Sunday, October 19, 2008

Calling on the Ghost of the Bambino to Smote the Red Sox

Seriously, can we get a little help here? The Rays were seven outs away on Thursday night of reaching their first World Series. We already had the Red Sox obituary 90% written when Boston came back from a 7-0 deficit to force a game 5.

Then it was Josh Beckett last night, fighting off a strained oblique, to hold the Rays to two runs on four hits in five innings. Let us make this clear- we don't like Beckett, but he's gained our respect. Something his big mouthed teammate with the ketchupy sock will never get from us. Beckett says he's not hurt, but he clearly is. He doesn't have to point out to the media how much he aches and what he has to do to compensate for it or how big his bowel movement was that morning. He just goes and pitches, and he's become one of the best big game pitchers in baseball.

Another big veteran on this Sox team, which is John Sterling's words, "gutty" and "gritty", is catcher Jason Varitek. The Sox captain could very well be playing his last days in a Red Sox uniform. He's a free agent to be and wants a Jorge Posada like contract (5 years). But Varitek hasn't hit in a month of Sundays. He still calls a great game, but swings a wiffle ball bat against 95-mph fastballs. But last night Varitek reached into the past and hit a James Shields delivery into the seats in right field to put the Sox ahead for good 3-2.

A Jason Bartlett throwing error contributed to an insurance run and then the biggest difference, besides experience, between these two teams came to the forefront. The Red Sox were able to send out Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson, and Jon Papelbon to combine for four hitless, scorelss innings to even the series up at three games apiece.

The finale is tonight at the Trop with Jon Lester facing Matt Garza. We don't have to tell you who we think will win tonight's game. Now if some spectral force could have an impact...

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