Monday, October 03, 2005

Game 162: Wildcard

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 10, New York Yankees 1

Three times in three years? I'll take it.

Thank God for ESPN and ESPN2 – their presence on the standard cable package allowed Robin and me to gorge ourselves on baseball coverage, switching between the Sox/Yankees on ESPN and Indians/White Sox, Astros/Cubs and Phillies/Nationals on ESPN2 on a literally pitch-by-pitch basis. When you’re stuck between wondering whether or not to watch Big Papi bat or Luis Vizcaino work out of a jam with a Cleveland runner in scoring position and a big bat with the tying run at the plate, you know you’re geeking out.

Schilling made a good effort, helped at first by excellent defense and some luck, until he warmed to the game and started getting hard-hit outs. 6 innings, 8 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and 3 strike outs later he was done, the win firmly in hand thanks to a three run Manny blast in the fourth. After that, the game was essentially irrelevant – the Indians lost for third straight time to Chicago, giving Boston the Wild Card and Torre took out his regulars and started playing scrubs, relinquishing the possibility of the Yankees starting their ALCS against the Angels at home.

Last year, the difference in the season was made in a trade. This year, the difference seems to be having not made a trade and holding on to Manny Ramirez – although David Ortiz had the bigger season, Manny’s contributions, especially since the All-Star Break, certainly helped Big Papi carry the team to the playoffs – .327 batting average, 17 home runs and 52 runs in total over those 56 games. Together, he and Ortiz hit almost a home run a game over the last 22 games and, incredibly enough, increased their offensive output over last year’s totals. Let’s see if they and everyone else can keep it up into the postseason.

Tomorrow afternoon the festivities, a club record three times in three years, begin with Clement versus Contreras in Chicago. GO SOX!!!