Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oh Captain, My Captain

Matt Stone, Boston Herald
Jason Varitek hits a solo home run in the sixth inning.

One more game. One more win.

Last night was a great win for the Red Sox, but it was not fun. It was tense. And it started out with a cable disaster, as TBS didn't have the game on. They were showing a rerun of some not-funny show. We were in full panic mode. Checked Fox, the nets, ESPN, no game. Ran to computer, no video. My friend is on the floor trying to find a radio station -- we are lost in the wilds of Central Mass., lousy radio. Then after about 10 minutes TBS finally runs the technical difficulties crawl. Finally find the game at 1280 AM and THEY STARTED WITHOUT US! They couldn't postpone the game until the fans could see it? We hear that Upton has hit a home run, but don't know if anyone was on and the score.

Finally, picture and we learn that it is only 1-0. Much cursing of TBS. If our curses work, Ted Turner is going to hell. Go and take your lousy announcers with you. (OK, you can leave Ron Darling behind.)

The game itself was tight. We were tight. Beckett was pitching like a pitcher, not a young fireball, not trying (probably unable) to blow by hitters with his diminished fastball. Most of the scoring came from one run homers that landed in the front row. We kept leaving men on base, 12 in total, which made everything all the more ominous. Wasted opportunities, leaving the door open for the Rays.

When Varitek got up with two outs in the 6th I (dramatically) announced, oh, just call the inning and take the field; the guy's 0-for-the-series. And Varitek promptly hit the homer! I took full credit. And Crisp gets on, Bartlett commits an error (which ends up wiping out his HR) and The Large Father singles in an insurance rune. But even with a lead we were still quiet. Could this really be happening? Yes, it is. Okajima looked like 2007 Okajima. Masterson put on one runner but settled down after John Farrell came out to the mound and talked to him. And Pap was Pap, Mr. I Do Not Give Up Postseason Runs. Ever. shut down the Rays and lifted his index finger as Youkilis caught the final out. One more win. One more game.

The Red Sox are 9-1 in elimination games, including 9-0 in ALCS elimination games, with Terry Francona as manager. Let's make it 10-1 tonight.

Boston Globe Photo Gallery: Game 6 ALCS

Boston Globe Photo Gallery: The scene in St. Pete

Boston Herald Photo Gallery: Game 6 ALCS

Boston Globe: For Varitek, 'C' stands for clutch
Captain hits crucial blow

Bob Ryan, Boston Globe: Captain deserves a big salute

Boston Herald: Homer is good sign for Sox
’Tek adds to crazy run

But on those occasions when Varitek produced anything even remotely above average on offense, the Red Sox were nearly unbeatable. They went 9-0 when he recorded a two-out RBI with runners in scoring position, 11-0 when he recorded a two-out RBI of any kind, and 29-5 (.853) when he drove in a run, period.

Boston Herald: Storybook ending
Time to write off the Rays

Nancy Lane, Boston Herald
Jonathan Papelbon celebrates the Red Sox win.

One more game for all the marbles, baby. One more game.

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