Friday, August 15, 2003

Game 121 - Red Sox, or Just When I Thought I Was Out...

Red Sox 4, A's 2 (10)
Record: 70-51

Holy rollercoaster of emotions, Batman! I was a grumpy, bitchy, pissed off Sox fan when I left my office last night. The Sox were trailing, 2-1, in the 7th inning after scratching out 3 lousy hits against Ted "Human Crap Sack" Lilly (I mean that in the most affectionate way possible). I got home and turned on the TV just in time to see Johnny Damon single in the top of the 10th to put runners on 1st and 3rd.

"Sweet. They tied it up.", I said to myself, out loud, and then headed into the bathroom to, y'know, drop the brown kids off at the pool. I had turned the volume way up so I could listen while I worked, so I heard the announcers describe the collision between Terance Long and Eric Byrnes that knocked Byrnes off balance just enough to allow Gabe Kapler to beat his throw home. Significant karmic implications on that play, as it was Long who made a spectacular leaping grab to rob Manny of a game-winning homer last season - a grab that signalled the beginning of the end of the Sox' playoff run.

I watched the Sox score one more on a bad error by Eric Chavez (hey! another team has a crappy defensive effort - nice) and tried really hard to pay attention to both my wife and the game while eating dinner during the bottom of the 10th. B.H. Kim's incident-free work in the last of the 10th iced the game, and more fist pumps ensued. I even taught my daughter how to do one, though her effort looked a lot more like Popeye's uppercut than the Tiger Woods action I try to recreate.

This was a massive, huge, enormous, gigantic win, both because it put the Sox back in the lead for the Wild Card and because it was a kick in the groin for the A's. Oakland had to believe that they would do no worse than 3-1 in this series after taking the first two games, and the Sox went out and beat Mark Mulder and scrapped back to win this game. Manny Ramirez' epic 10-pitch at-bat in the top of the 9th culminated with a monster tater - his second in as many games - and broke the A's spirit. Man, I love having that guy on the team.

Now three in Seattle, where the pitching matchups actually favor the Sox after tonight. If the Sox can take 2 of 3 they'll head back to a heroes' welcome in Beantown.

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