Indians
Red Sox
2 - 11 Final
  for this game

Dice-K, Pedroia step up, lead Red Sox to the World Series

Oct 22, 2007 - 5:54 AM By Tom Covill PA SportsTicker Staff Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- When it mattered the most, Daisuke Matsuzaka stepped up.

Matsuzaka outdueled a game Jake Westbrook for five innings and the bullpen took over from there, leading the Boston Red Sox to an 11-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians and a date with the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.

Dustin Pedroia homered and Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell drove in a run a piece for the Red Sox, who overcame a three games to one deficit to win the American League Championship Series and advance to the Fall Classic for the 11th time in franchise history.

Game One of the World Series is here on Wednesday.

"We started clicking at the right time," Pedroia said. "When your back is against the wall, you find out what kind of team you have. Everybody kept believing."

Spurred on by a raucous home crowd, Matsuzaka retired the first eight batters he faced before Casey Blake singled in the third. The Japanese righthander, who came into the game with a 2-5 record and a 7.05 ERA in his last 10 starts, including a loss in Game Three in Cleveland, found his command early, challenging the Indians hitters with a fastball that touched 95 miles per hour.

Matsuzaka threw 61 of his 88 pitches for strikes, and did not walk a batter for the first time since May 30. He was lifted after five innings, having yielded two runs and six hits while striking out three.

"My velocity itself was okay, even in my last start, I think," Matsuzaka said. "But today I wanted to get ahead in the count, and even if I missed a few spots, I wanted to throw with a lot of power, and I think that I was able to do that today."

"He was impressive," Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo said. "He knew he had a lot of pressure and he came out and performed. He's a big-time pitcher."

The Boston offense rewarded Matsuzaka for his efforts with single runs in each of the first three frames.

He was lifted after five innings, having yielded two runs and six hits while striking out three.

"After our three straight losses, the team kept telling me to get ready to pitch in Game 7, and I think everybody on this team worked very well together to bring us into Game 7, and I just wanted to respond as best I could to my teammates today," Matsuzaka said. "Today, once I was in the game, I tried not to worry about all the small things. I wanted to go out there and swing my arm hard and put my heart into it, and I wanted to display that to everybody that was watching."

"(Matsuzaka) did well," Lugo said. "He set the tone for us, I think that was the most important thing. In the playoffs, we'll go to the pen a little early. In the regular season, he's staying in there for the sixth or seventh inning."

With the Fenway Park crowd derisively chanting his name, Westbrook surrendered back-to-back singles to Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis in the first. After David Ortiz struck out swinging, Ramirez battled back from an 0-2 count and plated the first run of the game with a single.

Ramirez entered the game 9-for-18 in his career against Westbrook and went 1-for-2 with an intentional walk against the Indians' righthander on Sunday.

Mike Lowell followed with a single in the first to load the bases, but Westbrook got Game Six hero J.D. Drew to ground into a double play to end the threat.

Jason Varitek led off the second with a double high off the "Green Monster" in left-center field and moved to third on rookie Jacoby Ellsbury's single. Westbrook then forced Julio Lugo to ground into a double play, but Varitek came in from third to stake Matsuzaka to a 2-0 advantage.

The Red Sox added a run in the third when Lowell knocked a sacrifice fly to right field with the bases loaded.

Westbrook, who stymied the Boston hitters in Game Three with exceptional command of the strike zone, finally found his rhythm in the fourth and retired the last seven batters he faced before exiting after the sixth. The veteran sinkerball was charged with three runs and nine hits in six innings, while striking out five and walking one.

Cleveland nabbed a run in the fourth on a pair of wall-ball doubles by Travis Hafner and Ryan Garko, and cut the Red Sox's lead to 3-2 when Grady Sizemore hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Franklin Gutierrez.

With the go-ahead run at the plate, Matsuzaka won a nine-pitch battle with Indians rookie Asdrubal Cabrera, striking out the young second baseman to end the fifth.

From there the Boston bullpen, which was tops in the majors in ERA during the regular season, took over. Lefthander Hideki Okajima was the first out of the pen, shutting down the side in order in the sixth.

Okajima ran into trouble in the seventh, but a baserunning gaffe by veteran Kenny Lofton and Cleveland third base coach Joel Skinner kept the Red Sox in the lead.

With one out, Lofton lifted a popup to left field which Lugo dropped, allowing Lofton to reach second base. Gutierrez followed with a shot over the third base bag, but Skinner held Lofton at third, despite the fact that Ramirez - playing left field - had yet to retrieve the ball when Lofton was rounding the bag.

Blake grounded into a double play to end the inning.

"We would have at least liked to have tied it up there," Blake said. "It might have changed the complexion of the game, it might have given us a little more life, a little more momentum but they beat us tonight."

It was the second time in the game that Lofton was faked out by Ramirez, who threw him out at second base trying to stretch a single leading off the fifth.

Pedroia provided some breathing room in the bottom of the seventh, blasting a two-run shots into the "Green Monster" seats for a 5-2 advantage.

The Indians threatened again in the eighth, and again were cut down by a combination of Boston's bullpen and defense.

After Okajima allowed the first two batters to reach, closer Jonathon Papelbon was called on to face slugger Travis Hafner. Papelbon struck out the big designated hitter and forced All-Star Victor Martinez into a fielder's choice for the second out.

With the tying run at the plate in the form of Garko, Papelbon left a pitch up that was hammered deep to right field. Ellsbury, streaking over from center, caught the ball just in front of the Boston bullpen to protect the lead.

Papelbon was credit with the save, his first in his postseason career.

Pedroia, who entered the contest without an RBI in 24 ALCS at-bats, hit a bases clearing double to blow the game open in the eighth, giving him five for the game.

The Red Sox tacked on six more in the bottom of the eighth, capped off by Youkilis' two-run blast off the Coke bottles high above the left field wall, en route to becoming the seventh team in League Championship history to erase a three game to one deficit and win the series.

"It's not a good place to be," Boston manager Terry Francona said of the 3-1 deficit. "But we didn't give up and we beat a very good team."

This is the third time the Boston franchise has accomplished the feat, doing it in 1986 against the Angels and coming back from down three games to none to beat the New York Yankees in 2004.

"We won three straight games and they won three straight," cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "We tried but we just fell short. They are a great ballclub."






  • ekabrazi Dude!?!?!? The guy is a locker room cancer!!! if he was so getting the job done .. why didn't the Yankees keep him?!?! Cuz he could not back his crap up?!?!? If you want to get paid ... u have to play!! He had such a great series against the Sox too!!! Beckett got in his head!! The overpaid cry baby!!

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 23 6:50 PM
  • GDawg what's your beef with Lofton? Just cause he's a classy brother who has been in the game forever and still mnages to get the job done? Somebody has OD'ed on the "Hatorade",..." is it in you?"

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 22 1:49 PM
  • ekabrazi Class Act ... Kenny Lofton ... Yeah .. I am sure Webster's has a disclaimer for " Class Act * .. see Kenny Lofton" NOT!!!

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 22 8:21 AM
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    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 22 2:40 AM
  • GDawg Ekabrazi, lay off Lofton, 17 years in "the show" and he's still a class act and a gentleman. Give the guy a break.

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 22 1:39 AM
  • GDawg Poor Colorado,...they're gonna get destroyed. Can you imagine having to face the invincible Boston Dread Sox after a 7 day lay off? It's gonna take them the first two games at Fenway just to remind them how to play baseball, then maybe they'll get lucky (very, very, lucky) and win a couple maybe even three at home, but then it's back to Fenway and after that it's "light's out". Man I hate the Sox, but they are soooo damn good.

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 22 1:37 AM
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  • bones what a catch!!!!

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:57 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 10 1
    BOSTON 1 1 1 0 0 0 2 6 x 11 15 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CLE - JAKE WESTBROOK, RAFAEL BETANCOURT (7TH), JENSEN LEWIS (8TH)
    AND VICTOR MARTINEZ
    BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, HIDEKI OKAJIMA (6TH), JONATHAN
    PAPELBON (8TH) AND JA

    Oct 21 11:57 PM
  • bones i can't belive how many shots fox has shown of GM shapiro and his wife

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:54 PM
  • ekabrazi Fenway is rockn .. " Hey Hey Hey ... Good bye"

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:49 PM
  • ekabrazi Youk!!! 2 run Blast ... Kenny Lofton just retired from Baseball because he sucks so bad!! 11-2 Sox

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:48 PM
  • bones yoooouuukkk

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:47 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY KEVIN YOUKILIS (3) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF JENSEN LEWIS SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2, BOSTON 11
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.304, 0-FOR-4)

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:47 PM
  • ekabrazi Damn!!! Pedroia again!!! 9-2 Sox ... Lofton REALLY Sucks!!

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:44 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DUSTIN PEDROIA SCORED J.D. DREW, JASON VARITEK
    AND JACOBY ELLSBURY.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, D PEDROIA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2
    BOSTON 9 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.481, 2-FOR-4)

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:43 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY J.D. DREW SCORED MIKE LOWELL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J DREW ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2
    BOSTON 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.240, 2-FOR-3)

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:30 PM
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  • ekabrazi Uhhh Ohhh .. Bottom of the 8th ... Kenny Lofton still sucks!!

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:21 PM
  • AFaust3 If the Indians can get some runs on the board here, it would be a huge momentum swing.

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:15 PM
  • ekabrazi Top of the 8th .. no outs .. 2 on ( 1st & 2nd ) .. tying run at the plate... Okajima out .. Papelbon due in!!! Kenny Lofton Sucks!!!

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:14 PM
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  • ekabrazi Damn!!!!! Pedroia smacks that ... Out of here!

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:06 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY DUSTIN PEDROIA (1) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF RAFAEL BETANCOURT SCORED JACOBY ELLSBURY.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2, BOSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.500, 2-FOR-3)

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 11:02 PM
  • mark that's a huge dp.

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 10:54 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY GRADY SIZEMORE SCORED FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C BLAKE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: A CABRERA (.222, 0-FOR-2)

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 10:11 PM
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  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN GARKO SCORED TRAVIS HAFNER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R GARKO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J PERALTA (.250, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 9:43 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M RAMIREZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 0
    BOSTON 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.364, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 9:27 PM
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  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    JULIO LUGO HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING JASON VARITEK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 0
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D PEDROIA (.320, 1-FOR-1)

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 9:01 PM
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  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MANNY RAMIREZ SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M RAMIREZ ON FIRST, K YOUKILIS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 0
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.292, 1 HR, 7 RBI)

    Indians vs. Red SoxOct 21 8:43 PM
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  • ekabrazi OK ... so ... IF .. if Drew's Granny has begun the end of the Tribe's journey & propels the Sox to the Series!! Does that erase his crapty year & justify 14 million!?!?!? Just wondering???

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