ANAHEIM, Calif. – All of the Red Sox are working out on the field right now except for one – Josh Beckett is in the bullpen beyond the left-field fence throwing his all-important side session.
Beckett shooed away a gigantic group of reporters by telling them he had just woken up and had no idea about the status of his strained right oblique. We should hear later from Terry Francona on how the bullpen session went and if Beckett is still on for Game 3.
As for Game 2, the Red Sox know they put “a lot more pressure on the home team winning game two,” Mike Lowell said, by taking Game 1 last night.
A few notes from the Sox clubhouse while awaiting word from Francona:
“I don’t see any problems,” Lowell said. “I actually thought I was going to wake up really sore. I didn’t. So, I’m looking forward to a workout, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game.
“I don’t think I put myself in a position to just play one game. I don’t think that’s the right way to do it. I’m looking play the whole postseason. Be at every game. I don’t think that’s anything special.”
Lowell, quite understandably, seems as though he’s grown tired of answering questions about his hip. When asked one question about his health, he tried changing the subject.
“A lot of anticipation for the big match-up today, Palin and Biden,” Lowell said. “Heard what Anderson Cooper and Larry King had to say. I’m on pins and needles for tonight.”
“He’s the same guy in Game 36 and he is in 163,” Dustin Pedroia said. “He knows how difficult it is to play this time of year. He wants to make sure it’s a relaxed environment. You want to have fun doing it, and he’s definitely done a great job handling all of us.”
Francona has taken on a we’ll-do-anything-necessary tact when explaining his decisions, and he proved his fearlessness in doing that last night when he summoned Justin Masterson, a rookie making his first postseason appearance, to pitch the eighth inning of a 2-1 game. It was a little rocky, but most of the balls hit off Masterson were bloops, and it worked in the end.
Both Ortiz and Matsuzaka smiled and laughed through the whole exchange, which underscores a significant storyline the national media is jumping on with Dice-K starting Game 2 tomorrow. Amalie Benjamin took a fantastic look at Matsuzaka’s second year with the Sox earlier this week, and a lot of his teammates this week have spoken about how much easier it’s been for him this year than last.
“I think he feels more comfortable with us,” Lowell said. “We’ve gotten to know him. He’s gotten to know personalities. This is an easy clubhouse to feel like you’re one of the guys. It probably took Daisuke a little longer than most. I think it took time on both sides. It’s hard to get to know someone’s personality through an interpreter. I just think the routine of what we do to get ready for a game and what he does is much more subtle for him, and it allows himself, whichever way it is that makes him feel comfortable, definitely another with us has made him feel a lot better.”