October 18, 2008

ALCS 6: Red Sox 4, Rays 2

Red Sox - 011 002 000 - 4 10  0
Rays - 100 010 000 - 2 4 1
Sometime during the seventh inning on Thursday night, I made peace with the fact that the Red Sox 2008 season had come to an end.

But then Boston came back and actually won the game. So while more than a few game threaders were highly anxious throughout Game 6 tonight, I was totally (and surprisingly) calm the entire nine innings. This might as well have been a March 20 spring training game.

After Tampa Bay had tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth, the Red Sox struck back with two outs. Jason Varitek homered to right field (!) -- it was a good thing our young dog was outside at the time, as our sudden yelling in the last two games has freaked her out. Coco Crisp singled, "Small Game" Shields was yanked, Dustin Pedroia reached on an error and David Ortiz singled in Crisp to give the Sox a 4-2 lead.

After Beckett battled through five innings (5-4-2-1-3, 78), Hideki Okajima threw two scoreless innings (allowing only a two-out walk in the sixth), Justin Masterson took care of the eighth (a leadoff HBP was marooned at first) and Jonathan Papelbon needed only eight pitches to get rid of the Rays in the ninth.


It's Lester/Garza on Sunday night -- for the American League pennant.

***

BR Preview: Josh Beckett / James Shields

Fact: Tampa Bay is three two games away from elimination.

We tried to warn Joe Maddon that "when you have your target lined up in your sights, you fucking fire. You don't stop and check if your shoelaces are tied."

But Mr. 9=8 refused to listen. And now -- thanks to a clutch effort from nearly the entire Red Sox team -- his team has its back to the wall and assigned the task of facing Josh Beckett who must be burning to atone for his poor performance in Game 2.

Cliff Floyd:
We don't go up there and think, Now we've got to beat Beckett — no one cares about Beckett. Face him the same way you face everybody else. If anything, Beckett should be worried about us. We just beat him [in Game 2].
Yeah, that's right. Piss him off. Chap his ass real good.

David Ortiz, on Beckett:
This is a big game, dog. I've got the feeling that he's going to bring it.
And on the other side of the field?

The only kind of "Big Game" Shields will be is the kind Beckett and Timlin hunt in the off-season.

The Herald's Steve Buckley describes Ortiz "navigating the media throng that had assembled in front of his locker late yesterday afternoon at Tropicana Field, zigging and zagging to avoid a cameraman, bobbing and weaving to sidestep a guy with a microphone. ... 'I'll talk tomorrow with my bat.'"

According to Win Probability stats, when Justin Masterson got Carlos Pena to GIDP and end the top of the ninth, Boston's chances of winning the game increased 22% -- from 42% to 65%. It was the third most important play of the night. Ortiz's three-run bomb increased the team's chances of a win from 2% to only 9%. So even though it closed the gap from 7-1 to 7-4 -- which got everyone thinking a comeback was truly possible -- the chances of a team getting at least four more runs and winning the game was still highly unlikely.

Greg Agami of Cool Standings told the Globe that after trailing 7-0 after six inning of Game 5, the Red Sox had a 0.1 percent - 1 in 1,000 - chance to win the series. By comparison, in the middle of the ninth inning of 2004 ALCS 4, Boston had a 2.4%. That still seems high to me, but they trailed by only one run at that point -- not seven with a mere seven outs to go -- and had a 50% shot at winning each of Games 5, 6 and 7.

J.P. Howell, recalling the plane ride back to Tampa:
We started joking, "Don't be scared of Game 6." That's what we kept saying. We were bummed out. It was a terrible way to lose a game.
***

JimBoSox9m, SoSH, October 17, 2008, 12:47 AM:
I just don't understand baseball. I don't get it. I've spent my lifetime devoting considerable mental resources to understanding my favorite sport, and I have no fucking clue how they just did that. ... Speechless, thoughtless, struck blind and deaf. Exhilarated, exuberant, overjoyed. What it comes down to? As long as the Sox still have baseball to play, it is still summer in my soul.
Savin Hillbilly, SoSH, October 17, 2008, 1:12 AM:
Just got back from Fenway....Holy SHIT that was amazing. Like the best sex you've ever had, only a 35,000-way.

***

It worked in 2004. It worked in 2007. It'll work in 2008.
One. One game. One win. That's all.

Not two. One.

Tonight.

867 comments:

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phil said...

Gotta love the closeup as the camera zooms in on Youk's beard.

L-girl said...

What Ofer said. I totally expect to win tomorrow night.

Jere said...

Papelbon with how many scoreless career postseason innings now? 25? But Mo will always be the greatest just cuz you couldn't ever do better than he did. (psst..unless you give up ZERO runs)

SoSock said...

I think Sager should wear Red Sox Red tomorrow!

A Conformer said...

And we have Lester going against the Spitter. Sounds good to me.

Dr. Jeff said...

Thanks everyone. Great game, great series, see you tomorrow.

Amy said...

So who had the Sox in 7? I had six, but am glad to have Game 7.

L-girl said...

Phil, we were just saying that! I said, if you look too closely at Youk's beard, it's very scary.

Amy said...

Crying Rays fan. I am usually pretty empathetic, but not tonight!

Jere said...

oh this is awesome, TC and Rem making Steve Harvey jokes, and they have a radio on their desk

L-girl said...

Leave it to Jere to bring up Mariano...

(PS: Papelbon has not yet achieved what Mariano has. That is just a fact.)

Jere said...

seriously, take it from a Sox fan: you don't fucking CRY until the season is over.

efd said...

man, i wish i could see the NESN postgame!

efd said...

seriously, take it from a Sox fan: you don't fucking CRY until the season is over.

well, if you're a Rays fan...

Amy said...

My daughter just called from a VERY noisy bar near Fenway. She says the place was going nuts (as was she). I could barely hear her.

Jere said...

L: My point was Yankee fans have already given Mo the all-time best tag. Mike Francesa has said "you couldn't do better than that." And all I'm saying is, Pap could throw a hundred scoreless innings, and they'd still act like it's a total joke to mention them in the same breath.

L-girl said...

Hey, Rays fans have nothing to cry about. They should be damn proud. And just be happy they won the ALDS cause that's all they're getting!

Amy said...

I can give some running commentary on NESN. Right now just Remy and TC blabbing.

vrictare said...

RED SOX!

vrictare said...

Hey, who was it with the "Mojo rising" sign that TBS kept showing?

Amy said...

Maddon on now. We pitched well but did not offensive perfomrance we have been getting.

L-girl said...

Right now, he is the all-time best. Someone else may become the all-time best one day, but no one has done that yet. I love Papelbon, but he has a long way to go before he can be compared to Mariano.

redsock said...

re fruitbat: let's check back with bot in 7 years. i'd be cool with him being 75% of mo.

why bring up the yanks? you're like nyy fans bringing up boston out of the blue (because they are obsessed with us). fuck the yanks. they did nothing this year.

Amy said...

Maddon not looking to the past (Game 5) looking to Game 7.

Asked about Tek: Maddon says he is the heart and soul of that team. So there, JOSers! :)

A Conformer said...

Oh, and BTW, the Sox are still winning the bullpen battle by far.

L-girl said...

Hey guess what? WE'RE GOING TO GAME SEVEN!!!!!!

efd said...

The Red Sox have won one game 95 times this year in the regular season, and 6 times in the post season.

Now they only need to do it once.

L-girl said...

Oh well, we can't argue with Maddon, can we? :)

Amy said...

Maddon disagrees with suggestion that their playing was off tonight.

efd said...

haha, thanks for the NESN updates Amy.

Maddon obviously doesn't see as many Sox games as the rest of us. ;)

Amy said...

Back to Remy and TC.

L-girl said...

Oh man, I have work tomorrow. This was great you guys! See you tomorrow!!!

YAY

Joe Grav said...

That was a good night.

Jere said...

"why bring up the yanks?"

because I love the thought of Yankee fans right now, after all those years. I'm not gonna miss the chance to cherish this.

efd said...

goodnight, L-girl!

Amy said...

Francona on now: How much of a factor was the delay with Beckett?

Beckett did not complain, but if he struggled, we wanted to give Javy time to warm up. Like a rain delay.

How big was Tek's HR? I don't think I could think of anything more appropriate. It was not just a big run, and as hard as he's worked, it meant a lot to everybody.

Amy said...

Thought Josh did a very good job. Pitched with a lot of courage.

Amy said...

Health of Beckett: He threw with a lot of guts. Not vintage Josh Beckett. NOt easy for him at times.

Amy said...

Why was MDC throwing? No reason not to. If something goes wrong, you're picking out your Halloween costume.

SoSock said...

Eckersley - said before the game that if the Rays did not win game 6, they would NOT win game 7. Says he's still sticking with that statement :)

Amy said...

Is anyone wanting me to do this? Beckett at the mic next.

efd said...

If something goes wrong, you're picking out your Halloween costume.

Haha, I like that a lot better than "playing golf."

SoSock said...

Amy - I like it, but no need to do so just for me.

Amy said...

I am watching anyway, so I can type if you (and anyone else) is hanging around. Otherwise, I will just watch!

A Conformer said...

OK, I'm gonna celebrate with a glass of Macallan. Good night, all. Tomorrow we're winning game 7!

Angry Steve said...

Fact: Tampa Bay is ONE game away from elimination!

:D

efd said...

Amy, thanks, TBS is picking up most of the same comments from the post-game press conference so no need to post on my account... my comment was mostly because I'd rather see Remy after these games than the TBS guys.

SoSock said...

For the 2nd time in a row - TBS comes back from commercial just in time for a player (Beckett this time) to say Thank You, and get up from the table.
Idiots.
I despise Fox, but I'll be glad to get to them after this charade.

Amy said...

Justin Masterson with Heidi: Biggest factor in the win was Beckett giving 5 innings. Offense gave us 4 runs. Defense spectacular.

Asked about Tek's HR: Huge tremendous part of the team. Great to see him crush that.

Bullpen: Always great for bullpen to carry on Beckett's tone.

Amy said...

Remy says Pap looked a little fatigued. 91 on his fb.

SoSock said...

mmmm....
Heidi and masterba..., I mean, son.
:)

Amy said...

I am waiting to see Heidi and Tek. Then I wll go to sleep.

Amy said...

Beckett's press conf coming up on NESN, EFD.

SoSock said...

TBS showing a commercial for a Cheech and Chong Roast.
Now that could be very funny.
Not necessarily will be, but could be.

Amy said...

My eyes are starting to burn (and close), so I have about 5 minutes left.

efd said...

I hear you, Amy. Besides, we need to rest up for the late-night celebration tomorrow!

Amy said...

OK, I will do Josh (!) and then go to bed. (SHould be the other way...)

The delay: The delay didn't bug me that much. Shields had the worse end of that deal, Strike zone was pretty consistent.

Cliff Floyd: Threw him a sinker.

That's it (not much).

OK, good night all. SEE YOU TOMORROW!

efd said...

thanks Amy, goodnight!

And goodnight to everyone else. See you tomorrow night!

SoSock said...

Nice Christopher Walken Cowbell reference :)

Night all!

redsock said...

Eckersley - said before the game that if the Rays did not win game 6, they would NOT win game 7. Says he's still sticking with that statement :)

Well, duh, Eck!

I gotta wake up at 6:30 for work -- switching shifts so I can be home at 8 PM -- so the salon is closing down very soon.

***

FKR: YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE? ... YOU'RE IN THE JUNGLE BABY!! AND YOU'RE GONNA DIE!!!!

s1c said...

Fragging computer at work,

Amy - I had Sox in 7 games because it always goes 7.

Remy - Coco's bunt single came during the Steve Harvey Hour!!!

Remy and TC just having fun in the studio.

redsock said...

I like baseball.

9casey said...

Never can you have Big Game associated with you when you give up a dong to Jason Varitek......

Good for Tek and Good for Coco ..........Coco could have shit this season away a long time ago and been a complete idiot, instead he was a pro and waited his turn.....Bullpen awesome....Josh Beckett being called gutty and tough all over the place.....I won't be able to actually put that into perspective until I know what is actually wrong with him.....Fuck it game 7

Jere said...

I'm gonna go ahead and bring up the Yanks again:

Joba DUI!

Also, NESN still ripping TBS, showing Steve Harvey as part of the highlights of the game, etc. Awesome.

Zenslinger said...

Well, it was fun. I heard this game on the radio going to a memorial for a Bar friend, then on TV at the memorial a little, then on radio again, then at The Bar...

Where I will watch the whole of game 7, uninterrupted, come what may.

Gotta think we have a good chance.

Go go go go go go go

L-girl said...

The morning after...

OK, I will do Josh (!) and then go to bed.

Just think, this isn't Andy - it's Amy!

If something goes wrong, you're picking out your Halloween costume.

Ha, this is great.

I had Sox in 7 games because it always goes 7.

I had Sox in 7 because the Rays are a good team. Not good enough, unfortunately for them, and not tough enough, not Sox enough, but still, 7 games makes it interesting. Then if I remember correctly, we sweep the World Series.

And finally

Never can you have Big Game associated with you when you give up a dong to Jason Varitek......

So sad, and so true. :)

See you all in 12 hours!!!

Amy said...

LOL, Laura. That's what the release of a Sox victory after four hours of tension will do to me! Turn me into Andy...

Can NOT wait for tonight's game.

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