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Water Cooler: Baseball's Division Series

by Ryan Hudson

Red Sox 4, Angels 1 - It was a night of impressions for the Red Sox: Jason Bay did his best Manny, Jon Lester tried his best Beckett performance, Jacoby Ellsbury imitated Superman (or The Flash), but the Angels remained the Angels in the postseason. The win is Boston's 10th consecutive over Los Angeles in the playoffs, dating back to the 1986 ALCS, and from John Lackey's post-game comments, frustration is beginning to creep in:
“It’s unfortunate when you get beat on one pitch,” Lackey said, his frustration with the lack of offensive support showing. “You gotta give (Red Sox starter Jon) Lester credit. He pitched a great game. But we’ve got to find a way to score runs. It’s pretty frustrating when one pitch can cost you the game.
Friday night is Game 2, with Dice-K (9-0 on the road this season) throwing against the Angels' Earvin Santana (16-7, 3.49 ERA).

Dodgers 7, Cubs 2 - The talk from Wrigleyville is focused on Manny's late-inning home run (seriously: how did he hit that ball out?), but the game was won on James Loney's grand slam and Derek Lowe's six innings of two-run baseball. But the veteran pitcher was not without his struggles.

In the sixth Aramis Ramirez opened with a double and Lowe threw a pair of balls to Geovany Soto, prompting pitching coach Rick Honeycutt to go to the mound.

"I know what he's doing; he's buying time for the bullpen," Lowe said. "He asked me what I wanted to throw, and I know 99% of the time when a pitching coach comes out, the next pitch is a fastball, so I wanted to throw a curve."

He did, and for a strike. The next two for strikes as well, and "that was the biggest out of the game for me," Lowe said.

Game 2 is tonight at 9:30pm, and Chicago has Carlos Zambrano on the bump. If the Dodgers manage to win this game, stay clear of Cubs fans for some time. Or at least take away their shoelaces.

Phillies 3, Brewers 1 - I'll let Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer handle this one.

The Phillies won their first postseason game in 15 years today because Cole Hamels had his good stuff.

It was the stuff of legend, the stuff of Carlton and Schilling, the stuff that makes October baseball so special.

And it's a good thing, too, because Philadelphia managed just four hits. Hamels threw eight innings and gave up just two hits while striking out nine.

The Brewers will look to even the series tonight at 6:05pm, when half-man, half-machine CC Sabathia takes the ball.