Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Games 143 - 149

Final Scores:

Game 143: Boston Red Sox 2, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5
Game 144: Boston Red Sox 8, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6
Game 145: Boston Red Sox 11, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 4
Game 146: Boston Red Sox 3, New York Yankees 2
Game 147: Boston Red Sox 4, New York Yankees 14
Game 148: Boston Red Sox 1, New York Yankees 11
Game 149: Boston Red Sox 6, Baltimore Orioles 9

So, it's been a while. I apologize, I've been in Bermuda, where I had a few Sox-related experiences (see below). Since I've last updated: after winning the series against the series against Tampa Bay, the Sox beat the Yankees by once again getting to Rivera when it counted, then lost the next three because of bad pitching and no hitting. At the moment (top of the eighth in game 150), Schilling is handling the pitching part quite well, but the boys have stopped hitting. As of today, the standings are Yankees in first in the AL East, up by 4.5 games and the Sox are first in the wildcard, 4.5 up on Anaheim.

One disturbing thing I noticed this past week, during the second game against the Yankees, was that Francona seemed to give up in the middle of the game, by taking out most of his starters and putting in second stringers. Now, it's true that Lieber was in the process of throwing an excellent game, but I wonder how much that was helped by not having to face batters like Manny a third time. In fact, the FOX commentators, in a rare moment of insight, pointed out this folly in the sixth inning - and David Ortiz hit a homerun to end the no-hitter. If Francona's trying to save his players, you have to wonder what he's saving them for - this game was against the Yankees...you know, a contender team? The one leading the AL East? Right.

As previously mentioned, I was in Bermuda - from Wednesday through Sunday, specifically - and had a few different Red Sox-related experiences. First, the tourist population of this lovely group of islands is almost half Red Sox fans. I kid you not - I saw more Red Sox hats than I've seen anywhere outside Boston and heard a profusion of Boston accents. I had my Sox cap with me, partially because I get nervous without a piece of my paraphanelia and partially because I knew a hat would be good to keep the sun off the head, out of the eyes, etc. and I got a few positive comments on it as well. There were two bars Nikki and I came across that showed Sox games to patrons and one of them, Freddie's in St. George, had a Patriots flag hanging from its balcony.

Second, thanks to the magic of satellite, I was fairly well appraised of what was going on, even if I couldn't watch all of the games. Our hotel got ESPN and FOX and we went to watch part of Friday night's game at a bar in Hamilton - although I missed the exciting conclusion because we had to take the last bus back to our hotel. I also watched part of Saturday's blowout on FOX (as previously mentioned), although by the time I turned it on it was pretty much decided. Point was, though, that I was able to keep track of baseball while on my vacation - an unexpected bonus. Props go to Nikki for wanting to watch the game on Friday - how lucky am I? GO SOX!