Game 3 is a fun game every year. It's the first game where the Angels actually do have to win, and regardless of my generally negative outlook on this game, it's always interesting to watch players with their backs to the wall.
Here are my extremely unlikely keys to victory for the Halos tonight:
- Joe Saunders needs to pitch the game of his life. Realistically, he needs to throw 7, maybe 8, innings of shutout baseball. It's a tall order and not soemthing you can ask of a pitcher, but it is what it is.
- Josh Beckett needs to be 2008 Josh Beckett, not 2007 Josh Beckett or postseason Josh Beckett. The Angels have beaten him before (and the Sox have never beat Hokie Joe), but Beckett is a cruel mistress come October. He's had a down year and is hurt, but I really don't expect to see him give up more than 1 or 2 runs in 6-7 innings.
- Chone Figgins needs to do better. Much better. The Angels don't win if he's not on base at least twice today.
- Kendrick needs to sit. If he doesn't, he needs 2 or 3 hits. I don't blame this series on him, but it's close. Him and Figgins have been virtually automatic outs.
- Jason Bay needs to be thrown offspeed junk low and away. The first pitcher who throws him a fastball will hereby claim the title of "Person Who Does Not Learn From The Mistakes of Others." It's a long title, but prople love abbreviations after their names. Doogie Houser, M.D., or Joe Saunders, P.W.D.N.L.F.T.M.O.O.
- Francisco Rodriguez and Scot Shields are not allowed on the field. In fact, I'd be happier to have left them in Anaheim. Neither one can pitch against Boston, particularly in Fenway. Jered Weaver for closer!*
*Note: This is a joke.
If the Angels score more runs than the Red Sox, they will win this game. How's that for analysis?
The game starts at 6 at Matthews Arena for those of you interested in witnessing potential concussions and wrist injuries. I'm probably going to be wearing a taped and braced wrist in addition to my standard hockey crap, so I'll probably look hilarious. You know you wanna go.
Honestly, without Jeff, we're gonna have a hard time putting the ball in the net. I might venture out of the crease to play a little offense, but I'm far more liable to fall down and hurt myself doing that than I am trying to post a shutout. A lot will depend on how I make it through the first period.