Red Sox 4, Angels 0 – A few quick things to note about Josh Beckett: in throwing his second consecutive playoff shutout, it placed him one behind Christy Mathewson for the all-time lead in palyoff shutouts in MLB. He struck out eight, walked none, and got run support via homers from David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis. John Lackey didn’t have his breaking ball working at all, and continued his usual trend of getting pounded in Boston.
Rockies 4, Phillies 2 – Jeff Francis only wavered twice in the fifth inning when he gave up back-to-back jacks to Aaron Rowand and Pat Burrell. Outside of that, he was filthy through six, giving up four hits and striking out eight (including the first four of the game.) Cole Hamels settled down later on, but giving up 3 runs in the 2nd inning turned out to be fatal in the first game.
Diamondbacks 3, Cubs 1 – Yes, Lou, we know: you trust your bullpen. Have you watched them at all this year? When Carlos Zambrano is throwing smoke and only gave up a homer in six innings and 85 pitches, why are you trying to save him for a Game 4 that might not happen? The first homer came off the bat of Stephen Drew, and as soon as Zambrano left in the sixth, Carlos Marmol coughed up a homer to Mark Reynolds, which held up under the gem Brandon Webb pitched.
Photo: AP/Elise Amendola