Perhaps the Red Sox are using water to gain an advantage over the Angels. That’s right … water. Some members of the Southern California media remarked after the Angels’ workout Thursday that the grounds crew hosed the infield with an extraordinary amount of water. Water actually collected on top of the dirt and took a while to absorb into the ground. The Angels are a running team and running on a wet track certainly can make a difference. Just ask any horse handicapper how different results are when the race track is wet with rain.
Granted, it seemed like a stretch to think the grounds crew was ordered to flood the field to slow Angels baserunners. Heck, after Game 1 it isn’t like the Angels have had than many baserunners to worry about. But then this happened: One member of the Boston media, overhearing these flooded infield comments, admitted that he had never witnessed that much water on the Fenway Park infield. Hmmmm. Very curious.
It seemed like the moisture would have had plenty of time to dry in 24 hours, but looking at the infield right now (5 p.m. Eastern time and 3 hours before first pitch of Game 2) it still looks very damp. It’s not muddy my any means, but the dirt only seems to be dry around the edges of the infield, far from the baselines. It is a much deeper shade of brown in the baselines.
Maybe there is nothing to the infield issue. But there was a problem in the Diamondbacks-Cubs series with dirt that was heavily watered. It might be something to watch tonight.
It was Josh Beckett, Josh Beckett and more Josh Beckett as the Red Sox right-hander dominated the wounded Angels in Game 1 of the ALDS. In the CROWDED Angels locker room afterward it was quiet, as expected, but it wasn’t like everybody was crushed by the defeat. The Angels know how to win an ALDS after losing the opener since they did it in both 2002 and 2005. But Friday is a must-win game. They do not want to set up a scenario where they have to beat the Red Sox in three consecutive games.
“Every game here is a game you feel you want to win,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s a short series. Every game will have significance but I think the best way to go about our business on Friday is the pitch-to-pitch, inning-to-inning approach and hopefully have more success on the offensive side.”
It’s hard to have any less success than the shutout, which was only the second for the Angels in their postseason history. They also were blanked in Game 4 of the 1979 ALCS vs. Baltimore.
Gary Matthews was not selected by the Angels for the ALDS which begins on Wednesday. Matthews still is experiencing pain in his left knee and didn’t want to take any chances. Erick Aybar made the roster as a last-minute replacement.
In a late switch, Bartolo Colon was supposed to be on the ALDS roster but he experienced wlbow pain in Tuesday’s workout and was removed. Dustin Moseley, who had just been told that he would not pitch in the series, was called back to manager Mike Scioscia’s office and told he would indeed by on the 25-man roster.
Pitchers: Lackey, Escobar, Weaver, Saunders, Moseley, Santana, Oliver, Speier, Shields, Rodriguez.
Infielders: Figgins, Izturis, Cabrera, Aybar, Quinlan, Kendrick, Kotchman, Morales
Catchers: Napoli, Mathis
Outfielders: Anderson, Guerrero, Willits, Haynes, Rivera