If I woke up in a booze-and-grilled-meats-induced stupor and saw the final score of this shit-storm, I would have been fine. I fully expected Dice-K to have the trademark “bad inning” and Tito to leave him in for one batter too long and let the game get out of reach. But actually sitting through the four hours and forty-three minutes to see how this one played out, I’m not fine. Far from it.
This was pre-2004 Red Sox baseball at it’s worst. Everything started out great. Dice-K buzzed one by Jeter’s face, then plunked A-Rod to load the bases, only to “pull a Lester” and escape the inning unharmed. Then the offense went to work, chipping away at Pettitte, knocking him out early, and getting to Jose Veras to seemingly put this one away. Oh, and the beauty of watching Giambino booting the ball around the diamond, and at one point flopping like a fish out of water at an easy outfield throw that he couldn’t handle while Papi scooted back to the bag. Good times.
The night couldn’t have gone any better if Tito himself had written the script: a 7-2 lead after seven with Okajima and Paps well rested. Then Homerjima gave up back-to-backs to the greasiest man in baseball and Robinson Cano – both lefties mind you – and the wheels fell off. Tito panicked and brought in Papelbon with no outs in the eighth and in the blink of an eye, it was 8-7 Yankees. This was a sit-on-your-own-nuts kind of loss. There are a few broken TV screens across Red Sox Nation, maybe even one at Red’s house.
So the best team in baseball, the best bullpen in baseball, dropped one to their rival. The team needs to throw back a few cold ones and forget about it, like I’m doing right now. At 4:00PM, they strap on the big-boy trousers and play another nine. I’ll take Beckett against anybody and I expect him to own the inside of the strike zone. I want F-bombs flying like underwear at a Tom Jones concert. I want fastballs up and in, and one-pitch intentional walks right between the numbers. I want old-school Ortiz bat-flips and come-backers destined for downtown Jobaville.
Someone give me a 3:30 wake-up call and fire up the grill for round 2.