Red Sox 1||October 9||Jered Weaver (1-0) Josh Beckett (0-1)||9:37 p.m.|
|3||Boston Red Sox 6 Los Angeles Angels 7||October 11||Clay Buchholz (0-0) Scott Kazmir (0-0)||12:07 p.m.|
 Game 1 @ Angel Stadium
|WP: John Lackey (1-0), LP: Jon Lester (0-1)|
|Home Runs: LAA - Torii Hunter (1)|
- Attendance: 45,070
For the first time in their four recent Division Series meetings with the Red Sox, the Angels won Game 1. They did it with the pitching of John Lackey, and with a timely home run by Torii Hunter. On the mound were two pitchers with major postseason feats on their resumés: starting and winning Game 7 of the 2002 World Series in the case of the Angels' Lackey, and completing the Red Sox's sweep of the 2007 World Series with a win in Game 4 in the case of Jon Lester. The two confirmed their ace billing early in the game, as the first four innings were scoreless.
In the bottom of the 5th, Erick Aybar led off with a double down the left-field line. Bobby Abreu then walked - one of four for him on the night - and Hunter put the Angels ahead, 3-0, by blasting a pitch into the rockpile beyond the center field fence at Angel Stadium. The way Lackey was pitching, this already looked like a large lead, but the Angels made certain of it by adding two more runs in the 7th. With Ramon Ramirez on the mound, Abreu drew a lead-off walk, Hunter was hit by a pitch and Vladimir Guerrero singled to load the bases with none out. Terry Francona brought in Takashi Saito to pitch and he forced Juan Rivera to ground into an unusual double play that went from Mike Lowell at third base to catcher Victor Martinez back to Lowell, erasing both Abreu and Hunter in the process. With the Red Sox almost out of the jam, Kendry Morales hit a line drive to left; Guerrero came in to score, and Rivera took advantage of left fielder Jason Bay's poor throw to follow him home. Howie Kendrick followed with another single, but this time right fielder J.D. Drew threw out Morales at home to end the inning. The damage was done, though, with Los Angeles ahead, 5-0.
Lackey was still on the mound to start the top of the 8th, but Drew led off with a single and reached second on a wild pitch; Lackey got pinch hitter Casey Kotchman to ground out to third baseman Chone Figgins, then gave way to left-hander Darren Oliver, having given up four hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings. Oliver retired the next two batters, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, to end the threat, then got the Sox out in order in the 9th to seal the victory. It was the first postseason shutout in Angels' history, and the first time the Red Sox had been whitewashed in the postseason since 1995.
 Game 2 @ Angel Stadium
|WP: Jered Weaver (1-0), LP: Josh Beckett (0-1), SV: Brian Fuentes (1)|
|Home Runs: none|
- Attendance: 45,223
The Angels took a commanding two games to none lead in the series with another pitching-dominated win in Game 2. This time, it was young Jered Weaver on the mound for Los Angeles, facing the pitching hero of the 2003 and 2007 postseasons, Boston's Josh Beckett. The two pitchers lived up to their billing, each giving up a single run over the first six innings. The Red Sox scored first, in the top of the 4th. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the inning with a triple to center, then came in to score on Victor Martinez's single. The Angels replied immediately, though. In the bottom of the inning, Bobby Abreu led off with a single, and after one out, Vladimir Guerrero hit another single to move him to third. Kendry Morales hit a sacrifice fly to tie the score at 1.
The Angels got to Beckett in the 7th. Guerrero drew a lead-off walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Howie Kendrick. He stole second base, but in the meantime the next two Angels batters made outs. Maicer Izturis then came through with a clutch two-out single to give Los Angeles the lead. He proceeded to steal second and Mike Napoli was hit by a pitch. It was now Erick Aybar's turn to produce a key hit, a triple to center that scored two more runs for a 4-1 lead. Weaver struck out J.D. Drew, the first batter he faced in the 8th, then with left-handed hitter Casey Kotchman being brought into the game as a pinch hitter, Mike Scioscia took the ball from him to bring in Darren Oliver, who had been flawless in Game 1. Weaver had given up only two hits and two walks while striking out 7 in 7 1/3 innings of outstanding work. The manoeuvering continued with Terry Francona replying by calling on right-hander Jed Lowrie to face the lefty Oliver, but alas, Lowrie struck out. The next batter, Ellsbury, singled, bringing in right-hander Kevin Jepsen to the mound. He forced Dustin Pedroia to ground out to end the inning.
Jepsen remained in the game for the start of the 9th. After one out, he gave up a double to Kevin Youkilis. Angels' closer Brian Fuentes came in to pitch, increasing the tension as he had led the American League in blown saves during the regular season. He got David Ortiz to fly out, but walked Jason Bay, bringing the tying run to the plate in Mike Lowell. However, Lowell flew out to center to end the game, and the Angels headed to Boston with a choke-hold on the Series.
 Game 3 @ Fenway Park
|WP: Darren Oliver (1-0), LP: Jonathan Papelbon (0-1), SV: Brian Fuentes (2)|
|Home Runs: - LAA: Kendry Morales (1); BOS: J.D. Drew (1)|
- Attendance: 38,704
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim completed their stunning three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox with a come-from-behind victory at Fenway Park in Game 3 in which they victimized the Red Sox's bullpen, and most particularly closer Jonathan Papelbon. The game pitted two starting pitchers who were making their postseason debuts for their respective teams, although left-hander Scott Kazmir had pitched, and pitched well, for the Tampa Bay Rays in their run to the World Series in 2008. Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz had taken advantage of opportunies opened by injuries to other starting pitchers to emerge as one of the team's better moundsmen over the second half. The youngster Buchholz would have the better of this particular duel.
The Red Sox opened the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the 3rd. Alex Gonzalez drew a one-out walk, which was followed by a single by Jacoby Ellsbury and a double by Dustin Pedroia that drove in two runs. The next batter, Victor Martinez, hit another single and it was 3-0. The Angels replied with a solo homer off the bat of Kendry Morales in the top of the 4th, but the Red Sox were right back at it in the bottom half of the frame. Mike Lowell singled with one out and J.D. Drew followed with a home run, to make it a 5-1 lead for Boston. Buchholz pitched a scoreless 5th inning, but got into trouble in the 6th: Torii Hunter led off with a double and Buchholz balked him to third base. Vladimir Guerrero then hit a single that deflected off Lowell's glove at third base, but Hunter was unable to score. The young Red Sox starter then walked Morales to load the bases, and was lifted in favor of power-pitching rookie Daniel Bard. He induced Juan Rivera to ground into a double play, although one run came to score to cut the lead to 5-2. Bard stayed on to pitch a perfect 7th, and the Red Sox seemed to be on their way to a win. But there was more trouble to come.
Billy Wagner, acquired from the New York Mets in a controversial trade in mid-August after coming off Tommy John surgery, came in to pitch the 8th for Boston. He quickly gave up a double to Bobby Abreu and walked Guerrero after striking out Hunter. Morales then hit a ground ball, advancing both runners. With the right-handed hitting Juan Rivera coming up, Boston manager Terry Francona made the fateful decision to bring in his closer, Jonathan Papelbon earlier than usual. Rivera hit a single, both runners scored, and suddenly it was a 5-4 game. The inning ended when Papelbon picked off pinch runner Reggie Willits at first base. Boston then added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning, when David Ortiz singled off Kevin Jepsen with two outs, then was replaced by pinch runner Joey Gathright who stole second base and came to score on Lowell's single. Darren Oliver, who had done good work in the first two games, came in to face Drew, who flew out to Willits in left.
The fateful 9th inning started with the Sox ahead 6-4 and Papelbon back on the mound to attempt to close the game. He had been almost untouchable in his previous postseason appearances since he had come up to the majors in 2005, aligning 16 appearances without giving up a single run. It looked like more of the same when Mike Napoli and pinch hitter Gary Matthews both made outs. Then, everything suddenly unraveled. Erick Aybar singled and Chone Figgins drew a walk. Abreu followed with a double, bringing the Angels within one and placing two runners in scoring position. Papelbon then walked Hunter intentionally. Up came Guerrero, long one of the game's most dangerous hitters, although he had never particularly shined in the postseason. This time, Vlad delivered one of the signature moments of his career, lining a two-run single to center field, giving the Angels the lead for the first time in the game. Francona now had no choice but to remove Papelbon and replace him with the ever-reliable Hideki Okajima, but the damage had been done. Still, the Sox were only one run down and could hope for a comeback, but the demoralized crew was put down in order by Brian Fuentes, who picked up his second save of the Series. The Angels had vanquished their nemesis and were moving on to the American League Championship Series.
 Related Sites
|Major League Baseball American League Division Series