Teixeira stirred by intensity of playoffs
Midseason acquisition savors first exposure to postseason
ANAHEIM -- After five years of waiting, Mark Teixeira finally played in his first postseason game on Wednesday night.He had one word for it. "Awesome," Teixeira said. He wasn't happy that the Angels lost to the Red Sox, 4-1, in Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Angel Stadium. But Teixeira was still able to enjoy the experience after spending 4 1/2 years with the Rangers and a pair of disappointing half-seasons with the Braves.
"I didn't have the nerves that I expected, but I had more fun than I expected," Teixeira said. "I thought I would be nervous, but it was fun. Even though we didn't win the game, I had a great time out there."Teixeira went 2-for-4 against Red Sox starter Jon Lester and eighth-inning setup reliever Justin Masterson. The two hits were singles, and he missed a third one leading off the eighth inning against Masterson when the arrival of the Rally Monkey on the scoreboard had 44,996 fans expecting the Angels to get something going. Teixeira fell behind in the count, 0-2, then worked it back full before hitting a high pop into shallow center. It looked like the ball was going to fall in for a single, but center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury raced in and made a terrific diving catch at the last minute. "I thought he had no chance," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Ellsbury. "I thought it was dropping," Teixeira said. "I thought it could have started a rally. But he made a heck of a play." It was a big one, too, because Vladimir Guerrero followed with a single to left field. The Angels might have had runners on first and second with nobody out, but Ellsbury took that chance away. The Angels were left frustrated all night offensively. Their only run -- scored in the third inning -- was unearned, they were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and they did not have an extra-base hit all night. "If you're not going to hit with runners in scoring position, then you've got to come up with that big hit," Teixeira said. "But every time Lester needed to get a big out, he got it. His numbers during the season were great, and he showed why tonight."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.