Firing on all Cylinders

The Red Sox have now taken a 2-0 lead on the ALDS versus the Anaheim Angels. The Angels have their back to the proverbial wall and will try to overcome this tomorrow at 4 PM EST as they will match Kelvim Escobar against Bronson Arroyo in what sure to be a game that both teams want. Considering Arroyo is not “The Man” at home and the Red Sox offense is “The Man” at home, this is sure to be a high-scoring affair.
Last night the game ended at roughly 2:02 AM. After blasting ‘Dirty Water‘ the fight song for the Sox of Red (and sufficiently waking up all those who had not been yet awake) I turned into bed and got five hours of sleep. Two words: power naps. Those go a long way.
Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were the first duo in history to hit .300 with 40+ doubles, 40+ HRs, and 130+ RBI each. You could see the respect the Angels had for them in Game 2. Or perhaps the lack of respect for Manny and respect for Ortiz. Manny went 1 for 3 with one run and two RBI. Ortiz was walked three times but was able to contribute to the game, going one for two and scoring a run.
The hero of the game however was one Jason Varitek who in the words of Jeff Kallman “could not have chosen a better time to get his second hit of the postseason. Colon left a fast ball high over the middle of the plate, and Varitek left it high and five rows up the right field bleachers, re-tying the game in practically the blink of a Rally Monkey?s eye.”
And yet the big hit was still to come, and by a person yet hitless in the game. Orlando Cabrera strode to the plate with an ofer on his shoulder, but he changed that with a swing, knocking in three runs punctuated by a rather large fist pump after successfully ending up at third base. Game, set, match.
Yes, Pedro Martinez was good. Vintage Pedro? No. He was actually 2004 Pedro, you know. Yes, really. In the game he had a 3.86 ERA. He hit people. (Yes, I know he didn’t give up a home-run.) And he finished with a 3.86 ERA. In the regular season, he had a 3.90 ERA. So he wasn’t vintage Pedro, but he was “Good” Pedro. We’ll take that.

Boston          IP      H       R       ER      BB      SO      HR      ERA
Martinez (W)    7.0     6       3       3       2       6       0       3.86
Timlin (HD)     0.1     1       0       0       0       1       0       0.00
Myers (HD)      0.1     0       0       0       0       1       0       0.00
Foulke (SV)     1.1     0       0       0       0       2       0       0.00

Please also notice the bullpen statistics. Couple this with Timlin’s six-up, six-down two nights prior and our bullpen is once again a force in the postseason.
Ah, so we’re up 2-0 … but the other teams? The Cardinals sit up 1-0 with a game tonight. The Astros are manhandling the Braves (although an error by Jose Vizcaino just made things interesting) and stand a good chance of pushing the Braves to one game away from elimination.
And the Twins/Yankees game. Joe Nathan, out there for the third inning. Understandable. Not so understandable: no relievers warming up. Leaving Nathan in after two walks. And then Derek Jeter dares Jacque Jones to throw him out at home. It was a very heads up play by Jeter, to try to score from third on a liner to shallow right. You have to give Jeter credit there, but as Lisa Gray says …

So I start watching MFY/Twins game with the score tied 3 – 3. At nine, the Redsox/Angels game starts. What to do? Woman, I feeeeel like a maaaaaaaaaaaaaan?? Remote in hand, constant switching back between ESPN 1 and 2. So of course I miss Derek F. Jeter, beloved of TimMccarver and John Kruk (it is so GROSS to have straight men so madly in love with a guy) beat the Twins who were dumb enough to leave their closer in for one inning too many and now I?m gonna hafta hear about the wonderful/incredible/spectacular/invincibleness (whatever) of Derek for the next umpty ump years. Derek is getting less cute by the minute.

And now I leave you with the best of Terry Francona throughout the year.

  • “I’ve seen Youkilis in the shower, and I wouldn’t call him the Greek God of anything.” Terry Francona on Kevin Youkilis, the ‘Greek God of Walks’
  • I could read his lips, and I didn’t see the word “victim” coming out. Terry Francona on what Alex Rodriguez was saying to Jason Varitek during ‘The Brawl’
  • “I looked at Bronson yesterday and I thought he’d lost his mind. It’s the first time I ever looked in the mirror and was glad I was bald.” Terry Francona’s reaction to Arroyo’s cornrows
  • “It’s discolored more than anything. Johnny [Damon] is color-blind, anyway. It won’t matter.” Terry Francona on the quality of the playing field after the Jimmy Buffet concert
  • “The stuff they’re asking me to do is physically impossible. I mean, you can only shove that lineup card so far up your ass.” Terry Francona in response to the comments of Red Sox Nation
  • “Well, on the plane on the way here, I saw a ball roll down the aisle and I thought it was you throwing to second base.” Terry Francona when Kevin Millar asked Francona “What do you think of the defensive specialty I bring to the team?”