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Sox were simply not good enough.

by Chris Allen

The Red Sox will have a lot of questions to ask themselves after blowing Game Three against Anaheim and getting swept out of the first round. Question number one is "What the Hell just happened?" For all the criticism Papelbon has faced this year for his adventurous saves, he still had a tremendous year: 38 saves with a 1.85 ERA. In Game three not only did he allow his first runs and blow his first save of his postseason career, he has guaranteed himself a whole new crop of doubters who will push for Daniel Bard to be the new closer. Do not make this mistake. While Papelbon clearly blew the game, the team was just not good enough to beat L.A. In this series when the Sox had good pitching they could not score runs, as we saw in games one and two. In game three they scored runs but were failed by their bullpen, a strength for most of the year. Billy Wagner gave up two runs in the eighth before being bailed out by Papelbon. Papelbon may bear the brunt of the loss in Game Three but the series was lost by the whole team. They left eleven men on base with Victor Martinez driving in the only run in Anaheim. They scored six runs in Game Three but only Mike Lowell had two hits.

The starters pitched good but not great: Lester allowed three runs, Beckett four and Buchholz two. The bullpen was very mediocre Papelbon allowed three runs in two innings, Wagner two runs one inning, Ramirez and Saito each gave up one run. Bard was the only standout with three innings, no runs and four strikeouts. Okajima pitched one third of an inning with no incident.

The offense pathetic the first two games scoring only run on eight hits.

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