When you’re barely hitting .200 on a first-place team, you’d best be stocking the clubhouse fridge with beer, picking up the tab at Arbys, and, perhaps most importantly, keeping your head out of your ass when you actually manage to get on base.
Doug forgot about that last one during yesterday’s matinee, pulling a baserunning gaffe and getting thrown out at home in the sixth. At the time — with the game tied at 3 — it looked like Belli’s miscue could prove fatal. But he got his redemption in the seventh, driving in the go-ahead run with two outs and sparking a key 4-run inning.
And, yeah, his teammates still gave him shyte for the bad baserunning.
How did Doug Mirabelli’s teammates respond after his baserunning blunder cost Boston a run in the sixth when the score was still tied at 3-all?
Well, says manager Terry Francona, every time a fly ball was hit after that, Eric Hinske would offer some good-natured ribbing by yelling, “Tag!”
“I think we’re probably one of the few teams where when something like that happens, you don’t see a lot of tension in the dugout. I mean, we don’t want to make mistakes and that was an important part of the game. We were very hopeful we would overcome and win, like we did. At the time, you don’t know what’s going to happen. But I think teams show a lot of their colors in instances like that, and there wasn’t tension, where you could see that on some teams. We just continued to play the game and we were thrilled that he came through.”
All in all, it was a great game in a series that we just had to win.
And, really, what else can you say about a game in which Alex Cora, Eric Hinske and Mirabelli helped drive the offense? Other than ask if it took place in an alternate universe or within the confines of Hinske’s brain?
But it didn’t. It was real. And it was beautiful.