Saturday, October 01, 2005

Game 161: How The East Was Lost

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 4, New York Yankees 8

"And if you say to me tomorrow,
Oh what fun it will be.
Then what's to stop us, pretty baby,
But what is and what should never be."

Please allow me to preempt any “I thought we have a one game playoff against the Yankees if we win tomorrow” comments by saying: NO, you’re wrong. Even with a win on Sunday, the Red Sox would be 9-10 vs the Yankees this year. The worse head-to-head record combined with the loss by Cleveland, means that the Yankees are the AL East champs and the Red Sox have 2 shots at the Wild Card. Any combination of Red Sox win and Cleveland loss means the Sox are the Wild Card winner. HOWEVER, if the Sox lose AND the Indians win, there is a one game playoff in Fenway on Monday. Meanwhile, the Yankees are covered in champagne. I hope they catch pneumonia. Bastards.

Now that that’s out of the way… today totally sucked. Wakefield (on short rest) got roughed up early and often. 7 earned over 5 innings is not the “Stopper” I am used to. He didn’t do a good job mixing his 78mph fastballs in with his knucklers and I think Sheffield and A-Rod busted some windshields because of it. The bullpen (Stanton, Gonzo, DiNards, Hansen) was fine and only allowed one run in an already sinking game. Excuse me if I don’t do any back flips.

On the other side, RJ wasn’t amazing, but he was good enough to win today. Besides Manny and Graff taking him deep, the Unit pitched well and yet he STILL managed to moan and groan about every call that didn’t go his way. Every time he was behind in the count he would GLARE back at the umpire until Flaherty got him to clam down. What is he? A 7 foot baby? “Don’t cry RJ. You’ll get him next time.”

This game was broadcast on FOX and as everyone knows, that ALWAYS adds to the (dis)pleasure. I was hoping to catch it alone and in peace, but unfortunately I was joined by Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. The buffalo chicken sandwich I was eating is much smarter than these two goobers. You might remember them from the ALCS and World Series last year. They were the guys openly rooting for the Yankees. It didn’t change much today. As an added twist, FOX decided to cut away from the game to show picture-in-picture “tense” situations in the White Sox/Cleveland game. Both times this happened the Red Sox were batting and need runs badly. Was I treated to that drama? NOPE! FOX knew I wanted to squint at Tony Graffanino stealing second and have a real clear view of Co-Co Crisp striking out. I can’t wait to put up with this crap all throughout the playoffs. YIPPIE!

So it all comes down to Schilling vs Wright. Just win tomorrow and be done with it. I don’t want to beg for a Cleveland loss and a backdoor into the playoffs anymore than I want a one game scare-fest in Fenway on Monday. Do it here and now. Cowboy up, Believe, Keep the Faith, Why Not Us Again, Keep Your Sox On, Whatever. Just win it.