Which Wakefield will show up tonight? The guy who gets strung up by his jock in the first inning, or the guy who has batters swatting hopelessly at air through eight solid? Damned if we know, but in honor of the last regular season game against our division rivals, we’ll be liveblogging the whole blessed affair, Blogger and Comcast willing.
7:18pm: Again, Comcast tries to undermine our efforts, this time locking me out of internet service on my laptop. So we miss Papi’s home run, but we do get to mention Kotsay’s inning-ending strikeout. The guy looks better striking out than anyone other player in the bigs, vaguely reminiscent of Stephen Baldwin in The Usual Suspects.
7:20pm: Is it just me, or does that shopkeep in the lottery Sox game ad look like El Tiante? Horrible ad, regardless.
7:23pm: Looks like Iwamura might have gotten the hometown discount on that one. Actually, on closer inspection, looks like the foot made it. Remy understands.
7:26pm: Blogger is already not too keen on this liveblogging venture, insisting on erasing the post each time I go to publish. Do they think they can stop me? I went to college, motherf@#ker. Not a particularly good one, mind you. But still.
7:27pm: Write this down: Final score will be 31-25.
7:30pm: Get your authentic Red Sox seats at firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s a moneymaking scheme if ever one existed. Tear up all the seats in the stands after each season and sell them to the masses at four times what it cost to install them. Repeat as necessary.
7:31pm: Two run homer for Aybar. Rays lead 3-2. Okay, so now we know which Wakefield has showed up. The question is, how much damage will be incurred on his watch.
7:34pm: Inning over. Five runs scored in all. Again, this will look like a football score before it ends. And Coco will punch someone’s cock.
7:37pm: Top of the second. One out. Casey at the bat. Not that I’m gonna be running any marathons but… has Casey picked up, like, twenty pounds since the season started?
7:40pm: Sox go down quicker than the East Boston High prom queen. And now we’ll get to see if Wake’s settled down for the second. Fingers crossed. Samaritans on hold.
7:43pm: Wake strikes out the first batter, Heidi Watney’s looking fetching in her white blouse. Suddenly, things are looking up.
7:44pm: Orsillo: “You’ve faced knuckle ball pitchers. How did you prepare for them?”
Remy: “I just swung knuckle-y.”
Emmy voters, please take note.
7:46pm: Gabe Gross goes deep to put the Rays on top, 4-2. Suddenly, the view from second place is becoming clearer…
7:46pm: On the very next pitch, Perez goes yard. Rays up 5-2. Help.
7:49pm: Wake logs another strike-out. The Wake Paradox as I shall call it is truly infuriating. One minute, he’s unhittable. The next, he’s getting worked over like it’s his first night in prison. I love the man dearly but I must take his name in vain. I must.
7:52pm: I don’t know about you, but those Amstel Light ads make me want to say “f@#k this” and hop the next flight to Amsterdam.
7:53pm: Side-note: Between the ugly goatees, sideburns and Mohawks adorning its players’ heads, the Rays may be the worst-groomed team in the American League.
7:54pm: Cash is out to lead off the inning. I’ll just go ahead and copy and paste that sentence on the notepad, as I’m sure I’ll be using it a few more times tonight.
7:55pm: The best thing about the Rays making the playoffs: hearing those f@#king cowbells for another couple weeks.
7:56pm: Jacoby is on. I smell a big inning. Perhaps.
7:57pm: As if on cue, a double play to end the inning. This could be a tough one. But somehow, I’m sensing an epic Sox comeback.
8:00pm: What Wake needs now is a 1-2-3 inning. A couple runs from our offense wouldn’t hurt, either.
8:01pm: Longoria smacks a double down the left field line. And Wake is done after just 2.1 innings in one of the biggest games of the season.
8:03pm: Rays up 5-2. Devern Hansack, he of the most splendid name in baseball, is in for the Sox. Good to see the quick hook with Timmeh. Again, love the guy. But love the idea of winning this game even more.
8:06pm: Another run for the Rays, who are now up 6-2. I’m suddenly reminded of that old ditty, “F@#k This World and Everyone On It.” I believe it was by the Kingston Trio.
8:12pm: Hansack gets a strike-out, and then gets the hook from Teets. Gotta hand it to the manager, he’s playing to win here. I can only hope that Kotsay takes this brief delay to shoot himself silly with HGH.
8:16pm: Lopez is in, then almost immediately lets a little looper back to the mound — the certain third out of the inning — get by him. Another Tampa Bay run. 7-2. I may need a packie run.
8:18pm: Another Tampa Bay hit. Another run. Rays up, 8-2. Man, when the dust clears, of these six critical games with Tampa, we will have won only two. Not very “defending world champs” of us.
8:20pm: My curiosity about that sign behind the batters has finally got the best of me. I’m going to dandy-house.co.jp.
8:21pm: A walk loads the bases for the Rays. Teets is wandering out of the dugout, seemingly dazed by all this madness. Now he’s taking Lopez out and, hopefully, has a couple goons waiting to beat his ass raw back in the clubhouse.
8:25pm: Aaaaaaardsma of all people gets the final out. Inning mercifully over. If the Sox go down 1-2-3, I’m taking someone’s life. Preferably one of those guys from “Huey Lewis and the News.”
8:28pm: Papi goes deep once again. If we could clone him between innings, we might have us a game. 8-3, and the Rays no doubt feel us breathing down their necks.
8:34pm: Kotsay, who’s about as close to an automatic out as we’ve got on the team, snuffs any thoughts of a rally by making the first out of the inning with Youk on first. How’s J.D. Drew feeling, anyway?
8:39pm: And just like that, the “rally” ends. Heading to the bottom of the fourth, Rays lead 8-3. But if we can just hold them for a few more innings while we chip away. If we can get a few timely hits. If Jessica Biel would return my calls…
8:40pm: Since this game started, I’ve consumed nothing but cornbread, licorice and beer. I have a feeling the same can be said for Youkilis.
8:43pm: Speaking of Youk, a nice diving snag of a foul ball.
8:45pm: Seconds later, four Sox infielders converge on a pop fly and no one can get it. Time to up the meds. For me, I mean.
8:51pm: The inning ends without a Rays run. Here we go, Sox. Here we f@#kin’ go!
***It was at this point that Blogger went tits up, eating an inning or two worth of posts. I went back and tried to add them, but to no avail. But it probably went something like this: arcane “Planet of the Apes” reference, something about Heidi Watney’s ass, blah blah blah Mark Kotsay should just open a bike shop on Nantucket and forget all this baseball stuff, etc. etc. In other words, just another day at the office.***