It was a rare night that I missed most of a Red Sox game, because I had to arise at an ungodly hour the next morning for an early-morning movie shoot I'm doing in Manhattan. But I guess in some ways I'm glad I did.
I turned in with the Sox holding a 1-0 lead after 3 innings. Jon Lester looked sharp as I turned in. I had some confidence another win could be in the offing.
I arose on Saturday morning to discover the Red Sox held on to a 4-3 decision. They had a 4-0 lead after six innings. Then the pen that will give everyone nightmares took over, headed by Matt Albers and Bobby Jenks, decided to make the score closer, and it was 4-3 after eight.
But Jonathan Papelbon, who has been money so far in the young season, shut down the Angels in the ninth, allowing just a single to nail down his fifth save and gave Terry Francona a nice 52nd birthday present.
The Red Sox have now accomplished what I hoped for in the Anaheim series, a split. They are now 8-11, have won 3 of 4 out west and six of the last seven. The starting pitching has been nothing but superb over those seven games, with a 1.19 ERA. And the Red Sox have gone back to owning the Angels since the hideous 2009 ALDS loss to them: the Sox are 11-1 against the Halos since their last postseason appearance.
Off to Manhattan to do a movie today. And I won't miss tonight's game in Anaheim, even with Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound.