posted 8 years ago
After it was over, Vladimir Guerrero sat in a chair in the middle of the Angels' clubhouse with two big ice packs on his knees.
He was alone in his thoughts. All he had with him was a beeper to tell him when the ice packs had been on long enough. Across the way, reporters were surrounding losing pitcher John Lackey, who was explaining what happened on Jason Bay's two-run home run. It was another tough playoff game for Guerrero. He was 2-for-4 on Wednesday with two singles, but the veteran slugger is still only a career .203 hitter with just one extra-base hit in the postseason. That was a home run that came four years ago.
Still, it was not Guerrero's bat but his baserunning that came into question in the Angels' 4-1 loss to the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. Guerrero's miscalculation was clearly the biggest play of the game, and it came after he singled with one out in the eighth inning, the Angels trailing, 2-1.
Guerrero, who has to deal with bad knees on a daily basis and has for a long time, tried to go from first base to third on Torii Hunter's weak popup that fell just beyond first baseman Kevin Youkilis' reach in short right field.
But Youkilis reacted quickly and threw out Guerrero at third. Instead of having two on with one out, the Angels were left with Hunter on first with two outs, and Howie Kendrick grounded out against reliever Justin Masterson to end the inning. It would seem surprising that Guerrero would risk such a play with his bad knees, but his teammates came to his defense.
It was a tough night for Guerrero and the Angels' offense. The Halos had nine hits, but they were all singles. The Nos. 2-5 hitters in the lineup were 8-for-15, but Chone Figgins was 0-for-5 in the leadoff spot and Kendrick was 0-for-4 batting sixth. The Angels were also 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Guerrero had two hits but was hitless in his only at-bat with runners in scoring position. He came up with two runners on and one out in the first inning, swung at the first pitch and flied out to right. He is now just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position in his career during the post season.