If you were writing a script for a Red Sox ballgame, it would have looked something like last night’s game. The veteran starter comes in and pitches his ass off. When he gets in a jam, the skipper goes with his gut and puts the young kid in. After a walk to load the bases, the kid strikes out a 600 career home run hitter. The set-up guy does his job, and you go to the ninth clinging to a one run lead with your stud closer on the hill. Two quick outs later, a bang-bang play at first – which should have been the third out – puts the tying run on base. The closer, already hopped up on adrenaline and sunflower seeds, gets in the ump’s face before being dragged away by teammates. Probably one choice word from being ejected. He beans the next guy, putting the potential go-ahead run on base, and you have to wonder if he’s melting down. But he’s Papelbon. And he saves the game.
Scripting the offense would have gone a little different in my version. The Sox have been unable to come up with the timely hit that could break so many of these close games open. David and Manny, while putting up good numbers, haven’t got on their groove yet. One of those stretches where they swing hard, flip the bat away, and watch the ball drop into the stands 450 feet away, clearing the bases and stepping on the heart of the opposing pitcher. But those days will come. And with Mirabelli in the line-up, well, you might as well let the guy from Six Flags hit, ’cause Belli just ain’t got it. The rest of the guys are coming around, though. You have to think over the next couple of weeks, the Sox are gonna start putting up the 11-4 wins and just put the division even further away.
Tonight, we get Beckett. And that’s as close to a sure “W” as you can get.
Finally, something about that picture of Wake makes me really sad. He has that look, like he knows his game days are coming to an end. And he’ll miss them terribly. Just as we’ll miss him.