If playing so late into the night wasn't enough reason for the Indians to sleep easy on their way home early Sunday morning, they could count statistics to get to sleep.
"It's the postseason. It's one game," manager Eric Wedge said after the Game 2 win. "It was a big win for us to come out of here with the split. We've got the day off [Sunday], and we'll be ready to play the next day."
That said, Wedge's counterpart doesn't expect the loss to linger.
"If this does us in," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of their Game 2 loss, "we're not as good as we thought we were."
It's under that backdrop that Daisuke Matsuzaka will face the Indians for the third time this year, having split the first two outings. He put Indians hitters to sleep at Jacobs Field on July 24 with seven scoreless innings, allowing the Red Sox's lone run against C.C. Sabathia to stand for a 1-0 victory. It was a notable rebound for Matsuzaka, whose first brush with the Indians on May 30 saw him give up a season-high 12 hits over 5 2/3 innings with six runs allowed.
Essentially, his followup performance dismantled the notion that teams can hit him better the second time they see him and pick up on his unique traits. His rebound attempt on Monday will be more about overcoming the rough outing that he had in the AL Division Series against the Angels, who knocked him out in the fifth with seven base hits and three earned runs.
Matsuzaka hasn't won on the road since he tossed seven innings of two-run ball on Aug. 4 in Seattle. He hasn't had a quality start away from Fenway Park since going six innings against the Rays on Aug. 22 in a 2-1 defeat at Tropicana Field.
His opponent, Jake Westbrook, didn't exactly thrive in his postseason debut, either. He took the only loss the Indians suffered in their ALDS when the Yankees pounded out six runs on nine hits in five innings off of him. However, his willingness to go after hitters and throw strikes is a big reason for his second-half recovery, and it's a trait the Indians desperately need from a starter after the Red Sox waited out walks from Sabathia and Fausto Carmona in the first two games.
Only once in Westbrook's last 13 starts has the 30-year-old right-hander walked more than two batters in an outing. For that matter, he gave up four or more walks in just four of his 25 starts this season. One of those, however, was his loss to Boston in July.