Game 34 - Red Sox
Red Sox 5, Yankees 3
Really a very elementary explanation for last night's Sox win. Jim kissed Pam. Easy, peasy, just like that. What, I need to clarify that? Alrighty, then.
After 6 of the most exasperating innings in recent memory (and a microcosm of the Sox' clutch-hitting woes so far this season), and one more failure to get a 2-out hit with runners in scoring position, I was so frustrated that I turned the channel to The Office. Since the bottle of wine I was near finishing wasn't blunting my insanity (my wife literally called me a lunatic last night, and by the look in her eye, I'm guessing she meant it) I needed something to take the edge off.
I won't bore you with all the details, but I'll note that the ongoing unrequited love between Jim, the young slacker sales guy (and a remarkable proxy for Whitney, now that I think about it) and Pam, the cute receptionist engaged to a troglodyte, is one of my favorite sitcom plotlines. And last night, as Jim finally laid one on Pam - at the very moment, to be sure - Mark Loretta ripped a ground ball that Derek Jeter couldn't handle, and the Yankee shortstop's hurried throw pulled firstbaseman Miguel Cairo from the bag. When Cairo's tag attempt ended with the ball rolling towards right field, the Sox had plated 2 runs to take a 4-3 lead.
In much the same way Pink Floyd's The Wall serves as a burnout's perfectly synched soundtrack to The Wizard of Oz, so too did Jim's taking matters into his hands time exactly to the Sox' reversal of clutch hitting fortunes. Hapless for 6 innings, leaving a total of 15 runners on base for the game, the Sox finally got it right - Kevin Youkilis followed Loretta by ripping a 2-out single in the 9th off Mariano Rivera to give the Sox some much-appreciated breathing room.
Mike Timlin, Keith Foulke, and Jonathan Papelbon dominated the stunned Yankees in frames 7 through 9 after Tim Wakefield battled through 6 mostly solid innings. New York was reeling both from their inability to hold an early lead (each losing team in this series had a 2-run first inning advantage) and from the freak wrist injury to Hideki Matsui that will cost the left fielder 3 months. The Yanks will be going with an outfield of Bernie Williams, Johnny Damon, Bubba Crosby and/or Melky Cabrera for the next few weeks. I'll leave that sleeping dog to lie.
Mark Loretta's bat warmed nicely in the Yanks series, as the second sacker went 9 for 16 to raise his average to a more expected .280 from his .207 nadir a few games ago. Papi, it must be noted, took an 0-for-5 collar, and was a prime culprit in stranding many of those baserunners. That's lost in the glow of a series win in Yankee Stadium, as it should be.
Ah, young love and 3 of 4 over the Yankees to start the season. We're all rooting for those crazy kids.