Where Angels go ... heartbreak follows

If you didn't stay up to watch, the Angels came back from a 2-0 deficit last night and had the go-ahead run on third base with one out in the top of the ninth, only to have the situation blow up in their faces when manager Mike Scioscia (right) called for a suicide squeeze and it lived up to its name.

Erick Aybar missed the 2-0 pitch and pinch runner Reggie Willets was chased down by catcher Jason Varitek to end the threat. The Sox won a trip to the American League Championship Series on an RBI single by Jed Lowrie in the bottom of the ninth.

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Frankly, I was a bit surprised by the squeeze call, since reliever Manny Delcarmen buzzed Aybar up and in with his first two pitches, no doubt hoping that play was on earlier. Even though Delcarmen was behind on the count, he still had the luxury of playing loose with the strike zone with first base open. Scioscia obviously wasn't confident Aybar could deliver the run with a hit or a sacrifice fly, and there is some logic there, too, since he was just 2-for-18 (.111) in the series.

Oh well, it's still a no-lose situation in the ALCS. Orioles fans have to root for the Rays, because they represent hope for other beleaguered franchises and because they aren't the Red Sox. If Tampa Bay cannot get it done, their loss could set up what probably is the best storyline of the postseason if the Red Sox face a Dodgers team led by former Yankees nemesis Joe Torre and former Red Sox enfant terrible Manny Ramirez.

The Dodgers still have to get by the Phillies in the NLCS, but most of my friends in Philadelphia are already resigned to that.

Associated Press photo

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