Lester decided all those lopsided anaheim regular season wins were irrelevant. Ellsbury decided only the guy who hit .360 in last year's postseason would show up, adding 3 hits, 2 steals, an RBI, and one amazing clutch 8th inning catch.
I wondered yesterday about which out of all the past patterns that could possibly project would make that holiest of transitions from possible to actual. And frankly, I couldn't be much happier with the selection.
Ah, winning in the playoffs. It provokes heartfelt interjections, the 'take thats!' and 'eff yeahs' of my lexicon. So much fun. The air is crisp, the pitches are subtle, and the Sox are winning. Good times.
But I'll be nit picky anyway. Lowell looked awful; he's hurt. He had no drive from his back leg, and he swung it around on each full-hearted but half-assed (more literally than figuratively meant) cut in an attempt to ease the pressure. Drew was late on fastballs all night. Pedroia came up 4 times with runners in scoring position, and only managed a walk. Ortiz missed a couple hittable pitches, and didn't hit anything hard. Francona didn't sub Cora for defense after Lowell batted in the 7th, though he did acknowledge Tek can't hit, twice calling for the sac bunt (once successfully.)
Bay, though, pulled another bomb on an outside fastball; he just loves to hook those. Youkilis' recovery on the bloop in the 8th was heads-up; rather than field the ball and look up to see if Guerrero was running, he came up firing first and asked questions... subsequently. And Papelbon buried two nasty splitters to Aybar.
The Angels hit only 1 or two balls hard all night, and only mustered one unearned run. They've squandered home field advantage, and with Beckett and then Lester due to pitch in Fenway if necessary, that should be sufficient to send the Angels on another October vacation.
Yes, one win performs the alchemy of changing pessimism to... something else.