Monday, September 29, 2003

Games 160-162 - Red Sox (or, maybe, PawSox)

Red Sox 7, Devil Rays 2
Rays 5, Red Sox 4
Rays 3, Red Sox 1
Final Record: 95-67, AL Wild Card Winner

About the only drama in the final games of the season was whether Bill Mueller could hold off Manny Ramirez and Derek Jeter to win the AL batting championship. Yankee fans screamed bloody murder when the Sox sat Mueller in the meaningless final game of the season, but c'mon - what's more important, "defending" a batting championship lead, or making certain that the vital cogs of the team are healthy for the postseason? The point was rendered moot when Jeter went 0-3 against Baltimore. So Billy Mueller, Professional Hitter, is your AL Batting Champion. You could've made a lot of money on that in Vegas before the season started.

I wrote - several times - in this space that I didn't care how the Sox made the playoffs, as long as they did, and as long as Pedro was healthy when the postseason started. The Sox did, and he is, so let the games begin. I cannot remember a postseason that dawned as wide open as this one. I believe that any of the 8 teams that open the playoffs this week can legitimately win the World Series, and yes, that includes the Boston Red Sox.

Pedro goes tomorrow against Tim Hudson, in a game that begins at 10:00 EST. Crikey, I'll be firing up a pot of coffee to see me through the wee hours in this one. ESPN knows that Red Sox fans would have watched this one at 3:00 AM, if need be, so late night be damned. Postseason Pedro is a thing to behold, but Tim Hudson's pretty damn good himself. This series boils down to the league's best offense against the league's best defense. Them that knows about this stuff say that pitching wins championships. Here's hoping that "they" didn't factor in an offense as good as Boston's.

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