Another night in Cleveland, another game blown open in the ninth by a Red Sox bat. This time it was Varitek who did the honors.
But before that happened, it was already a special night, in my opinion, because yet another bushel of the Red Sox farm system crop was harvested, in the person of Jed Lowrie. And I've decided we're totally, totally keeping him.
When they first showed him on TV, I did a quick double-take because I wondered why Dustin Pedroia was taking ground balls at third. Of course, Lowrie isn't quite as pint-sized as DP (who is?)--but there's something remeniscent of the other in each of them. Or maybe it's because I've finally reached the age (woe) when a Sox prospect like Lowrie looks just so, so young and wee.
"All right," I told Jed's image on the TV screen, officially striking up our one-sided conversation. "Perhaps your teammates have told you about what's expected of you in your Red Sox rookie debut.
"Around here," I went on, settling back to give the rook some grizzled-veteran advice, "We don't just expect you not to make a mistake when you first report from Triple A. No, if you look back over the recent rookie debuts from your fellow prospects, you'll find we've come to expect at least one moment of completely ludicrous accomplishment right away.
"For example, you may want to review the rookie debuts of Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis and decide whether or not your skills would best be shown by a) stealing home from second on a passed ball or b) hitting a home run, preferably in your first at-bat.
"Should this not appeal to you, please note that any lackluster debut contributions are to be compensated for at a later date with, for example, a no-hitter (cf. Clay Buchholz), or unprecedented rookie contributions during a World Series (see also, Ellsbury, Pedroia)."
Of course I was being facetious (and okay, I definitely didn't say *quite* all that out loud).
His first at-bat was a bit disappointing given those ludicrous standards...but after that, Lowrie turned right around and transformed what I'd meant facetiously into dead-serious reality, driving in three of the 5 Sox runs on the night, including the go-ahead run twice.
Yes. Jed Lowrie can stay.
P.S. Jacoby Ellsbury, not to be outdone, made a ridiculous game-ending catch somewhere in the first or second row of the right-field boxes. This in turn sent my father's already out-of-control Ellsbury-crush into another orbit, in case anyone was wondering. Personally, it's not the catch I'm still not over, but the noogie that followed.