Friday, September 17, 2004

Game 145 - Red Sox
On to the Main Event

Red Sox 11, Devil Rays 4
Record: 88-57

Here's today's headline in the New York Post: "The Red Sox are Coming", which is featured prominently above a cartoon of George Steinbrenner riding a horse. Two things immediately come to mind: a) yeah, it's true what they claim - Yankee fans really don't care much about the Sox. Sure. And, b) good thing cartoonists are available, because any live-action picture of Steinbrenner and a horse (at least of the hind part) would have left too much doubt about which was which.

The Sox followed my recipe last night nearly perfectly in drubbing the Rays. Sure, I would have liked to see Francona lift Schilling with an 11-1 lead after 7, and yes, it would have been nice to see Scott Williamson instead of Terry Adams, but I'm not quibbling. Schilling got his 20th win last night, and though his ERA climbed slightly to 3.40 because of the 3 earned runs he allowed in the 8th, he's still be everything Sox brass had hoped when they went after him last winter. He's been the glue of the pitching staff, and deserves to finish no worse than 2nd in the AL Cy Young voting. (He should lose to Minnesota's Johan Santana - who's been otherwordly in the season's 2nd half, but better men than I have lost money betting on the Baseball Writers Association of America to make the correct decision.)

So it comes down to this - 17 games to play, 6 against the Yankees, 3 games back in the loss column. By my reckoning, the Sox must win 4 of the 6 against New York to have any chance of winning the division. And with the way the Twins are playing, winning the division takes on greater significance, because the Wild Card entrant looks to catch Minnesota in the first round. Santana and Radke in the first 2 games of the ALDS, on the carpet in Minneapolis, with 60,000 or so bratwurst-addled towel-wavers bleating their midwestern lungs out is not a recipe for good times for the Sox, especially if season-ending events were to force Derek Lowe to pitch either of those games.

All three games against the Yanks will be televised, which means that I'll be going home after work this evening and hanging padding in strategic areas of my living room to protect the walls, furniture, children, and cat from my deranged behavior. The wife is big enough to fend for herself.

Of course, is calling for biblical rain in the Bronx through tomorrow. Let's play 3 on Sunday, anyone? That forecast, and that alone, should suffice to keep my angst at sub-Lewis Blackian levels for this afternoon.

And finally, for Kyle: the Nation can't afford a schism between our noble houses. We must find common ground, lest our sworn enemy gain succor from our division. What is it you kids are saying these days? Much love, and Sox wins to you, sir. And please forgive me if that saying is so last week. By definition, I'm soooo last decade.

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