Games 148 & 149 - Red Sox
Yankees 8, Red Sox 7
Red Sox 10, Yankees 1
Headed out of town for a few days, so I'm ducking in while watching the final regular season matchup between the Sox and Yanks for a bit of cleaning up. Thanks to Whit for his brief post from yesterday - captured my sentiments precisely. A day's perspective, aided by a lot of quality beer, very little sleep, and a thorough Yankee ass-kicking is a much-needed thing. I was borderline psychotic after Friday's loss - one of the worst I can remember in this long rivalry.
I won't belabor it, because the Sox righted the ship and stabilized the neuroses of millions of New Englanders yesterday, but Terry Francona completely managed his team out of the game on Friday night, brutally butchering the pitching staff and backing himself into a very unnecessary corner. I say this as a great admirer of Tito, the best Sox manager in my lifetime.
Josh Beckett was long-ago labeled Commander Kickass of the Fuck Yeah Brigade by the proprietors of the stellar Surviving Grady. Yesterday, he showed once again why the moniker fits him to a tee, shrugging off a first-inning homer by Derek Jeter and retiring 19 straight Yankees to lead the Sox to victory. The streak was only broken when he buzzed Jason Giambi in the ribs in the top of the 7th, long after the outcome was decided. Beckett's now 19-6, and he's the profane heart, soul, and balls of the Sox' pitching staff. His performance was immeasurably huge yesterday.
Beckett's intentionally unintentional drilling of Giambi gave Whit and me something to talk about over a few Abita Reconstruction Ales yesterday. Since it seems at least possible that Roger Clemens will repay the favor (even as Beckett was defending Yankee punching bag Kevin Youkilis, who took a pitch from C.M. Wang off his wrist yesterday) in today's game, I proposed that Curt Schilling drill Bobby Abreu in the top of the first tonight, drawing mutual warnings and forcing Clemens to stay away from the inside part of the plate. Clemens is a noted rocket surgeon, with a long, well-deserved reputation for mental midgetry in big games - I figure he'd get so twisted up that he'd do something stupid. As I type this, Schilling got through the first with no drama, so I'll leave the strategery to the experts. (Just watched Johnny Damon and his noodle arm try to throw Jacoby Ellsbury out at the plate, and failing miserably - the symmetry of that moment is noted.)
I missed yesterday's game, spending the day instead basking in a stellar early fall afternoon in Williamsburg, VA watching the William and Mary Tribe batter Liberty University's Christians - a bit of post-missionary role reversal, that. Best of all worlds for me - didn't have the angst-filled reality of watching Sox/Yanks in a perceived must-win game, still got the desired result. Right on.