The Good News: On a night better suited to a Patriots game, in the 30s and raining so hard by the end the players looked as if they were all standing under shower heads, their jerseys stuck to their sides, that 2007 style Josh Beckett I've had a hankering for? Showed his face at Fenway.
He was aggressive. He was painting the corners. He was swaggering off the field like Mick Jagger after called third strikes to end innings. It was glorious.
In a wild and rainy top of the ninth, the Jonathan Papelbon of old also made an appearance, wielding an electric fastball and setting batters spinning like tops, swinging at air. In particular his final fastball to a hacking BJ Upton, followed by a stone-faced strut off the field more powerful than a thousand fist pumps, had me giddy with Papel-power in a way I haven't been in quite some time.
Meanwhile, the Tek-Beckett Combo continued to make beautiful music together; in addition to Beckett's sharp start, Tek supplied the only Sox run of the game with another solo homer. I hope they leave this battery in place for another few starts at least.
The Bad News: Wade Davis brought his A game last night, too, holding the Sox to just 3 hits. Beckett also let up a run, thanks to "defense" that had me literally throwing things at the television. In particular, Scutaro and Beltre...to the moon. To the moon, I say. Gammons would say in the rain delay show later on that Beckett really should've had a shutout, and "there shouldn't have been a bottom of the ninth."
The Weird News: Unfortunately, the game is not officially in the books yet. After Papelbon's performance in that driving, freezing rain, whatever ham-n-egger the Rays had warming up in the 'pen was given a reprieve, the Sox bats were shelved, and the tarp was rolled out on the field.
The clubs will resume the contest before the start of their game on Saturday night at 7:10 ET. The continuation of Friday's game is governed by the rules of Major League Baseball. In accordance with those rules, the first game of the series must be played to completion before the second game may commence. Tickets for Saturday's game will be valid for both the suspended game and the regularly scheduled contest. Tickets for Friday will no longer be valid.
Guess who's got tickets for tonight (thanks to Kelly O'Connor)? This Masshole, right here. How do you like that?
Meanwhile, the forecast for today and tonight isn't looking great, either:..
P.S. I hate starting off posts with excuses -- "Here's why I haven't written in a couple days." Nobody cares. If I have something to say, and the time to write, I'll say it, if not, it's better to just let it go. But I feel I would be remiss if I didn't at least acknowledge some of the week's other events.
Actually, I'm pretty glad I missed Thursday's debacle -- I was irritated enough just getting the text messages. Judging by the way it appears to have pissed in Paul SF's Wheaties, I feel I dodged a potential Friday-ruining bullet.
And I know that on Monday I was still all, "Give Big Papi a chance," but at this point, given the way some are diagnosing his real problem as psychological, maybe it's better to get him out of these excruciating, futile at-bats for a little while. And it's really, really hard to argue with Jeremy Hermida right now (except, at times, in left field!).