Behind enemy lines

Our daily look at what others are saying about the Red Sox-Angels matchup.

  • Should the Red Sox fear Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero in this series? Sure . . . but perhaps not as much as you would think. As the Los Angeles Times reminds us this morning, he’s had an A-Rod-like tendency to shrivel in the postseason:

    [Guerrero] had another solid 2008 season, batting .303 with a team-leading 27 homers and 91 RBIs, and batted .322 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 46 games after the Angels traded for Mark Teixeira. Guerrero joined Lou Gehrig as the only players in major league history to bat at least .300 with 25 homers for 11 consecutive seasons.

    But October has not been as kind to Guerrero, who, in 16 playoff games, all with the Angels, has a .183 average, one home run and seven RBIs, four coming on one swing, a score-tying grand slam in Game 3 of the 2004 division series against the Red Sox, a game, and series, the Angels eventually lost.

  • The OC Register’s Mark Whicker has the Angels hoping an unlikely hero will step up in the postseason. Howie Kendrick, anyone?
  • The Times’s Bill Shaikin praises the Angels for their mostly home-grown pitching staff, and notes that tonight’s starter has been a particular bargain through the seasons:

    They have an ace in [John] Lackey, in his sixth full season in the major leagues. They have paid him $17.6 million over those six years.

    For perspective, that’s roughly what Giants bust Barry Zito made this season.

  • LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke daydreams about a Dodgers-Angels World Series showdown, and lists “30.92 reasons it could happen,[or] one for every mile [between the teams’ ballparks].” One of his notable reasons:

    Call me crazy, but I think Nomar Garciaparra still has one game-winning hit left in him.

    Okay, Plaschke . . . you’re crazy.

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