Monday, October 22, 2007

Running Diary: ALCS, Game 7

Last year, Bill Simmons did one of his legendary running diaries for Game 7 of the Mets/Cardinals NLCS. Fat lot of good it did us. But it was indeed a memorable game, as many Game 7s do turn out to be (with the exception of the Angels/Giants in 2002). They don’t seem to happen too often, but we’ve got one tonight, with Simmons’ own Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians, in a series that I feel has had some eerie parallels to last year’s NLCS, as I detailed here. Now, it’s come down to one game to decide it all. It’s tense, and if you’re a fan of one of these teams, you’re fried right now. I have a feeling that the parallels may continue here tonight. Not in the sense that Manny Ramirez is going to scale the Green Monster and rob Ryan Garko of a HR, or that somehow Jensen Lewis will strike out David Ortiz to end the game, but that this game might be lower scoring than people seem to think; the bullpens won’t be as relied upon and it’ll come down to someone unlikely getting the big hit in the end. With that said, away we go.

8:07pm – I’m a little late in getting started. Typing the intro, I’ve glossed over Fox’s always glitzy, substance-free intro, where Eric Karros crowed about Josh Beckett’s performance in Game 7 of the NLCS in 2003, The Colorado Rockies practiced while 4 inches of snow fell in Denver, Paul Byrd talked about how he legally used HGH and then stopped once MLB Banned it, and Jeanne Zelasko talked about her hair.



This matchup about as unassuming as Jeff Suppan and Oliver Perez last year. Of course, this was the matchup in Game 3 of this series, where Westbrook pulled a Houdini act over 6 innings, and Matsuzaka did the exact opposite.

8:12 – If the Sox win, I’ll put money on Fox doing some stupid pregame bit on the massive Mountain-Man beards being sported by Todd Helton and Kevin Youkilis, both first basemen. When the Rockies were at Shea, way back in April, The Artist formerly known as El Guapo made some comment about Helton being the “Unfrozen Caveman First Baseman.”

8:14 – And here we go. As Vin Scully once said of Fenway, “It’s the Dowager Queen!

That was 1986. We know what happened then.

8:15 - It’s FOX’s new hit show. Guns, Cops and Churchgoers, featuring the deep-voiced white guy, the attractive white woman, the fat, wisecracking black man and the sassy black woman!

8:16 – “Well, here we go!” Joe Buck is here! It’s just not October without Joe Buck. And say what you will about him, but Joe Buck is really a sharp looking guy. What a hunk. It doesn’t get any better than this.

8:17 – “If you’re wearing a uniform for either side, you better be ready to play,” says Buck. Does this mean that Joe Schmo in his David Ortiz jersey down the third base line is coming in if the Sox run out of pitchers late?


8:22Jensen Lewis announces the Indians lineup. I didn’t know that a home furnishings store could have ever made it to the Major Leagues.

8:23 – Kevin Millar, of “Cowboy Up!” fame, threw out the first pitch tonight. And now he’s announcing the Sox lineup. Meanwhile, Millar is still under contract to the Baltimore Orioles, isn’t he? Isn’t this some form of adultery?

8:26 – Dice-K throws his Gyroball to Asdroubal Cabrera with 1 out in the 1st. “It’s the Gyroball. In reality it’s a glorified screwball,” says McCarver. I think he’s the glorified screwball. The Gyroball was a ball, but Cabrera grounded to second on the next pitch.

8:29 – Dice-K is really gassing Hafner. Four straight fastballs at 96mph, but the last two missed low. Hafner wasn’t close to the first two, down the heart of the plate. Does this mean that Matsuzaka has been taking Tom Glavine lessons?

8:31 – Nope. Gassed him again, same location as the first two, and Hafner swung right through it. What a novel thought, throwing a strike with two strikes on the batter!

8:32 – Red Bull gives you acid reflux, and in some cases, diabetes.

8:35 – Our first hit of the night to Dustin Pedroia. Pulled the changeup off his shoetops and lined it into left.

8:36 – It’s interesting that Kevin Youkilis is called “The Greek God of Walks.” Not only did he only walk 77 times in 145 games this season, he’s not even Greek. He’s Romanian Jewish. He singles through the hole into left. 2 on, 0 out.

8:38 – And guess who’s up? I know Ortiz has been hurting pretty much all season, but in a big game, in a big spot, I would think the scouting report for Ortiz would read something like this: “Don’t pitch to him. Ever.

8:40 – Of course, Westbrook went after him, kept the ball down and in or off the plate, and got Ortiz to whiff on a slider on the inner half. Too close to take, not good enough to swing at. Great job of pitching by Westbrook.

8:42 – Yowzers! Manny, with his hair flying every which way, rips a shot off the lip of the infield grass and bounced over Peralta’s head and into center field. A good hop and that’s an easy DP. Instead, Pedroia’s home, and the Sox lead 1-0.

8:45 – You know, I wouldn’t be against the Mets bringing in Mike Lowell, assuming he’s proven that he’s back from the 2-year malaise that he was suffering from. He’s always been a good, heady ballplayer, although he looks like he’s about 60. But he ripped a single to left to load the bases for Prince Valium, who hit a Grand Slam in this situation last night. All of Cleveland just took a collective shit. Time to get Sabathia up.

8:47 – Clean yourselves up, Indians fans, Westbrook just got out of it! Actually, Drew helped him out by swinging at a sucker pitch on the first pitch and bounced it right to Peralta. He made the nifty barehand play before flipping to Cabrera, who barely gets Drew at first. Easy DP. You can sit down now, C.C.

8:48 – 3:43 left in the first, and Roethlisberger just overthrew Hines Ward on 3rd and 3. That was a terrible read, especially when Dre Bly had him blanketed.

8:49 – These shows on FOX are so dramatic. I get misty-eyed just by watching the commercials.

8:51 – Was that Rosie O’Donnell sitting in the Monster seats? It wouldn’t surprise me, since she’ll sing for whoever’s winning. V-Mart hits a shot right to Lowell to start the 2nd.

8:53 – So far, Dice-K is really keeping that Gyroball down. Outside of Martinez, just about everything has been pounded into the ground. Garko and Peralta got good swings on the ball, but they both pulled it right to Lowell. 6 up, 6 down for Dice.

8:56 – At Wendy’s, you can have a ridiculous red wig with your meal!

8:57 – Oh Boy! Dane Cook! He’s the funniest man ever! And it’s so cool the way he tells us about October! He’s my favorite man ever!

(Well, second behind Joe Buck)

8:58 – Wait, Josh Beckett might pitch in relief? This as Varitek bangs one off the “Mawnsta.” McCarver starts right in again, beseeching the Indians to get someone up in the bullpen.

8:59 – Jacoby Ellsbury, who’s a real comer, fists one of those annoying jam shots that seems to hang in the air forever but nobody can come up with, a single to left moving Varitek to 3rd. By the way, McCarver wants the Indians to get someone up in the bullpen.

9:02 – Julio Lugo is one of those guys who I’m sort of glad the Mets didn’t bring in. I know he’s got a little bit of pop and can play good defense, and for all I know, he might have been a good fit for the Mets at 2B this year, but in reality, he’s essentially a step up from David Newhan on the MLB Food Chain. And he proves this by rolling into an even easier DP than Lowell hit into. Varitek scores, 2-0 Sox.

9:03 – Pedroia pops out. This is again, the power of not panicking. Wedge has allowed Westbrook to work himself out of his own jams, and he’s been able to do that. But, the caveat to doing this is that you are banking on Dice-K to struggle himself and allow Cleveland to get back in the game. It’s possible, but the longer the game progresses, and if Dice-K continues to get the Cleveland hitters to ground out, the worse this strategy looks. The next two innings should tell you what’s what.

9:06 – OK, now I’m confused. The Fox Trax showed the 0-1 pitch to Lofton as being well off the plate, a ball that was called a strike. The overhead camera showed the pitch as ticking the outside corner of the plate, thus a strike as called. What the hell is the point of having the Fox Trax if it’s not only confusing to read, but it’s wrong?

(The trivia answer is as follows: Wade Boggs, Boston, Reggie Jackson & Don Sutton, California)

9:11 – Dice-K is nibbling like hell. He went from 0-2 to 3-2 to Lofton before getting him, and nibbled again after getting 2 strikes on Gutierrez before getting him to pop out. So far, he hasn’t been burned by the wasted pitches, but it’s something to keep an eye on. It would behoove Cleveland’s hitters to remain patient.

9:13 – There’s your first hit, a clean single up the middle by Casey Blake. Dice had been living on that sinker all night, and he finally left one up.

9:14 – Now he bounces one. Varitek blocked it cleanly, but Blake alertly ran as soon as that ball wasn’t caught. Now, he’s on 2nd

9:18 - …but you can always count on Grady to fail in Fenway. Sizemore stepped out on 1-2, but Dice threw anyway, the pitch clearly a ball. This would have meant a walk for Sizemore had he not stepped out, since Dice missed on the next two, but the 3-2 pitch was a rising strike and Grady swung right through it. Same pitch he got Hafner on in the 1st. Hold your breath, Cleveland. Youkilis, Ortiz and Ramirez coming up.

9:21 – I will give a large sum of cash money to whomever lays Dane Cook’s nuts on a carving board and smashes them with a meat tenderizer.

9:22 – Back to the grind for the Tribe. Youk drills the first pitch into the LF corner. McCarver again cries for a relief pitcher. Jensen Lewis and his nifty wraparound sofa are warming up in the bullpen.

9:24 – I don’t know what sort of drum machinations they like to do in the Boston Bullpen, but I know I didn’t need Fox’s ridiculous accompaniment. The rhythm wasn’t even correct.

(Yes, I got the trivia answer right)

9:25 – Westbrook goes after Ortiz and gets him to ground out to Garko at 1st. Now, he intentionally walks Ramirez in front of Lowell. This is the guillotine for Cleveland right here.

9:27 – A brief delay of the execution. Lowell didn’t hit it out of the park, but he hit it deep enough to right to score Youkilis. 3-0 Boston.

9:29 – Jesus. This must be sheer torture for Indians fans. Then again, it’s probably worse for Sox fans. Prince Valium sort of stands at the plate and watches a few pitches for a while before hitting a fly that seems to hang forever, as Lofton drifts around in front of the Green Monster before catching it. Another inning, another single run for the Sox. You can pretty much recycle what I said at the end of the 2nd and apply it to Cleveland here.

9:33 – Asdroubal (who needs a nickname—I think “Assie” might be fitting) Cabrera does just what the Indians needed against Matsuzaka: He swings at the first pitch and pops it out to Lugo.

9:35 – Hafner bangs one off the Monster for a double. Again, it was a sinker that Dice-K left up. That seems to be the only way Cleveland has been able to reach him at all so far.

9:37 – Another ball pounded into the ground. V-Mart hits a comebacker that Dice-K can’t handle, but with the Catcher running, he’s able to recover to throw Martinez out. Aside from the two hits, Dice-K is putting on a clinic right now.

9:42 – Hold that thought…Great AB from Garko, who fell down 0-2 after Dice-K climbed the ladder on him on the first two pitches, then fed him a steady barrage of pitches off the corner which Garko fouled off and fouled off before finally waiting him out, and hitting that high sinker off the monster in left center for a double to score Hafner. Let that be a lesson to you, Carlos Delgado. That is what constitutes a good At Bat.

9:44 – Wait, you mean Josh Beckett might pitch in relief?

9:46 – So, this is now the key to the game for Cleveland. Try to wait out Dice-K long enough, let him keep nibbling and try to foul off anything close until he hangs the breaking ball, then bang it. That’s how all their hits have come tonight. Peralta can’t do that, and he grounds out to Lugo.

9:47 – Meanwhile, John Madden is talking about how you can’t be the first guy to touch the meatball after going out of bounds.


9:51 – Eric Wedge looks stone-faced right now. I bet he just watched one of those intense FOX dramas before the game. Or maybe it’s because Westbrook fell behind 3-0 on Varitek before giving up another hit.

9:52 – McCarver’s microphone must not be working. I can’t believe he didn’t start screaming about Cleveland going to the bullpen right now. Jensen Lewis and the plush loveseat are warming again. Meanwhile, Ellsbury smashed one off of Garko’s glove. That would have been an easy DP if he caught it, but Garko recovers and forces Varitek at 2nd. You get the out, but as Tim McCarver will alertly let us know, Ellsbury, the rookie outfielder, is much faster than Varitek, the veteran catcher.

9:55 – That, my friends, is the perfect execution of the hit and run. With Ellsbury running and Assie covering second, Lugo lines it right where Cabrera was, for the hit, moving Ellsbury to 3rd. Westbrook almost keeled over on the mound. Now I’m wondering just how much longer they plan to leave him in there.

9:56 – I’m not sure, but I think Tim McCarver just said that the Red Sox should “Take advantage of Victor Martini’s arm.

9:59 – Wowzers! Pedroia just pulled an Anti-Lugo. With Lugo running, and Cabrera again covering, Pedroia just lined it right at Cabrera, who tagged Lugo and threw out Pedroia at 1st. That’s 3 DPs tonight and 14 for the series for Boston.

10:00 – I wonder if the Derek Jeter Ford commercials are even more reprehensible than the John Mellencamp Chevrolet commercials. But what I really wonder is if this means that the Ford truck has more intangibles than the Chevrolet. A question for the ages.

10:02 – Lofton was safe. He got his left hand on the base before Pedroia tagged him. But that’s one of those moments where Manny was awake at the right moment. As Lofton hit the first pitch from Dice-K off the monster, Manny played the carom perfectly and threw a strike to second.

10:04 – Gutierrez follows by nailing a single up the middle. Cleveland is starting to figure out Dice-K now. This is what I meant by waiting him out. Although FOX won’t tell us how many pitches he’s thrown, he’s thrown a lot (I’d guess around 75), and there’s all sorts of action in the Red Sox bullpen. Okajima is throwing, Timlin is squeezing a mutant orange and I heard that Josh Beckett might come in from the bullpen, too.

10:06 – Blake follows with a dunker into right. How big was that play by Manny now? Joe Buck tells us that Dice-K has thrown 74 pitches, and McCarver, after innings of screaming for a Cleveland reliever, is now screaming for Dice-K to be pulled right now. If Lofton isn’t thrown out, I’d bet he’d be gone. They don’t pull him, and he’s pitching to Sizemore.

10:10 – Is there some sort of rule that every Red Sox fan now has to look like some dopey idiot frat guy?

10:11 – This time, Grady gets the job done, flying out deep to center to score Gutierrez. Again, Lofton’s play looms even larger, since that was the tying run. 3-2 Boston.

10:12 – It’s Assie and Dicey squaring off. After having pinpoint control for the first 3 1/3 innings, Dice-K has been all over the place. The fastball is tailing high and outside and the sinker is inconsistently placed.

10:15 – Again, thank you Fox Trax. Ball 2 to Cabrera looked like it just barely missed on the outside corner. According to Fox Trax, it appeared to be almost a foot off the plate.

10:16 – After a hairy at bat, in which Dice-K got ahead 0-2 on Cabrera, missed high, followed by Cabrera hitting 2 foul balls with HR distance, and the non-strike for Ball 2, Dicey finally got Assie to swing through a curve to get out of the inning. As Howie Rose might say, “We have an Official Game!

10:20 – Jake Westbrook is out for the 5th. McCarver says he is “On ever so short a leash.” I think he’s been on that leash all game, but he’s lasted this long. And he strikes out Youkilis to start the 5th, which I believe is the first time he’s gotten the leadoff man.

10:25 – To his credit, Westbrook came out in the 5th and looked better than he has all night. After getting Youkilis, he worked Ortiz away, made him look silly, and got him to ground to second, and followed that up by striking out Manny with 2 pretty curveballs. Best of all, he made Tim McCarver shut up. Nice job!

10:29 – And after the first few innings of this game, who would have thought that Boston would go to their bullpen first? It’s Hideki Okajima in the game for the Sox as Timlin is warming and apparently Josh Beckett is warming up in the bullpen as well, and could come in in relief. Hafner flies out to left.

10:31 – “If you haven’t seen Okajima pitch…” McCarver is about to start in with another of his pontifications. I’m tuning out. If you have seen him pitch, especially in the postseason, you know that every time he comes in, McCarver yells about how he finishes his windup with his head down.

10:35 – Okajima makes fairly quick work of Cleveland. After Hafner, Martinez works the count full before flying out to right, and Garko follows by grounding out to short.

10:38 – I bet the Yankees are wishing Roger Clemens’ cell phone cut out when they were talking to him in April. If he could just aim one of those fastballs at Dane Cook’s head…

10:39 – Westbrook is still in there, and all of a sudden, he’s really settled in. He just gassed Lowell to start the 6th. Rafael Betancourt is throwing, and McCarver is still clamoring for the Cleveland Bullpen, but Westbrook is carrying the load right now.

10:41 – Three innings ago, Joe Buck was calling for Westbrook’s head. Now, he’s just gotten Drew to ground out, and he’s gushing, “What a job done by Westbrook!

10:42 – AAAGH! Joe Buck just caught on too. He just made mention of last year’s NLCS. He’s comparing Westbrook to Jeff Suppan. I didn’t even catch that they both wear #37. They also have silly beards. And I think Westbrook is developing a tic on the left side of his face. He’s up to 94 pitches now, and he just yerked Varitek with a curve and made him look foolish. Fasten your seatbelts. This game is headed into twilight zone territory now…

10:44 – I was much more interested in “House” when all the commercials just featured Hugh Laurie screaming, “YOU’RE RISKING A PATIENT’S LIFE!” Damn these FOX Dramas and their storylines and substance.

10:46 - Oh, the drama…This Magic Moment…

10:47 – Okajima still on for the 7th, against the bottom of the Cleveland lineup. No sign of Josh Beckett in the bullpen although I heard he might be available. Right now, it’s Jonathan Papelbon throwing. I wonder if anyone has had a 3 inning save since the days of Goose Gossage?

10:48 – DOH! With 1 out, Lofton popped one over third. With Lugo calling it, the ball floats forever, and somehow Lugo dropped it, with Lofton going all the way to second with the tying run. Retribution, perhaps, for his getting thrown out in the 5th?

10:52 – Bizarre, bizarre play. Gutierrez ripped one just barely fair over 3rd that banked off the stands and bounced back into shallow left field. But the 3rd base coach for Cleveland, Joel Skinner, held Lofton at 3rd. That might have been the right call, but then again, with Lofton’s speed…

10:54 - …and no sooner do I type that, Casey Blake grounds into the 5-4-3 DP to end the inning. Rally over, tying run stranded. As I was saying, maybe Manny would gun him down, but with Lofton’s speed, you at least have to take the chance there. Papelbon is coming in for the 8th for sure, and how many more chances will you have if you’re the Indians? Head shaking play. On the replay, that ball caromed further out into left than I initially thought. Lofton probably would have scored. Indians fans must be dying right now (and I heard they opened up Jacobs field for people to watch the game).

10:57 – It’s Rafael Betancourt in for the 7th. Buck and McCarver are still talking about the Lofton play at 3rd. McCarver is trashing Skinner. I’d bet that if he sent him and Manny threw Lofton out, he’d still trash Skinner.

10:59 – Now it’s Ellsbury lining one off Casey Blake’s glove at 3rd, then he doesn’t run after it to pick it up, and Ellsbury makes it to 2nd. I wonder if that last DP might have cut the wind out of Cleveland’s sails.

11:00 – And the sacrifice by Lugo…

11:02 – …And there’s the dagger. Pedroia unloads one over the Monster. It’s now 5-2 Boston, the entire Sox dugout is out and Fenway is going berserk. In the words of Fran Healy, “HE CA-LOBBERED THAT BALL!” Pedroia even styled a little at the plate, that’s how well he hit that ball.

11:05 – FOX just showed Cleveland’s GM Mark Shapiro. He’s staring glassy-eyed at the infield. He looks completely shell-shocked. Youkilis and Ortiz are out, and the inning is over, but the damage has been done.

11:09 – Nifty bunt by Sizemore to start the 8th. That was Endy-esque. He dropped it perfectly down the 1st base line, between Youkilis and Okajima, and then beat the play at 1st. With Cabrera up, Okajima is still in there, probably at least to get through Hafner.

11:11 – And Cabrera follows with a clean single up the middle. And no sooner did that ball land in center field, then Francona hopped out of the dugout. Here comes Papelbon, for the Mariano Rivera special.

11:12 – We’re not even at the 3-hour mark yet. This game is going a lot faster than I had anticipated. Last night’s game did, too. I’m used to those ridiculous, extended 3 hour and 57 minute AL Playoff games. Maybe it’s because the Yankees aren’t involved. I mean, with the Yankees, there’s always those delays, the sign confusion, the stepping off, the stepping out, the deep counts, the crotch grabbing, the mental masturbation, the intangibles, etc, etc. These guys are playing at a brisk pace by comparison.

11:14 – Another replay of the Lofton play in the 7th. McCarver is still screaming about how Lofton should have gone. It’s done, Tim. Get over yourself.

11:15 – That stare is menacing, but Jonathan Papelbon, you’re no Dave Stewart.

11:16 – But, much like Stewart, Papelbon doesn’t mess around. 3 straight heaters, and Hafner wasn’t close to any of them. Strike 3 buzzed in at 98MPH. 1 down.

11:17 – A tailor made DP ball to Pedroia, but neither he, nor Lugo can get it out of their gloves. Even V-Mart had time to make it down the line, and he did so without a throw. It’s down to Garko for the Tribe.

11:20 – Gas, then Papelbon buckled Garko’s knees with a slider for strike 2…

11:21 – Woah…! Garko gave that a ride into the triangle in center, but Ellsbury was able to run it down for the 3rd out. Disaster averted for the Sox.

11:22 – Meanwhile, on NBC, Pittsburgh came back from a 28-14 deficit to tie the game at 28, with 26 seconds left in the 4th quarter. But Denver has the ball and is driving deep in Pittsburgh territory. But is anyone watching?

11:23 – Oh Boy! Another kooky fake Santy Claus movie! That should be totally awesome! The only way that could be better is if Dane Cook were playing the lead!

11:24 – Seriously, when did every Red Sox fan turn into some poser idiot? Ever since 2004, they’ve turned into hybrid Yankee fans. I know that the hardcore fans have always been there, but the silly signs and the multi-colored shirts and hats are ridiculous. I know that deep down, the hard-liners are annoyed by them just as much as I am.

11:26 – Elam made the Field Goal. 31-28 Denver.

11:28 – More drumming in the Sox bullpen, and more fake drumming from FOX. I think they’re playing the Atlanta Braves chop beat.

11:30 – 1 out and Lowell doubled in the gap. They are showing shots of the Cleveland players faces. Most of them look pretty grim. Prince Valium singles up the middle to score Lowell. 6-2 Boston. I think you can put a toe tag on this one.

11:31 – “All of a sudden, J.D. Drew is locked in,” McCarver gushes. Who the hell thought we’d ever hear something like that?

11:33 – I think McCarver said something dumb, but I’m only speculating. I tuned them out for a moment. Then I heard some idiotic chuckling.

11:34 – Joe Buck reminds us that all the pitchers were available, but we’ve only seen 5 pitchers. I guess all that speculation about Josh Beckett being available to come in from the bullpen wasn’t true after all. It was just a scheme Joe Buck cooked up to get everybody excited.

11:35 – The wheels have officially come off for Cleveland. Varitek popped one up over 3rd. It was clearly Peralta’s play, but Casey Blake ranged way out into left field and ran into Peralta, and the ball dropped and bounced into the seats for a ground-rule double. Now, they’re walking Ellsbury intentionally.

11:38 – Wait, you mean the Rockies are going to play another game on Wednesday, against one of these teams? I thought they were done! I haven’t heard anything from them in a week!

11:42 – Lugo strikes out. Joe Buck is pointing out that Colorado played at Boston in June, while the Rockies were in the midst of a stretch where they swept the Yankees, among other things. They beat up Beckett. And as that happens, Pedroia comes up with yet another big hit, drilling a double to the wall to clear the bases. 9-2 Boston. A crestfallen Eric Wedge mercifully removes Betancourt from the game. Jensen Lewis and his nice, comfortable deck chairs are getting into this game after all.

11:44 – Apparently, in order to serve Miller High Life, you need to be a dive bar or a greasy spoon. That’s the sign of a quality beer right there.

11:46 – Sign in the stands: “There’s no crying towels in Boston.

11:47 MAZEL TOV! Youkilis cracks one off the coke bottle over the Monster. 11-2 Sox. I think the drama has evaporated from this one. This is beginning to shape up like the 1996 NLCS, where St. Louis went up 3-1 on Atlanta, and then Atlanta came back with Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz, and won the last 3 games by the combined score of 77-3. So much for my comparisons to last year. In a perfect world, this is how Game 7 should have gone for the Mets. They’re singing “NA NA, HEY HEY, GOOD BYE!” at Fenway. Ortiz strikes out to end the inning, Papelbon back to the mound.

11:50 – Now, at KFC, you can get chicken strips that won’t spill in the car and still might not really be chicken!

11:52 – Someone at FOX needs to check up on the production team. Earlier today, I was watching the Giants/49ers game, when they played Van Halen’s “Panama” coming out of a commercial break. Now, coming out of the break here, they’re playing “Panama” again. Coincidence? Meanwhile, Coco Crisp, wearing Oscar Gamble’s afro, takes over in center, with Ellsbury moving to left.

11:54 – Cleveland has scored 5 runs since late in Game 4. They just look toasted right now, much like one of Willie Randolph’s Subway subs. But Peralta leads off with a single. Sure, let’s just prolong the inevitable.

11:55 – How many times has Kenny Lofton been so close? Well, Tim McCarver will tell you. Nobody’s that interested. He lines out to Ellsbury, who makes a great sliding catch. Meanwhile, David Ortiz is running around in goggles, without his jersey on.

11:56 – Josh Beckett is still in the Boston bullpen and can pitch in relief if they need him to. Gutierrez flies out. The Red Sox are on the top step of the dugout.

11:57Dirty Water! Amazing catch by Coco to end the game, running back into the triangle and leaping into the wall, and banging himself up, but catching the ball. He’s limping in, but smiling nonetheless. And it’s party time in Boston!

11:59 – Varitek is being interviewed by Chris Meyers on the field, and he appears to be slurring every word. I wonder if it’s possible to be drunk before the champagne celebration starts. Meanwhile, assorted shots of some very sad Cleveland ballplayers in the dugout. V-Mart is misty-eyed, and being consoled by Gutierrez. You definitely can’t take anything away from them, they played a hell of a season, knocked off the Yankees, and took it all the way to Game 7 of the ALCS. Much like the Mets last season. They came close, but they should feel proud of themselves and the Indians fans should be proud of their team.

12:01AM – I’m sorry, but Jonathan Papelbon looked downright scary when the final out was made. He flung his glove in the air and made some sort of demented scream and wiggled his arms at Varitek before he jumped into his arms.

12:05 – Now wait a second, I do believe that I didn’t hear John Mellencamp once during this game. Of course, I tuned out most of the commercial breaks, but I don’t recall seeing that, and it’s usually on every break.

12:06 – They’re doing the trophy presentation inside in Boston, whereas they did it on the field in Colorado. I know they usually do it on the field if the home team wins, but I wonder what the protocol really is. In the NFL, they always do it on the field, which is always really entertaining, especially when the road team wins, and they give out the trophy in front of an empty stadium.

12:10 – Shot of the Boston locker room, where everyone seems to be wearing ridiculous glasses. Josh Beckett, who could have pitched in relief tonight if they needed him, is the MVP, which is a little shocking. I would have thought Youkilis was a shoo-in, since it seemed like he only hit .742 for the series. Beckett acknowledges this himself.

So, that’s it. It’s in the books, and it’s the Red Sox and the Rockies for the World Championship, starting on Wednesday night. There’s a lot of questions to be asked, mainly can the Rockies come back from the ridiculous layoff and continue to play as well as they’ve been playing? Will Manny start to hallucinate in the rarefied air in Denver? Once again, this looks like a series of high powered offenses squaring off and it’ll be Beckett vs. Jeff Francis in Game 1.

This game itself, as McCarver noted (in a rare good point), will end up being remembered as a blowout in the end, but it was pretty close most of the way, and Cleveland was that close to pulling even in the 7th. But the Red Sox pulled away and they’ve emerged as the AL Champions for 2007. And their youth served them well, much like it has for their World Series opponent. Congratulations, Bill Simmons. Congratulations, Red Sox Nation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! I love "Prince Valium". Here's hoping you live-blog the world series.