ANAHEIM, Calif. Where in heaven did the real Los Angeles Angels go in the playoffs?
You know, the ones who earned the AL West title with small-ball offense hitting singles, drawing walks and running the bases with abandon despite a lack of home-run power. That team disappeared against Boston in the AL division series, losing 9-1 Sunday to close out a three-game sweep.
The first-round defeat was identical to 2004, when the Red Sox ushered the Angels out in three consecutive games on their way to winning the World Series.
Even coming back to California didn't help. The Angels' 54 home victories were the most in baseball this season, and they hit .305 in their home park during the regular season.
But they could not have gone more quietly against Boston, scoring just four runs in 27 innings. They were 2-for-22 with runners in scoring position and hit .192 overall.
"We beat a lot of good clubs, a lot of good pitchers without hitting the ball out of the ballpark for long stretches of this season," said manager Mike Scioscia, "but unfortunately, we weren't able to carry that continuity into the playoffs."
Vladimir Guerrero failed to live up to his slugging reputation. He was 0-for-3 with a walk Sunday, and finished 2-for-10 in the series with no runs and no RBIs.
"They pitched Vlad very, very tough," Scioscia said. "But you have to beat good pitchers even when they're on and we weren't able to do that."