Monday, June 14, 2004

Games 59 through 62 - Red Sox
Blissfully Unaware

Red Sox 9, Padres 3
Red Sox 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 1
Dodgers 14, Red Sox 5
Red Sox 4, Dodgers 1
Record: 37-25

I spent the weekend in complete isolation from the 21st Century, in a place called Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, which is near Erie geographically, and near 1955 economically and culturally. Think Dirty Dancing meets any Bruce Springsteen song from The River, only with more tattoos, fewer teeth, and better mullets. The Hotel Conneaut, once-beautiful, now more sad than anything else, offered one communal television, no in-room telephone lines (and hence, no internet), and - in my family's case - no shower facility in our room. (We used my wife's brother's room to shower, in case you were wondering about our hygiene - and thanks for caring.)

As a result, I know next to nothing from the games played Thursday to Saturday, except for the final scores. I do know that Derek Lowe pitched 7 shutout innings, thanks to the Meadville Tribune's sports section (and I stretch the definition of "section" to its bursting point with that choice of words), and I'm pretty sure the 14-5 result means that Tim Wakefield had another subpar outing. (The box score agrees: 4.1 IP, 8ER, and hey!, Dave McCarty pitched a scoreless 9th.) I've also heard that Curt Schilling hurt his ankle, but have no information upon which to base paranoiac delusions about the season's demise - which won't stop me from harboring such delusions.

I returned home last night at 9:30 or so, after 8+ hours in the car with my two year-old and 3 month-old daughters. Desperate for a beer and some televised baseball, I flipped on the Sox/Dodgers telecast just in time to see Gabe Kapler and Pokey Reese hit back-to-back doubles to plate a combined three runs and give the Sox a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the 4th. Parse that sentence for a moment, and you'll realize that Gabe Kapler and Pokey Reese both clubbed extra-base hits with men on base in the same inning. Make sure you're right with your Creator, because I'm nearly certain that I witnessed one of the Signs of the Apocolypse last night.

I also watched Pedro go 7 innings of 1-run baseball, and saw a human being fly with my own two eyes when Pokey leapt as high as I've ever seen an infielder go to snare a liner off the bat of Dave Roberts. The Dodgers' outfielder was left cursing and clenching his fists, and the Fenway crowd serenaded the Sox' second-baseman with a long and loving chorus of "Pokey...Pokey...Pokey" for the better part of 5 minutes. Reese is hitting .264 and fielding his ass off, fast becoming one of the Nation's beloved spare parts. No other player in the majors, with the possible exception of 6'10" Randy Johnson, would have made the play Reese made to end the 7th. Unbelievable is far too pedestrian a word to begin to describe it.

The Yankees keep winning, scoring 4 in the 12th (nice effort, San Diego, you Oriole-wannabe stiffs) to beat the Padres and win their 16th in 19 games. Sox just need to hang in there at this point, and go on their own surge. Trot Nixon's flying with the team to Colorado, and may play this week. 10-15 more days, and the full roster as envisioned in Spring Training is just about in place. Giddyup.

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