Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Games 137 and 138: Giddy

Final Scores:

Game 137: Boston Red Sox 1, Toronto Blue Jays 6
Game 138: Boston Red Sox 3, Chicago White Sox 2

Robin’s response to yesterday’s game: “it’s not apathy…what’s you call it when you just don’t care? Oh, that’s right. That is apathy.” Anyway, that’s all we’ll say about game 137.

Tonight though, that’s something worth talking about. Did anyone think before tonight that Julian Tavarez, one half of the now disbanded Wonder Twins, would get a standing ovation in Boston? I mean, maybe before the season started (although I seem to recall Robin muttering curses about Tavarez back in March and it wasn’t like he was so impressive against Boston in 2004), but certainly not since late April. But there he was tonight, doing a spot start for Curt Schilling, throwing out of his mind, yelling at his infielders to throw to the bases where they were, in fact, already throwing and in general having a great time. It was something to behold, especially from a guy who’s had, at best, a mixed bag year with the Sox. Ok, I’m being kind. There were many times this year I wanted to kill Tavarez with my bare hands, as he gave up the one run he couldn’t give up. But tonight…well, tonight it was beautiful.

Plus, we had something close to a normal lineup tonight. Not close enough to get the opportunities we could have had off of lucky Jon Garland, but good enough to knock in the first run in the sixth when a timely Nixon (!) RBI single drove in Youkilis after a double play nearly killed another rally. And good enough to drive in the tying run in the ninth when Lowell hit double number 40 of the year, scoring the intentionally-walked Manny. Oh and, just to cap it off, good enough for Carlos Pena (who hasn’t learned the Big Papi trick of flipping off your helmet before you get to the plate to avoid a concussion of joy) of all people to come in as a replacement for Kevin Youkilis in the top of the tenth and then lead off the bottom of the tenth with a solo shot to right, ending the game. It was surreal, it was magical, it was a pretty sweet way to end Labor Day weekend. Sure, we’re nine games back of New York in the AL East and six games back of Minnesota in the Wild Card. But as Varitek told the press in a conference before the game, Tavarez pointed out that it’s only six games…and anything can happen. For some reason, I still believe.

Tomorrow night, Javier Vasquez versus Kason Gabbard, who you remember from such appearances as, “I’m still looking for my first major league victory” and “I’d really like to record a win, please.” GO (Red) SOX!!!