for this game

Behind Beckett, Red Sox live to fight another day

Oct 19, 2007 - 6:39 AM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) - Josh Beckett's postseason mastery continues and because of it the Boston Red Sox season is still alive.

Beckett pitched eight dominant innings and Manny Ramirez drove in the go-ahead run as the Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians 7-1 in Game Five of the American League Championship Series. Cleveland holds a 3-2 edge in the series with Game Six in Boston on Saturday.

"We're going to take this to Boston and see what happens," Ramirez said. "We have nothing to lose."

Beckett simply overmatched the Indians with a fastball that was topping out at 98 miles-per-hour and a sharp breaking ball that baffled Cleveland much of the evening.

"I felt good," Beckett said. "Like we always say, It's easy when you got everything going."

The righthander allowed only a run in the first, five hits and one walk while striking out 11.

"We've leaned on him all year," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Early he was up in that first inning. But he settled down and when he established the breaking ball he really became the dominant pitcher we relied on all year."

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Beckett will not be able to start the rest of the series as they attempt to become the 10th team in postseason history to come back from a 3-1 deficit. Boston, which overcame a 3-0 deficit against the New York Yankees in 2004, was the last.

"I have a lot of confidence in my teammates," Ramirez said. "We try to play hard everyday and leave everything on the field."

In nine postseason games - eight starts - Beckett is 5-2 with a 1.75 ERA. He is a perfect 3-0 during the 2007 playoffs, allowing three runs in 24 innings.

"He's the man of the playoffs," Ramirez said. "What can I say? That's why he is the number one starter."

Even a bench clearing incident wasn't enough to rattle Beckett, who kept his cool after Kenny Lofton came charging at him after flying out in the fifth.

Lofton was jawing with Beckett as he jogged down to first and made a bee-line to the Boston ace on the mound. Both benches and bullpens cleared but no punches were thrown.

Beckett appeared to be upset with Lofton after the 40-year-old veteran laid his bat in front of home plate on what Lofton thought was ball four. Plate umpire Gary Cederstrom disagreed and as Lofton popped out on the next pitch, Beckett appeared to yell something at Lofton.

"He doesn't like it when I take my bat and flip it on a walk," Lofton said. "He's the only pitcher who's had a problem with it. He was saying stuff I didn't like and I said something back. That's who he is. He's that kind of guy."

Ramirez gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead in the third with a controversial single. David Ortiz drew a two-out walk and Ramirez followed with a deep fly ball off of C.C. Sabathia to right-center that bounced off the top of the wall and back in play. Ortiz scored from first, but Ramirez went into his patented home run walk and only made it to first.

"I thought it was out, but what can I say," Ramirez said.

After time was called Ramirez went out to right field to argue with umpire Paul Emmel, who made the call. First base coach Luis Alicea rushed out to restrain the Red Sox star player while Francona raced out of the dugout.

"The hard thing is there is so much emotion when you think you had another run," Francona said. "I think there is a point as a manager you don't care if it's right, you want the run."

The umpires convened in right field, but didn't overturn the call enraging Francona as he had to be escorted back to the dugout by his bench coach. Replays showed the ball appearing to hit the top of the yellow line before bouncing back into play.

That would be enough for Beckett, who retired nine in a row between the second and fifth innings and held the Indians 3-4-5-6 hitters to one hit in 12 at-bats with five strikeouts.

"He can dominate anyone with his stuff," catcher Jason Varitek said. "In the playoffs it seems like he always does."

The Indians chance to get to Beckett came in the first inning as Grady Sizemore doubled to start the game and Asdrubal Cabrera lined a single to right. But Beckett got Travis Hafner to ground into a double play - scoring a run - but preventing a big inning.

"We should have done more that first inning," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We had the people up there we wanted to, but we left him off the hook. We really let him off the hook right there, and weren't able to do anything beyond that."

Meanwhile Sabathia grinded through six plus innings giving up four runs on 10 hits. He didn't have a one-two-three inning until the sixth. That sixth inning convinced Wedge to let Sabathia start the seventh against the top of the Red Sox order.

"C.C. probably pitched as good as he pitched the prior inning," Wedge said. "He was pretty efficient."

The decision backfired on Wedge as Sabathia gave up a double to Dustin Pedroia and a triple to Kevin Youkilis to extend the Red Sox lead to 3-1. Sabathia started the inning with 106 pitches.

"It didn't work out," Wedge said. "He's thrown 120 pitches before. He threw 110 pitches a couple of starts ago."

Ortiz added a sacrifice fly to close the scoring. Like his two previous postseason outings, Sabathia struggled with his command.

The burly lefthander has walked 14 batters and hit two more in 14 1/3 innings. Sabathia giving up walks was a rarity during the season as he allowed only 1.38 free passes every nine innings - second best in the AL .

"I can live with this better than I could my last start," Sabathia said. "I thought I made some good pitches. They have a tough lineup, but I felt like I was more aggressive than I was the last time and I went after them better than I did the last time."

With the fans at Jacobs Field barely in their seats, Kevin Youkilis belted Sabathia's 1-0 fastball over the left field wall to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. It was the first time that Boston had scored first in the series.

"I think getting ahead was a huge factor for us in this game," Youkilis said. "I think getting the confidence and all the players getting that first run ahead is huge for this team. Knowing when Josh Beckett is on the mound, we know maybe that one run could be all we need."

The winner of the ALCS will advance to the World Series to play the Colorado Rockies, who swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS.






  • 95
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 19 1:51 AM
  • ekabrazi Dude ... GDawg ... What are you doing?!?! Series is coming back to Fenway ... F those Tribe Time towels ... this crap is on!! Kenny Lofton is gonna get bitch slapped by Tek & Youk ... then Manny will come out from no where & knife him!!! .... Represent .. Yawkey Style .. BITCH!!!

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 19 12:39 AM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 0 7 12 1
    CLEVELAND 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - JOSH BECKETT, JONATHAN PAPELBON (9TH) AND JASON VARITEK
    CLE - C.C. SABATHIA, RAFAEL BETANCOURT (7TH), RAFAEL
    PEREZ (8TH), TOM MASTNY (8TH) AND VICTOR MARTINEZ

    Oct 19 12:10 AM
  • GDawg Josh Beckett is a pudgy faced little beeyatch. I HATE the Red Sox so damn much. Pedro was a whinning "Diva", Manny is an idiot, and Beckett is punk. It just pisses me the hell off that they are gonna win this game and go on to win the Pennant at home. THe only positive thing is I picked them to win so at least my win % will increase. BTW, ekabrazi,...make sure you call your Parole Officer, he's looking for you.

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 11:45 PM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 11:41 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED JULIO LUGO.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, K YOUKILIS ON FIRST, D PEDROIA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 7
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.500, 2-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 11:33 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K YOUKILIS ON FIRST, D PEDROIA ON SECOND, J
    LUGO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 6
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.400, 1-FOR-2, BB, SF, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 11:29 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    PASSED BALL BY VICTOR MARTINEZ ALLOWED J.D. DREW TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J LUGO ON FIRST, C CRISP ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 5
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D PEDROIA (.250, 2-FOR-4)

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 11:26 PM
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    chairmanlau Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 11:24 PM
  • redsoxfan2133 Just stay away from Gagne!!!

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 11:14 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 4
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.533, 2-FOR-2, BB, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 10:49 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K YOUKILIS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.400, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 10:44 PM
  • ekabrazi oh crap .. Lofton is gonna get smacked!!

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 10:17 PM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 9:49 PM
  • cramyamel Manny being Manny - damn it all!

    (That was a home run....)

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 9:26 PM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 9:26 PM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 9:23 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MANNY RAMIREZ SCORED DAVID ORTIZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M RAMIREZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.294, 1-FOR-1)

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 9:23 PM
  • bones that's a home run!

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 9:23 PM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 9:01 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TRAVIS HAFNER HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING GRADY SIZEMORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    CLEVELAND 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: V MARTINEZ (.333, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 8:39 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 1 1 3 0
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: BOS - JOSH BECKETT
    CLE - C.C. SABATHIA

    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: G SIZEMORE (.188, 1 HR, 1 RBI)
    A CABRERA (.294, 0 HR, 4 RBI)
    T HAFNER (.200, 1 HR, 2 R

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 8:30 PM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 4:19 PM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 4:07 PM
  • x304englandboii so tyler haddix has takin a penis to the FACCEEEEE

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 2:27 PM
  • GDawg Oh yeah,...one more thing,...Beckett scares the crap out me !!!

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 12:07 PM
  • GDawg Most important game of the year. Sox win tonight, the Pennant is guaranteed !!!
    Ekabrazi might actually get blown once in awhile if he could keep his hand off it !

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 12:03 PM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 11:04 AM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 11:00 AM
  • ekabrazi Ok Fenway Faithful!!! PUT or SHUT UP!!! Time to get this in gear!!! Lets see the roots thru the roof!!! Beckett is ready!! Are you?!?!?

    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 8:29 AM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 18 8:24 AM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansOct 14 11:40 AM