Here's what I expect Scioscia to tell the crew before today's game: You are up 2-0, but play this one like you're down 0-2. Don't let up. Don't lose your edge. Let's bury these guys.
With Kazmir on the mound, Ortiz and Drew are neutralized. Lowell is slow as crap, and playing with a hurt thumb. Keep him on the ground. Martinez, batting righty, is still good but not as dangerous as batting lefty. Bay and Youkilis are your biggest threats. Bay can be pitched to with offspeed stuff, don't let Youkilis hurt you in crucial situations.
The key to handling their offense is getting ahead in the count but keeping the ball off the center of the plate. This is easier said than done, it's also called great pitching. Essentially what Weaver and Lackey did in the first two games, and what Kazmir did in game 5 of the ALCS last year.
On offense, Clay Buchholz has good stuff, but sometimes shaky confidence. He's had his moments where he's been described as "a deer in the headlights". Well, time to turn the high beams on. Figgins needs to reach base and put the pressure on early. And from there, no letup. Angels have beat him before, in 3 career starts we are talking about 17 innings, 30 baserunners, and 18 total runs allowed. In his final regular season start, he allowed 6 runs in 3 innings against the Indians' AAA lineup. Yes, more of that.
The media will take any opportunity to fellate the Red Sox for all kinds of admirable human qualities if they start to come back from the an 0-2 deficit. They have come back before. In addition to 1986, their teams have come back from 0-2 against Cleveland in 1999, 0-2 against Oakland in 2003, 0-3 against the Yankees in 2004, and 3-1 agaisnt Cleveland in 2007. But they are not immune to good baseball. The White Sox got to 2-0 in 2005, and finished them off. The Rays got to 3-1 last year, and after nearly blowing it, held onto that series as well. The media eagerly awaits to give them accolades for "coming back from the dead".
This is bullshit. Extreme bullshit. They are not dead. It is up to the Angels to put a stake through the heart, cut off the head, fill the mouth with holy wafers, immerse them in running water, and expose them to direct sunlight (last part should be easy, it's a daygame). Keep on playing with the passion, determination, and intelligence you have shown in the first two games Angels, and you will win. Never let up.
To paraphrase Acuda,