I’m starting to get the impression that the Angels don’t like playing the Red Sox in October all that much. The supreme ownage continued last night as the Sox took Game 1 of the ALDS 4-1 at the Big A. Boston has now won 10 consecutive playoff games against the Angels, a streak that has spanned three different incarnations of the Angel franchise even though they’ve played in the same stadium the whole time. The first game in the streak was the infamous Dave Henderson/Donnie Moore Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS. Incidentally, the Angels took eight of nine from the Sox during the 2008 regular season.
The biggest problem for the Angels? This guy is always the home plate umpire:
His strike zone is always brutal in the top of the seventh inning.
New England columnists are singing the praises of Jon Lester and Jason Bay, while So Cal writers are bemoaning the gaffes of Gary Matthews and Vlad Guerrero, who curiously tried to go first to third on a ball that was hit 150 feet. One writer wonders if the Angels will ever beat their arch-rival.
Meanwhile, the Cubs extended a streak of their own. They’ve now lost seven straight in the postseason dating back to the 2003 NLCS. James Loney’s grand slam stunned the Wrigley crowd and sent the Dodgers on their way to a 7-2 win. Joe Torre had a plan to make Ryan Dempster work hard, and it paid off with L.A. drawing seven walks off the Cubs starter. Dempster had few answers for tying a career-high in wildness.
The Phillies won their first playoff game since 1993, surviving Mitch Williams‘ ceremonial first pitch and discarding the Brewers 3-1. Brad Lidge wasn’t exactly on top of his game, but he got the job done in the ninth inning. The Crew didn’t go very far in earning respect in Philly.
If you thought that the 2005 NBA Finals between San Antonio and Detroit was exciting, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! The WNBA apparently uses a multi-game format to decide its champion, and the Shock of Detroit dispatched the Silver Stars of San Antonio in Game 1 of possibly a best-of-five series. The best thing about all of this is that we get to see Russian/South Dakotan Becky Hammon in action for a few more days:
- Just days after reports surfaced that PLAYBOY model and Girls Next Door star Kendra Wilkinson was dating the Eagles’ Hank Baskett, PAGE SIX is now claiming that Wilkinson was in Miami canoodling with Girls Gone Wild emperor Joe Francis. Score one for the d-bags of the world.
- ESPN chief John Skipper is phasing out original series and movies (what, no Junction Boys 2?) and focusing on acquiring as many live games as he can, says MEDIAWEEK.
- Pirates broadcaser Lanny Frattare has decided he’s seen enough, according to USA TODAY. Frattare was in the booth for the 1979 World Series title, but should’ve just gotten out then. Instead, he’s been the voice of 16 straight losing seasons.
- The oldest baseball stadium in the world is in London. Ontario. Canada. Thank you, THE RECORD, for clearing that up.
- METSBLOG Brandon Eddy thinks the Diamondbacks are looking to trade Eric Byrnes, which sounds reasonable. But then he blows his credibility by suggesting that the D-backs would take Luis Castillo in return.
- Rangers owner Tom Hicks says it might’ve been a mistake to trade John Danks a couple of years ago for some guy who isn’t really doing much, via MLB.COM.
- When Ryan Braun hit his game-winning home run against the Cubs on Sunday, this lady jumped up and down so vigorously her water broke:
The MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL’s Jim Stingl has all the excruciating details, including the phrase “it was more like the ground-rule double of amniotic fluid.”
- Trail Blazer fans are just a little paranoid about Greg Oden’s health, notes the COLUMBIAN’s Brian Hendrickson. Oden suffered a immensely mild grade-one ankle sprain but that’s no consolation to a base that suffered through Sam Bowie and are facing another year of Joel Przybilla if Oden gets hurt again.
- NBC SPORTS’ Steve Silverman lists the 10 most selfish players in the NFL, and has the gall to put the Gunslinger on the list.
- Alabama is pretty good at scheduling basketball games. Other than a trip to the Maui Invitational, they play exactly one of 13 preseason games on the road. Thanks to FARK for the link to ROLLTIDE.COM.