No game today on account of even more rain, this after the field was ravaged by two games that probably could also have been called. Perfect for me, though, since I still need to get caught up on yesterday's (I didn't see Friday's as I was getting my arse kicked thoroughly by my favorite band at
the Tweeter Center Great Woods).
I love the walkoff. I really do. Do not get me wrong--I LOVE the walkoff. In fact, as I watched Ortiz do his postgame interview, that bicycle chain of diamonds around his neck, that smile on his face, saying, "You got some weather coming in here, so you don't want to be here much longer..." I said, "It's like he's God. Like he decided to intervene so people didn't have to sit in the rain anymore."
And then Steve pointed out that it was also probably because he and Manny had reservations at Kow Loon at 6 pm. Julia's husband Geoff made a hilarious gesture in imitation of what an impatient Manny was doing in the dugout (oh, we were with A.R. Julia btw).
"God knows," Steve said in his best Manny-voice, "I'm not gonna get no lo mein with Pedro coming next week, mang." Which called upon a previous IBW scenario we cooked up years ago in which we concluded Manny sometimes strikes out on purpose because Pedro is eating his lo mein from the order that just came in to the clubhouse.
So yes. We loved the walkoff. David Ortiz makes us happy about life.
But Jonathan Papelbon.
THAT was the real highlight yesterday--the way Jonathan made clear that, beauteous as he's been, we hadn't even come CLOSE to making him really break a sweat until this late date in June.
It's pretty much impossible to pick a favorite from among the mighty swinging strikeouts Jonathan racked up in the course of 2 1/3 innings of flawless relief. Although if pressed, I'd have to say it would be the three straight heaters to Pat Burrell, all of which Burrell swung at from the heels, after an intentional walk to Bobby Abreu to load the bases with two outs in a top of the ninth I don't think I'll ever forget.
But--you don't want to overlook the bottom of the tenth, in which for openers Papelbon set Ryan Howard and Aaron Rowand spinning like tops in quick succession.
If it seems like Papi can decide when a game is over any time he wants, it seems too like Jonathan can yank a batter's body into motion as if he's holding marionette strings.
He is so dominant that it's like he's a new, more evolved improvement on the pitching species, cutting his teeth on helpless Neanderthals. And I'll never get tired of watching that, although sometimes it seems almost a cruel thing to enjoy.
So yes, we love the walkoff--suffice to say it was an embarrassment of riches. But it was Jonathan who was truly the hero and the virtuoso yesterday.