The intentional walk
The situation: Bottom of the ninth. Two outs. Runners at second and third. Red Sox lead, 6-5. Need one more out. Torii Hunter up. Vladimir Guerrero on deck. Jonathan Papelbon on the mound.
Francona walked Hunter intentionally to get to Guerrero. Hunter was 3-for-5 in his career off Papelbon. Guerrero was 1-for-10.
The outcome: Guerrero lined a single to center to drive home two runs and give the Angels the lead.
The analysis: "It's tough to walk the bases loaded. But Pap throws strikes and he had had a lot of success against Guerrero." -- Francona
The situation: Angels outfielder Juan Rivera lined a two-run single with two out in the bottom of the eighth off Papelbon, making it a 5-4 game.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia sent in Reggie Willits to pinch-run for Rivera. Willits, between Triple-A and the big leagues, had 16 stolen bases this season.
Willits stayed out as Papelbon threw two strikes past Maicer Izturis. Papelbon then threw over and picked Willits off first base to end the inning.
The analysis: "I thought throughout the whole game we did a good job of trying to put pressure on them offensively. -- Scioscia
Bringing in Bard
The situation: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, holding a 5-1 lead, loaded the bases in the top of the sixth when Hunter led off with a double, Guerrero reached on an infield single and Kendry Morales walked.
Francona went with rookie right-hander Daniel Bard, who had pitched a scoreless inning in Game 2 in Anaheim, to face the right-handed-hitting Rivera.
The outcome: Bard, after running the count full, got Rivera to hit a grounder to third baseman Mike Lowell that was turned into a double play. A run scored but Bard then retired Maicer Izturis on a popup to shortstop to end the inning.
The analysis: "I thought Buchholz pitched very well. I thought that inning he started thinking about some other things. It was probably time to get him out of there. Bard came in there and did a great job, limiting the damage." -- Francona