Go Ahead Boys, Break Some Lights
When it rains, it pours.
Schilling struggled early, then settled in to join Roger Clemens, Kenny Rogers and Jason Schmidt in the 10-win club. Manny and Ortiz...as Sam Horn kept saying post-game, "Ka-powwwwwww..." Mike Timlin and "Foulkie" were lights out, and it looks like Andy and I really will have to write that heavy-metal ode to Mark Bellhorn. Fewer strikeouts and LOB all around.
Figures that this would be the game I'd miss most of due to errand-running for my new apartment.
I was watching, however, when Manny and Nomar got back-to-back ground-rule doubles to take the lead in the third (hopefully the harbinger of the 3-4-5-6 of Ortiz, Manny, Nomar and Trot starting to click). And I was watching in the bottom of the eighth as the Sox piled four more on to an 8-3 lead.
During the third inning I had come into my parents' house and my dad was cursing as he turned on the game to find the Sox down 3-0. "Those assholes," he said as he headed back into the kitchen. "Those bums."
I sat down in the living room to watch as Ortiz struck out swinging at a low-and-inside pitch (his biggest weakness), and the umpire made two horseshit strike calls on Manny in a row with the bases loaded. It was starting to be the same old song.
But then, as is Manny's way on occasion, he drove his double into the bleachers as if to prove a point. As I was clapping for Manny's hit, my dad shouted from the other room, "Oh, of course now you love them. Now they're great."
"Hey," I shouted, "They're doing what they're goddamn well supposed to do. When they do that, I'm happy."
I still don't think that's unreasonable.
As Tom Caron put it on the postgame show, "If you do that two days out of three, everybody's happy. It's when you do it one out of three or one out of four, it's a different story."
So. Looking forward. The next week, as YFSF points out, will be big:
The Yanks have three against the Mets, three against Boston, and then three more at Shea. For the Sox, it's three against the Phils, the Yanks series, and then Atlanta (and then Oakland). Could the next week go a long way toward shaping the rest of the season? If the Yanks and Sox battle evenly, or if the Yanks slump, the second half will be set up for a highly competitive race. If the Sox falter, they might easily find themselves 10 games back by the break - a lot of ground to cover.
Finally winning a series--against a good team like Philadelphia, no less--is a huge confidence-booster for the upcoming series with the Yankees. Plus, the Sox (and all of Boston) get pysched up when we face the MFYs, so despite the Yankees' often devastating offense, I remain cautiously, conflictedly optimistic.
You see, part of me knows that the Yankees' starting pitching is less than stellar. Yet part of me wants to pitch a fit every time I see Mo Rivera come out of the bullpen. And that Tanyon Sturtze guy...I'm dimly aware of him, which is impressive since I make it a point not to pay attention to the Yankees unless we play them.
Part of me knows that the Yankees will have a chip on their shoulder after the way we kicked the crap out of them earlier in the season, but another part of me knows that chip is laughable compared to how we feel after Game 7.
Then there's this from Theo, as reported on the official site:
Despite the less-than-marginal deficit to the Yankees, the Sox, at the start of play on Sunday, had scored more runs and allowed fewer than their archrivals.
With 392 runs, the Sox were tied with Texas for third place in the American League. The 340 runs allowed by the Sox were also third, trailing Oakland and Seattle. The Yankees, despite playing two fewer games than Boston, had allowed five more runs.
What did this indicate to Epstein?
"I think they're finding ways to win games right now that we're not finding ways to win," said Epstein. "What's frustrating has been our inefficiency. Our last four victories have all basically been blowouts. Right now, we're not finding a way to win close ballgames. We don't have a good record in one-run games (5-8) and that's got to change. A lot of that falls on our defense and our baserunning, -- it has to get better and I think they will."
As usual, it'll probably be a freakin' epic. Too bad there aren't any bald old fat guys to bounce off the ground this time if things start to go awry.