On a night like last night, when you look at the starting line-up of your beloved Boston Red Sox and ask yourself, “Who the f–k are these guys,” you may not feel the confidence surging. For the record, the batting order looked something like this:
Anyone who’d been in a coma since Game 7 of the ALCS — and I know quite a few, thanks — would swear they were watching another team. No Trot, No Papi, No Nomar, No Hebrew Hammer (AKA Gabe Kapler). It’s like turning on Scrubs and finding that the chick from Drew Carey has joined the cast and suddenly nothing in your world makes sense.
But somehow, it all added up, thanks in no small part to the dude on the hill, Curt Schilling, who limited the D-Rays to six hits en route to his third complete game. He is our man of steel, a guy who gives 110% and is the first one to kick his own ass when he doesn’t deliver. He is the team’s unofficial spokesperson, laying down the law in the clubhouse and facing the fans every night on the Net. He is everything we want in our Red Sox players; a guy who takes the losses as hard as we do, moping around for hours and scratching his head while many of his teammates are already three shots deep into “Jaeger night” at Daisy Buchanan’s. He is a workhorse, a warlord, and the guy whose very presence has to make Boston the favorite of any 5- or 7-game playoff series.
Getting to the post-season, however, will be the challenge, and we’ll need to see production from the new faces. Last night, Roberts, Cabrera, and Damon went a combined 0-for-12. Not good. Francona was quick to say, “You may never see this lineup again.” Let’s hope not. It’s also important to note that while Cabrera hasn’t gotten a hit since his home run on Sunday and is 1-for-12 since joining the team, his defense looks pretty sound. Or am I just telling myself that to feel like we got actual value for Nomar?
Luckily, the bottom half of the order came through, with Tek, Millar, Mueller and Mientkiewicz getting two hits apiece. Mientkiewicz, of the three new guys, continues to impress offensively. I say ride him ’til he starts going cold, even if it means sitting Dave McCarty for an extended period.
The bottom line is that these are the teams we’re supposed to beat. So we’ll be looking to our boy Arroyo to make it three-in-a-row tonight.
I’m starting to feel it again, boys and girls. See the true extent ot Schilling’s power? After watching him pitch, I’m drunk on thoughts of what could be in October.
Maybe. Just maybe.