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The Day Jason Bulger Didn't Blow It
Two Games in Angels Postseason History have taken place on this date.
2005 - The Angels lose the ALCS to the White Sox in Game 5 by the score of 6-3
The 2005 Angels were a pitching-rich bunch that deserved better. The team had the lead in this game briefly in the bottom of the fifth inning when a Chone Figgins Ground Rule Double drove in Adam Kennedy and a Garret Anderson sac fly scored Figgy from 3B two batters later to make the score 3-2.
Kelvim Escobar gave up a solo homerun to Joe Crede in the top of the seventh to tie it back up and Chicago took the lead for good when an unearned run scored when the throw home was late, ah hell look, the stadium was crawling with transplanted White Sox fans who smelled blood and it was going to be their first trip to the World Series since 1959 and the mojo for the Angels was just not there, had not been there in the three home games in which they were swept and ...well after having had a ll that magic in 2002, the Angels were on the wrong side of the magic. The ball bounced the Pale Hose way every time, seemingly every inning. The Angels played hard, and played okay but the fans were out of gas, we knew it, we had been on the other end of this script all too recently.
2009 - The Yankees beat the Angels 4-1 to take the opening game of the ALCS
You lose Game One and you right away dismiss it saying you now you can take the series in six or seven, but in hindsight, this is the game we should have won. There is no glaring incident to point at as the moment we were robbed, although letting Lackey gut out a lousy sixth inning as it painfully unravelled is not exactly MIke Scioscia's greatest moment as a manager.
John Lackey allowed two leadoff hits and they both crossed the plate in the first inning, putting the Yankees ahead early. It was a lead they would not relinquish. Kendrys Morales drive in Vladimir Guerrero in the top of the 4th to make it a 2-1 game and that was interesting. Nice. Let's Go Angels, Let's Go (clap, clap). Hey look, it worked: Alex Rodriguez was thrown out at the plate in the fifth ...oh wait... the runner ahead of him had scored on a Hideki Matsui double making it 3-1.
In the sixth inning, Lackey had two quick outs when he walked Melky Cabrera, who advanced to 2B on a blown pickoff move. A single by Derek Jeter drove in the Milkman and it was 4-1, Lackey was in the showers and Jason Bulger got the final out of the frame. Bulger loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but struck out Nick Swisher to get out of it. That would be the final score and even worse than losing the game would be Mike Scioscia's newfound assumption that Bulger was a middle-inning pressure situation pitcher. You'll read why in a few days.