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Sports Then and Now



Yankees and Angels Ride Brooms To The ALCS 4

Posted on October 12, 2009 by Don Spieles
Game 2 ALDS - Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels

Erick Aybar and the Angels swept the Red Sox to earn a date with the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

With Halloween approaching, it seems only fitting that the Angels and Yankees should ride brooms into the ALCS, sweeping Minnesota and Boston respectively.  Based on those performances, baseball fans are in for a postseason that is markedly different from the recent past.

The Angels, who have left the dance early in ’04, ’07, and ’08 – all to the Red Sox – finally found a way to beat the Boston bunch.  Pitching turned out to be the answer for the Halos, held the sometimes potent Boston line-up to a .186 batting average as they blew past them for a berth in the ALCS.

John Lackey and Jered Weaver, combined for some impressive numbers over the first two games.  A combined ERA of .062, 7.1 innings in each of their starts allowed only one single run. And while Darren Oliver’s game three performance was lack luster, the Angels put together a come-from-behind win, compliments of a timely single by Vlad Guerrero.

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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