Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Game 8: The Return of the Awesome

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 5, Detroit Tigers 0

In retrospect, I'm not sure why Robin was worried; how could the Sox not win today? To quote myself from the last ring presentation in Fenway (oh, wonderful self-referentialism): "Marvelous. But then again, with the jubilant mood in Fenway, full of confidence, how could things go any different? Heck, half of Boston's sports heroes from past 50 years were in the Park; the amount of pro-Sox karma in the place practically guaranteed a win itself." The Sox outdid themselves this time, if possible: Bobby Orr, John Havlicek, Bill Russell, Tedy Bruschi, assorted other sports legends, championship trophies from all four major sports...the Tigers were done before they even started, and the game was just a pleasantry for the fans. And that's not even thinking about the enormous karmatic debt that every Sox fan paid off today by standing and cheering their hearts out for Bill Buckner, throwing that first pitch to Dewey Evans. So that was good, then.

Then there's Dice-K, achieving the dictates of the Three Start Rule with effortless ease. I don't know if he's finally adjusted to pitching in the MLB, or he's established the correct lines of communication with Varitek, or he's just on a hot streak right now and we're in for some ugly surprises at some near-future date, and I don't care: he's given up eight hits, three runs, and nine walks in a bit over eighteen innings, he's struck out 22 batters, he's the awesome right now. Booya.

Meanwhile...the batting. Oh, the batting. Yes, five men in white and red crossed the plate today - one of them helped by one of the Tigers' two errors - but the long and the short of things is that the Sox won today because Dice-K outpitched the Gambler, and Boston's bullpen didn't flub things up for the first time since Oakland. Sure, every starter got on base at least once, but the Sox still managed two ground into two double plays and leave 11 men on base, including six who waited in vain in scoring position for that ticket home that never came. In other words, the Tigers were lucky today's score wasn't much, much higher, while the Sox still find themselves in the environs of a slump. I won't dwell on it too much right now - I'm just happy they won - but all of the pistons aren't firing properly quite yet.