For six painful innings, it looked as if the Red Sox — 2004 World Champions and proud owners of the David Ortiz contract — were going to be shut out by the worst team in baseball. And, accordingly, I opened that spare bottle of Uncle Milt’s rye whiskey that I keep on hand for such occasions.
But then The Gods of Baseball (an affiliate of Peter Gammons International, Inc.) snapped out of their apparent slumber and set the universe back on its natural course. How else to explain that bizarre Mirabelli at-bat in the bottom of the seventh, where everyone in the free world except the home plate umpire saw ball four. So Dougie steps back in and promptly air mails the next pitch into the Monster seats for a three-run, game-tying homer. Now if that isn’t a bit of divine intervention, then I just don’t know nothin’.
But, really, this was our game to win. We had friggin’ Ron Burgundy and Meat Loaf in the house, a potent one-two mojo combination that surely the Royals must have recognized as an omen. If that wasn’t enough, we had Papi stealing a base (and then basking in a celebratory Manny-Youk wave, a clip which is hopefully being sent to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for Emmy consideration at this very moment). And Coco breaking out of his prolonged rut with a 3-for-4 showing. Not to mention a park packed with the hottest female fans of any baseball team in the known universe.
In fact, you know these are excellent days when my only complaint on the evening is NESN blowing a golden opportunity to present a Meat Loaf-David Wells-Remy-Orsillo-Ferrell jamboree in the broadcast booth. When will the stars ever align to bring this bizarre a troupe together at one time in Fenway Park? And what the devil were they thinking in not making this supergroup happen? Sure, we got Ferrell on the mic for one surprisingly awkward half-inning, but it could have been so, so much more.
Of course, to keep on this winning course, we’re gonna need some pitching. Wake left the game after a measly four innings and although he’s been something of a wildcard this season, his absence would create another ominous hole in the rotation. Pray for a healthy Wells… and more offense.
We’ll be there at 7:05pm. Like a bat out of hell.