Monday, September 27, 2004

Games 154 & 155 - Red Sox
Symmetry's a Bitch

Red Sox 12, Yankees 5
Red Sox 11, Yankees 4
Record: 92-63

The Yankees may be Pedro Martinez' daddies, but Curt Schilling sure bounced them on his knee like so many toddlers yesterday. Save for one bizarre and uncharacteristic loss of control, Schilling utterly mastered New York, giving up but a single hit and 2 runs in his 7 innings of work.

If you believe in such things (and, as a Red Sox fan you're constitutionally obligated to) the psychological ramifications of the final two games between the Sox and Yankees loom fairly large. Joe Torre waved the white flag in the 7th inning of Sunday's game, liberally substituting for his starters as the Sox built an 11-2 lead. Torre's decision to start Kevin Brown against the Sox may have signaled an even more premature surrender. Derek Jeter 2 errors on a single play (he was only charged with 1, which was laughably generous) gave the Sox a 7-0 lead in the 2nd inning. Kenny Lofton whined like the me-first jackass he is when Doug Mientkiewicz' foot hogged first base on a not-so-close play in the early innings.

In all, the Yankees behaved like a team that didn't care much in the final 2 contests of this series - and with a 5 1/2 game lead going into Saturday, they'd earned that right. By doing so, though, they provided the Sox with a much-needed boost of confidence just one week after administering a public atomic wedgie to the ever-striving, never-reaching Sox. In the wake of Pedro's mystifying comments about the Yankees' dominance in his starts (New York is 16-5 in the last 21 games the Sox' erstwhile ace has started against them), the Yankees had a real opportunity to bury the Sox - at least their confidence - by winning at least 1 of the weekend's 2 contests. They not only failed, but they failed in a manner that has to embolden the Sox, putting up less than token resistance, in the final 11 innings of the series.

Schilling answered any remaining questions about which pitcher will lead the Sox into the postseason - all we need to know at this point is whether Pedro's father(s) will let him out of his room to pitch Game 2 of the ALDS. The first 2 days of my new era of fandom (2004 version) dawned bright and ended gloriously. Some ball left. Stay on target. And somebody figure out who the hell is impersonating Pedro.

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