Friday, April 20, 2007

Echo and the Bunnymen

Games 13 and 14 – Red Sox

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3
Record: 9-5

Bring on the dancing horses, sang the above-mentioned Liverpudlians, and the Sox, Yankees, and media hordes will oblige starting this evening. All manner of dancing horses, circus freaks, and carny barkers descend upon the Bronx for the first of 19 between the American League’s colossi.

Both teams did their respective parts yesterday, coming from behind to extend recent streaks of success and ensuring that they’d enter this evening’s action atop the AL East. The Sox got timely hits from Manny Ramirez (finally) and Alex Cora (really?) to rally from 3-1 down to top the Jays. The Yankees, fresh off consecutive bludgeonings of Indian pitching, sportingly spotted the Tribe a 4-run lead and waited until two outs were recorded in the bottom of the 9th before flicking Cleveland’s Joe Borowski away like a gnat. The coup de grace in this cat versus prey tableaux was administered by the unconscious Alex Rodriguez, who blasted his 10th homer of the early season (and took a 10-5 lead over the Washington Nationals in MLC's running gimmick) to provide the game’s final runs.

And so it happens that April 20 brings us the next renewal of the age-old good pitching versus good hitting donnybrook. The Sox’ offense has been marginal, doing just enough to get by, lifted by dominant starting pitching and lights-out short relief. The Yankee bats have been epic, averaging a league-leading 6.5 runs a game. The Sox have been the league’s best team in terms of preventing runs, allowing a miniscule 2.57 tallies per. Boston starts Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, and Daisuke Matsuzaka against New York’s Andy Pettitte, Jeff Karstens, and Chase Wright. The pitching matchups certainly look to be tilted drastically in the Sox’ favor, but the Yankee sticks are the great equalizer.

The Boston Herald’s Gerry Callahan does his part to fuel the fire today, predicting that A-Rod and his pretty pink lips (no, really, Callahan describes A-Rod’s lips – sick fuck) will be wearing a Sox uniform next season. Christ Almighty on a popsicle stick, can we just let them all play baseball without the attendant faux-dramatic media oneupsmanship?

I’d like to say that this’ll be fun to watch, but that would imply that an upset stomach, elevated heart rate, and flop sweat are all fun things. And I don’t really want to explore the psychological implications inherent in accepting those realities. I’m looking forward to the weekend, I think. Of course, I might just watch a movie tonight, instead, and save the angst for September.

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