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Red Sox short hops
10/07/2004 3:54 AM ET
After winning Game 1, the Red Sox knew the Angels had to win Wednesday night before the series shifted to Boston. Boston seemed to sense the tension with the Angels and took advantage of it.

That was very evident in several cases, especially the performance by Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez, whose wild pitch in the seventh inning led directly to the Red Sox's go-ahead run. In the eighth inning, he uncorked another one but it ended up not mattering.

Interestingly, now the Angels have nothing to lose. Everyone expects the Red Sox to cruise in Boston, so the pressure is on them.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 2 of the ALDS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 2.50 holding the Angels' offense to three runs in each of the games is a major feat
BA .307 the Red Sox certainly know when to watch 'em and when to hack away
BA w/ RISP .250 the Red Sox were 2-for-11 on Wednesday night but scored seven of their runs with two outs
Runs 17 8.5 runs per game will make any starting pitcher happy
Errors 1 blemish on Wednesday night was the single that fell between Orlando Cabrera and Manny Ramirez

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Johnny Damon .400 BA, 3 runs, 2 SBs with two hits, a run scored and a steal, he certainly started things off
Pedro Martinez 1-0, 3.86 ERA maybe he was holding back just a little
Jason Varitek .250, 1 HR, 2 RBIs only one hit Wednesday, but, oh, what a hit

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Trot Nixon .200, 0 HR, 1 RBI not only 1-for-5 but he swung at too many pitches early in the count

Behind the numbers
If Jose Molina hadn't picked Mark Bellhorn off second base in the second inning, there is no telling what David Ortiz would have done with the bases loaded. And the Red Sox could have gotten comfortably ahead much earlier in the game.

Frozen moment
At the start of the fifth inning, Molina hit a popup to short left that Cabrera seem to have tracked but he suddenly stopped as the ball fell between him and Ramirez. Molina went on to score the Angels' second run.

Second guess
Ortiz was walked three times partially because Nixon was hitting behind him. That might not have happened if Kevin Millar was batting fifth instead.

Smart move
The Red Sox alertly took Bartolo Colon deep into counts, forcing him to throw 55 pitches in the first two innings. Colon threw 31 of his 100 pitches just to Manny Ramirez and Ortiz.

Manny thanks
After hitting .200 (4-for-20) with one homer and three RBIs in last year's ALDS, Ramirez already has a home run and five RBIs in two games.

Last word
"A lot of people doubted [Martinez]. I don't doubt the man." -- Varitek

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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