It will be Weaver's first start as a 25-year-old, a birthday he celebrated on Thursday."I'm going to try not to treat it differently than any other game," Weaver said. "I'll try to keep my heart in my shirt." That would be almost as important as keeping Ortiz and Ramirez in the park. In four career starts against Boston, Weaver has been taken deep twice by Ortiz. "There's more than David Ortiz to worry about in that lineup," said Weaver, 24-9 in a season and a half with the Angels. "So I'm just going to try to pitch my game." Game 3 -- either pivotal or terminal -- will revolve around far more than just Weaver's battles with the Poison Pair. Although, how he handles them early will certainly be critical to the Angels' currently very fragile psyche.
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"Both those guys are terrific, and we've talked about it all week," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "But in certain situations, we just have to take our chances with some matchups."In the ninth-inning situation that arose on Friday night, some might have expected Scioscia to have closer Francisco Rodriguez also intentionally walk Ramirez, loading the bases with two outs. Alas, such evasion would simply have brought up Mike Lowell, who, while perhaps lacking the celebrity of the Poison Pair, actually led the Red Sox with 120 RBIs. Given the game's vitality, Weaver, lest he show absolute dominance, may not even stay on the mound for long. The grassy path from the Angels' bullpen may be worn out by the late innings. The Halos can talk all they want about unleashing their aggressive running game, even get it rolling at an optimum level, and it still may not do much good if their hustle runs are negated by a couple of swings by the Poison Pair.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less