Boston Red Sox (95-67) at LA Angels of Anaheim (97-65) 10-8-09

October 8, 2009

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Boston Red Sox (95-67) at LA Angels of Anaheim (97-65), 9:37 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston – Jon Lester (15-8, 3.41) LA Angels – John Lackey (11-8, 3.83)

(Sports Network) – The Boston Red Sox hope to continue their postseason mastery of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim when the two begin their best-of- five American League Division Series this evening at Angel Stadium.

Boston, the AL’s Wild Card winner with a 95-67 mark, defeated the Angels in four games in last year’s ALDS after sweeping them in the same round back in 2007. That whitewash followed up another sweep by the Red Sox, who disposed of the Halos in three games back in 2004 en route to their first championship since 1918.

These teams also met up in 1986 when Boston rallied back from a three games to one deficit to win a dramatic seventh game, meaning, of course, that the Red Sox have now won 12 of their last 13 postseason games against the Angels.

Los Angeles, though, won the regular season series, 5-4, after taking eight of the nine matchups a year ago.

Boston enters the postseason for the sixth time in the last seven years, but comes in with some injury concerns regarding ace Josh Beckett (back), third baseman Mike Lowell (thumb) and shortstop Alex Gonzalez (hand).

Heading to the hill tonight will be left-hander Jon Lester, who has been one of the best pitchers in the league from June on. Following a slow start, Lester finished the year 15-8 with a 3.41 ERA, while going 11 straight starts at one point without a loss.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, was challenged for a change in the AL West this season, as it overcame numerous injuries and a tragic death to one of its young stars to win its fifth division title in six years with a 97-65 record.

Things looked bleak early, as John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar, Jered Weaver, And Ervin Santana all started the season on the disabled list. Add in the tragic death of Nick Adenhart in early April, and you had all the makings for what could have been a disastrous season for the Angels.

Mike Scioscia, though, is the best manager in the game and he proved it again this year, as he had 14 different people start games for him this year. They also handed the ball to 12 players making their major league debut, both of which were major league highs.

Tonight, though, they will hand the ball to reliable righty John Lackey.

Lackey, of course, started the year on the DL, and really did not hit his stride until the second half when he went 7-4 with a 3.05 ERA.

Lackey, though, has gone 0-2 in the past two years against the Red Sox in the playoffs and is just 3-7 lifetime versus them with a 5.25 ERA.

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