Top 50 Angel Stadium Moments #21-25. Playoffs, No-Hitters and Clinchers.
#24 – October 9, 2009 Game Two ALDS vs Boston Angels 4 Boston 1
Facing the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs became old hat for the Angels as the face the Beantowners in 1986, 2004, 2007, 2008, and then again in 2009. The first four times the two teams faced each other in the post-season were a nightmare for the Angels and their fans as the Halos lost all four series including two that ended up as sweeps.
In 2009 things were different with the Angels. The year started with tragedy losing young pitcher Nick Adenhart in a car accident in late April. However, this tragedy seemed to bring the team closer together. Adenhart’s jersey was hung in the dugout before every game and certain players did individual tributes to their fallen teammate.
The Angels easily won the AL West title and Adenhart was a part of the celebration as numerous players held the jersey up during the celebration and the whole team ran out to the right- centerfield wall by where Adenhart’s number had been placed on the wall and tapped their hands on the wall loudly. They also took their celebratory AL West clinching in front of Adenhart’s #34 on the wall.
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So together as one the Angels rolled into the playoffs on the wings of an Angel (Adenhart) carrying them. Waiting for them there was their old nemesis the Boston Red Sox. John Lackey took the mound and pitched brilliantly shutting out the Red Sox for 7.1 innings in winning game one 5-0.
This set the stage for Game Two with Jered Weaver facing Josh Beckett. The Red Sox struck first in the fourth inning as Jacoby Ellsbury tripled to lead off the inning and scored on a Victor Martinez RBI-Single to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. However the Angels quickly responded when a Kenry Morales sacrifice fly drove in Bobby Abreu who had singled earlier in the inning tying the score at one.
The score stayed at way until the bottom of the seventh as both Beckett and Weaver matched zeroes. In the seventh Vladimir Guerrero drew a rare walk and Howie Kendrick pinch ran for for him and scored on a two-out single by Maicer Izturis to give the Angels their first lead of the game at 2-1. Then Erick Aybar provided some insurance with a two-run triple to give the Angels some breathing room at 4-1.
From there Weaver and the Angels bullpen did the rest nailing down the 4-1 victory which put the Angels on the verge of exorcising 23 years of demons at the hands of the Red Sox as the Halos took a two game series lead back to Boston. Two days later the Angels completed the sweep with a comeback for the ages, rallying from being down 5-1 after five innings and 6-4 down going into the ninth inning to win 7-6. The victory sent the Angels to the ALCS for the first time since 2005 and allowed the Angels to erase some of their post-season failures. All the while Nick Adenhart was up in heaven smiling down on the team.