Saturday, October 11, 2008

Magic Man. Or Men.

ALCS Game 1: Boston Red Sox 2, Tampa Bay Rays 0

That's one, bitches.

Seriously, though: who else but Daisuke "Magic Man" Matsuzaka can flirt with the unbelievable, taking a no-hitter into the seventh, and do it with four walks? I know we've made our share of Houdini jokes about Lester in the past, harking back to a time when the Man Who Would Be Ace had more close scrapes than Billy Joel's driving record, but Dice-K...well, he takes the cake. Especially when he somehow settles down, finds a groove, and pitches seven innings on 115 pitches after walking the bases loaded in the first inning. Hell, seven innings? It feels like the last time Matsuzaka pitched seven innings, people were insisting that adjustable rate mortgages were a good idea (yes, that was a topical economy joke. We're a versatile bunch).

Then there's Youkilis. The mere mortals around him managed a hit; maybe a walk if they were fortunate. Youkilis had three hits in four chances, knocked in one of Boston's runs, and made Carl Crawford look like a fool, all in one night. Truly we live in fortunate times to have the power of Youkilis on our side, powering our way to victory. I suspect that, Samson-like, he gains strength from the magnificent growth of hair on his face.

Finally: the tag team of Masterson and Okajima, masterfully used - and masterfully performing - in the bottom of the eighth, shutting down the final Tampa Bay threat with a flyout/double play combo that hit the spot so well, we're all still tasting the sweet hours later. It's a good win, folks and a good night. Let's get ready to do it all again tomorrow.