Catching up with the unstoppable win machine that is the New England Patriots. Yesterday was my bridal shower, you see, and I can't exactly blow that off even if it is the first Patriots game of the season.
Thankfully--*fanfare!*--I have TiVo! Thus I could watch the finer points of the game and also finally turn in another post over at MVN:
All day it’s been the same around the water cooler. Randy Moss this, and Randy Moss that. Did you see Randy Moss? That one long pass from Brady? Did you see his touchdown celebration? Did you see Randy Moss yesterday? Holy Cow!
I’m the last person who’ll deny that Moss was impressive. He appears to have hands of flypaper and feet like winged Mercury. Like the best athletes and dancers, he seems most comfortable in the air, and so light on his feet that it’s as if with each step he comes down to touch the ground, rather than pushing himself up against the Earth’s gravity.
Never let anyone tell you I am not impressed by Randy Moss.
But the real key to the victory over the Jets actually wasn’t Randy Moss. It wasn’t Tom Brady, either, though both of them were, of course, necessary. It wasn’t Adalius Thomas or Wes Welker or Lawrence Maroney, though all of the above also looked polished and impressive.
The reasons we won that game yesterday, and won it so decisively, were in the details, below the surface glitz of the marquee names on the roster. (Continue reading about unstoppable win machine that is the Patriots...you know you want to. Just press the 'back' button when you're done.)
So anyway, I fibbed a bit in the title. I did end up, also through the magic of TiVo, catching up in vivid Technicolor with the travesty that was the ending to tonight's Sox game, which came along right on the heels of one of the most spectacular double plays I've ever seen.
The ball came off the bat of Brendan Harris, the spanking of a meaty pitch from Mike Timlin coming with a crack serious enough to have me moaning "Oh, no..." out loud as it headed for the center-field wall. Coco Crisp leapt at the last moment, skinning his right arm on the screen in the wall but fielding the ball cleanly, then pitching forward from his back leg, got the ball in one smooth motion of throwing and landing to Alex Cora, who immediately gunned a strike to Kevin Youkilis at first base.
In the meantime a panicked Delmon Young was running full-bore back to first. He'd already rounded second as the ball soared toward Crisp in the outfield, and came hurtling into first a nanosecond after aforementioned relay from Cora to Youkilis. Youkilis caught the ball while falling backwards, hanging on to the precious missile and holding it up in his glove for the umpire to see.
After Delmon Young was called out, the camera showed Coco, looking pained, examining his arms and fingers. When he got the news of the second out, he brightened momentarily, long enough to stick out his forefinger and pinky and make the ceremonious Gesture of the Outs. I have come to believe that there's a weird code out in the field where whoever makes the out, or contributes most to it, is given the honor of then signaling the rest of the fielders how many outs there are. I call this weird because the other fielders must know how many outs there are if they know what guy to look at for the signal. But baseball is weird sometimes. And tonight after a play that did involve two other guys on the roster, the Red Sox field apparently decided Coco Crisp was deserving of the Gesture honors.
Fenway went nuts for at least fifteen minutes. I've heard Fenway make many different sounds in my time, but this time there was a new one. First there was the usual "Yaaahhhh!!" for Coco's catch followed by a gathering wave of chatter as Coco relayed to Cora. Those I've heard before. But then, as Youkilis caught the ball and fell backwards and the umpire made the call, Fenway made a very odd, but clear, collective "Whhhoooaaaaa!!" before dissolving into total bedlam.
And then we were clotheslined by AJ Reyes and his 4.70 ERA. After that magical moment that had me Keeping the Faith, as Papi warmed up on deck to pinch hit and Fenway turned it up to 11, I was certain he was about to jack one out off of Reyes to tie the game. I just knew it. No way could a play like the one that had preserved the one-run margin go to waste on AJ Reyes and the Tampa Bay Freakin' Devil Rays.
But no. Somehow, defying all logic, AJ Reyes and his 4.70 ERA have 23 / 25--correction, 24 / 26--saves. Which makes no sense to me since a save by definition involves a margin of no more than three runs. Somebody help me out here.
However it was accomplished, all three hitters in the inning, who once upon a time have been our big bats--Ortiz, Youkilis and Varitek--went down in order, and we lost. To the fucking. Devil Rays.
And then along comes this turd in the punchbowl for the Patriots.
If anybody needs me, I'll be watching Cinco Ocho unleash Mr. Splitty on some Orioles again. And muttering curses about 4.70 ERAs under my breath.