The Red Sox got themselves off to a quick start in Anaheim yesterday, roughing up the Angels 9-3 to take a 1-0 lead in the best of five series. Bob Hohler says the Sox may appear to be a team of “idiots” but they sure played like savants yesterday. Jeff Horrigan says the idiots are now not going to be satisfied with just getting a split out West. Steven Krasner notes that the Sox played both long ball and small ball with the Angels yesterday. David Heuschkel says getting a big lead early was key for Curt Schilling, who didn’t have great command of his pitches. David Borges looks at the Sox managing to keep the rally monkey and thunderstiks quiet for the Anaheim fans. Jackie MacMullan says that yesterday’s game couldn’t have gone any better for the Red Sox had they drawn it up on the board. Sean McAdam says that even though the Sox managed to come back from an 0-2 deficit in their last two ALDS, they didn’t want to have to do it again. Dan Shaughnessy looks at Curt Schilling, finally taking the hill for the Red Sox in the postseason, 18 years after first joining the organization.
Steve Britt says that getting game one was important, but now tonight’s game immediately becomes the big one. Pedro will be taking the mound tonight, and if you had Steve Buckley in your pool as the media member who would make a big stink about Martinez not being available to the media before yesterday’s game…congratulations, you’re a winner. David Heuschkel says perhaps Pedro was taking a little quiet time in preparation for tonight. Alex Speier says Pedro’s teammates are confident he will answer the challenge tonight. Tony Massarotti thinks Martinez just might be building a little adversity for himself to then strike back and answer. Gordon Edes, in fact, deems it a “strong likelihood — that he will deliver one of the signature games of his career.” Michael Silverman says that Bartolo Colon will be under pressure tonight to shut down the Red Sox lineup while going head to head with Pedro. Garry Brown says the Sox are hoping to make quick work of the Angels.
That’s all tonight, back to yesterday for a bit, Howard Bryant (subscription only) writes that Schilling’s outing was a remarkable performance, up there with the great ones, simply because he didn’t have his best stuff and still managed to shut down the Angels in a playoff game. Alex Speier says that Schilling was eager to get out on the mound and get the postseason started. Sean McAdam says that after the game, Schilling was his own toughest critic. David Borges has more on Schilling and his ankle injury. Tony Massarotti looks at Orlando Cabrera’s great day in the field, while Steven Krasner looks at some defensive miscues which cost the Angels dearly in game one. Kevin Paul Dupont and Michael Silverman also look at the Angels throwing it away. Steve Buckley (subscription only) has a look at the defensive work turned in by Kevin Millar…not one known for his glovework. Reid Laymance also looks at the afternoon for Millar, which included a two run homer. Howard Bryant also has an article on Manny Ramirez outshining his MVP rival Vladimir Guerrero in yesterday’s series opener. Dupont also looks at Guerrero, who was perhaps a little too eager in his first playoff game.
Horrigan’s Red Sox notebook looks at the “tweak” to Schilling’s ankle. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at the Sox playing a little small ball to get every run they can. Borges’ notebook looks at the confidence that Pedro’s teammates have in him for tonight’s game. Krasner’s notebook opens with a similar theme. Hohler’s notebook has Scott Boras in attendance, checking out two his free-agent-to-be clients, Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe. Silverman’s Angels notebook looks at the rough afternoon for Jarrod Washburn.
John Powers has the game story from New York, where he and Bob Ryan report on Johan Santana and the Twins shutting out the Bombers at the Stadium. Don Amore looks at wasted chances for the Yankees. Jack O’Connell looks at a grieving Jacque Jones, who after losing his father to cancer last week, flew into New York on the day of the game from California and hit a home run. Will Jones be elevated to Brett Favre-like status by the national media for this? Probably not. He should be though. Ryan also has a piece on Brad Radke, a pitcher who may have saved the franchise for Minnesota, and who will be a free agent following the playoffs. Powers’ notebook looks at the Yankees putting El Duque on the playoff roster ahead of Jason Giambi.
The Patriots snuck under the radar last night and signed up Matt Light to a six year contract extension. Mike Reiss and Nick Cafardo have short accounts of the signing. I’ll refrain from wisecracks about the way they do things down there for now. Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider tells us that the fish rots from the head down, and no where is that more true than in Miami. He also looks at Stephen Neal and the Bills’ dumb playcalling on 4th and 2. Jonathan Comey outlines a scenario in which Drew Bledsoe would still be the QB of your New England Patriots. What a different world we would have then…he also has a number of NFL notes and his weekly power rankings. Michael Parente also looks at the struggling Dolphins. Michael Vega finds one word that describes linebacker Tedy Bruschi – playmaker. Steve Conroy has former Dolphin Jed Weaver feeling the pain for his former teammates. Jim Donaldson has former Miami coach Don Shula praising the Patriots and saying that if anyone can pull off a perfect season, it’s the Pats. Chris Kennedy also says Shula is a fan of the Patriots. George Kimball (subscription only) wonders is J.J. Stokes is going to be getting another call from the Patriots to bolster their injured receiving corps.
Shira Springer and Mark Murphy report on Gary Payton’s first day of practice with the Celtics, and note that he was very vocal, but encouraging of the younger players and his new teammates. But as Springer notes, it’s early yet. Christopher Price says that after a tulmutuous season last year, Paul Pierce is ready for a fresh start this year. Murphy’s notebook states that because the players have been working out for a month already, the coaching staff is able to get right into teaching and coaching and not so much conditioning. Springer’s notebook looks at the view the coaches have with the new three hour practice rule.
ESPN has the baseball playoff tripleheader today. Astros/Braves at 4:00, Yankees/Twins at 7:00 and Red Sox/Angels at 10:00. Channel 5 Boston is broadcasting the Sox game over the air for those without cable.