After lying around all day yesterday doing nothing, I was tired, and I went to bed with Manny Delcarmen pitching and the Red Sox down 2-1. I didn't abandon ship, I want to emphasize. I had just been snoring on the couch for a good hour or so already when I was jarred awake by the commotion over Delcarmen's second K of the inning (forgive me, I don't know which inning), and took that as my cue to go to bed.
A little while later the phone buzzed. And a little while after that, it buzzed again. The second time, it jarred me out of a sound sleep. Thinking it was ringing, I slapped my hand down on it and then flipped it open, where I saw "MLB FINAL Chicago 2 Boston 3 bot 10th". I was mildly regretful I'd missed a walkoff before passing back out again.
But having witnessed the reverse-lock of a Julian Tavarez start firsthand, I wasn't necessarily surprised.
As with last week's Tavarez start, it turned out to be a feel-good game, marked by jaw-dropping defense--especially from Alex Gonzalez, who is out there playing as if his buttocks are literally on fire--and a walkoff from the bottom of the order, in the person of Haverhill's Own Carlos Pena (tm).
As we were frequently reminded at the beginning of the broadcast last night, the last time these teams saw each other, in that 19-inning ball-buster before the All-Star break, they pretty much killed each other. Okay, so that game wasn't the only factor, but neither team has been the same since.
I've gotta admit...after seeing our starters back last night and seeing the team make another rally behind an improbable 6-inning performance from the world's unlikeliest hero, Julian Tavarez, I have hope. Hope that, as the last series against the ChiSox threw us into disarray, maybe this one will bring us back to life.
Yep, thought that sucker was in a coma, but there he is, worming around in my subconscious. Just the tiniest little larval hope.
Meanwhile, Papelbon goes for an MRI today. Keep your fingers crossed--even if you think the Sox are cooked this season, next year also depends on the extent of his injury.
Oh, and happy Papi Returns to the Lineup Day.