The Full Count: Yankees only team not swept


1. That was easy: The Red Sox dismantled the Angels, one of the league’s best teams during the regular season, completing a 3-0 sweep on Sunday. They became the third team to win by a sweep in the first round of these playoffs. Boston outscored Los Angeles 19-4 in the series, with three great pitching performances. Curt Schilling, who has a career 1.93 ERA in the postseason including the 2001 co-World Series MVP, pitched seven shutout innings in game 3. He followed up solid efforts from Dice-K and Josh Beckett, who when combined form the best pitching trio left in the playoffs. Their dominance of the Angels was surprising, especially considering the Angels had three great starters of their own. However, their bullpen was disappointing, and their offense couldn’t continue their success from the regular season. The Red Sox, who have been widely considered the best team since the start of the season, proved once again that they are with this overwhelming effort against a good team. David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, who both weren’t their usual selves for most of the regular season, had a dominant series. Ramirez hit the game-winning home run in game 2, while Ortiz had two long balls and hit .714 for the series. As things stand right now, if the World Series results in anything but a Red Sox victory it will be a surprise.

2. You’re (Almost) Fired: There were reports that George Steinbrenner might fire manager Joe Torre if the Yankees don’t win their series against the Indians. After losing the first two games, the Yankees might have saved their manager’s job with an 8-4 win in Game 3 at Yankee Stadium. The fact that Torre’s job may be in jeopardy is absolutely ridiculous. He has taken the Yankees to the playoffs every year since joining the team, brought four World Series titles to New York, and did an excellent job this season in turning a losing team through the first half of the season into a force. Regardless of whether this would have happened, the Yankees did pull of a much-needed win over the Tribe. Roger Clemens was pulled in the third after allowing three runs, the Yankees scored seven combined runs in the fifth and sixth innings and never looked back. Johnny Damon had four RBIs including a three-run homerun. Phil Hughes and the bullpen were great in relief of Clemens. Even A-Rod cranked out two hits, his first of the series. Now the Yankees need to win game 4 on Monday to force a decisive game 5 in Cleveland.

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