It’s set. It’s the one matchup I was dreading. If you had asked me six months ago, weeks ago, days ago, I would have told you that there’s no way we can pull it off. The Red Sox at Fenway. For some reason, we’ve never come close to being the team we are everywhere else there. John Lackey is 1-5, with an ungodly 7 point something ERA there. Scot Shields – poor Scot Shields – has given up 17 earned runs in 8 innings pitched there. Maybe it’s the short porch in left, or the oddly-shaped and wide-open ground that stretches from the Pesky Pole to center. Or maybe it’s the crowd of fanatics hovering just above it all. It’s scary. I’m scared as hell.
We’ve got our own issues to deal with. For all he’s done, Vlad’s proven absolutely nothing in the playoffs. 1-20 against the White Sox in ’05, 2-12 against the Red Sox in ’04. For the past two weeks, Garret looks like he’s back to guessing at breaking balls away, rather than the one who’s pounced on everything thrown at him since the break. All HGH jokes aside, we need Gary Matthews anchoring the outfield. And Frankie… Frankie needs to trust his fastball the way he did his first few years in the league. I’m going to Games 3 and 4, and I don’t even know if the latter’s going to be necessary. Still, the Angels gotta start somewhere, and I guess it might as well be Fenway. We’re getting right to the point; no messing around. But it doesn’t mean I’m not terrified.