J.D. Drew does it again in the post-season, Red Sox one win away from ALCS


J.D. Drew does it again in the post-season, Red Sox one win away from ALCS

(October 3, 2008) – With six clients between the two teams in the starting line up, Scott Boras was perched in the dugout seats behind home plate for Game Two to watch J.D. Drew put Boston just one win away from reaching the Championship Series for second straight year.

After the Angels scratched and clawed their way back from a 4-0 deficit to begin the game to tie the game at five a piece in the bottom of the eighth, Drew took a 2-2 Francisco Rodriguez offering and deposited it into the batter’s eye in center for a 7-5 lead. David Ortiz’s second hit of the night, set the table for Drew as Ortiz doubled off the wall in right and was pinch-run for by Coco Crisp.

“It was a situation were you battle and try to have a good at-bat,” Drew told TBS’s Craig Sager that all he was trying to do, with two strikes,was put a bat on the ball to drive in Crisp from second.

The Red Sox offense started early as neither pitcher, Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka nor Angels’ starter Ervin Santana, were particularly effective with two outs.

When it appeared as if Santana would get out of the first inning unscathed, the Sox followed a Jacoby Ellsbury pop out and a Dustin Pedroia strike out with five consecutives base hits. Ortiz kicked off the rally with frozen rope single over the head of Howie Kendrick and into right field. Kevin Youkilis followed suit with a single before Drew, drew first first blood with a double to right to score Ortiz.

As Drew jogged into second with the double, the “see I know what I’m talking about” smirk came across the genius agent’s face. But the inning was not over yet as Wednesday night’s hero stepped to the dish. With one swing of the bat, Jason Bay gave the Sox a four run lead with his second career post-season homerun to the rock formation in centerfield.

Before throwing one pitch, Matsuzaka all ready had a 4-0 lead to work with but, to quote legendary Yankee catcher, Yogi Berra, “it was déjà vu, all over again.” After getting Chone Figgins to pop out to short and Garret Anderson to line out to right, another Boras client, Mark Teixeira, lined a base hit into right field. Boy isn’t that nice to see if you are Boras?

Teixeira came around to score Los Angeles’s first run of the game on Torii Hunter’s base hit single up the middle, after the former Dominican cow-herder (Vladimir Guerrero) advanced the first baseman to second. But that was all she wrote for the Angels in the inning as Juan Rivera grounded out to Alex Cora at short to end the inning.

After Ellsbury hit a two-out double to score Alex Cora, from second, for the fifth Boston run, the Angels pitchers did a good job at keeping the Sox off the board as they chipped away at the Sox lead. Los Angeles managed to get Matsuzaka out of the game early, throwing 108 pitches in five innings while allowing three runs on eight hits and walking two and striking out five.

In past years the Patriots, played a “bend but don’t break” defense. All this means is, give up the little stuff, just do not get beat over the top. Essentially “minimize the damage.” But now the Sox have apparently taken the Pats method of defense and applied to their pitching staff.

The Angels never got more than one run in an inning and that is a testament to the Sox’s “Bend but Don’t Break” pitching. Although Los Angeles successfully managed scratch and claw their way back against Sox pitchers, the bullpen as well as Matsuzaka were still able to step up and “minimize the damage” when they needed to.

But Los Angeles still managed to tie up the game in the ninth against closer Jonathan Papelbon, who entered after Figgins led off the inning with the Angels first extra base hit of the series, a triple, off Justin Masterson. Off one of the best closers in the game, Teixeira lifted a sacrifice fly to Ellsbury in center to drive in Figgins, who scored easily, with the tying run.

With the swing in momentum now over to Los Angeles, the Sox had to something to achieve what they set out to do at the beginning of the night and once again in the post-season, it was J.D. Drew who was tonight’s hero.

Can’t you see the ear-to-ear smile on Boras's face right now?


WIN: Jonathan Papelbon

LOSS: Francisco Rodriguez


Game Notes:
Scott Boras’s position players were a combined 9-for-20 (.450) tonight with a double, a homerun, five RBIs, five runs scored, three walks and two strike outs.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. J.D. Drew, BOSTON ---- 3-5; Double, Homerun, 3 RBIs, 2 Runs-scored
  1. Jason Bay, BOSTON ---- 3-5; 3 RBIs
  1. Mark Teixeira, LOS ANGELES --- 3-3; 3 Runs-scored

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