I don’t want to sound presumptuous, because God knows there are about a million variables that you could pin last night’s mind-boggling win in Texas on, from Victor Martinez’s clutch double to Frank Francisco’s inability to do anything right in the top of the ninth. But I look at the facts: after the Sox coughed up the lead in the bottom of the sixth, and went down pretty much with a whimper in the seventh and eighth, this one looked about over. Then, in the ninth, when Ortiz and Tek — two guys whose recent at bats have pushed more people to drinking than the economy — got on base to start things up, I started thinking that it was a sign from above. The spirit of Teddy Ballgame telling us to sit down and chill and have that extra beer, because everything’s gonna work out fine. When Ellsbury followed with a clean single to center, scoring Papi, I took the Ghost of Ted’s advice.
But then… weirdness. Woodward, likely knowing he was minutes away from being DFA’s in the wake of A-Gon II, struck out. Then Teets put in Buchholz to run for Tek, which Clay might have seen as part of the companywide conspiracy to make him feel woefully inadequate, especially after he was gunned down at the plate in one of the ugliest displays of lack of coordination since Ashlee Simpson busted with that little jig on SNL after the track she was lipsynching to screwed up. Before anyone even knew what had happened, we had two guys on, two outs, and were still down by a run.
Then came V-Mart. And after he fouled off what seemed a bazillion pitches, the NESN cameras caught Tex, one of our comments section’s finest, in her SG Youk shirt. Just three pitches later, Martinez doubled in the go ahead run.
Coincidence? I think not.
By the time the dust cleared, Bay had knocked in Martinez and Drew cleared ’em all with a home run. But I was already on the brink of passing out next to my cooler. A six run inning was in the books and what turned out to be — dare I say it– the game of the season was, for all intents and purposes, over.
What do we make of this? Could last night’s game prove one of those “momentum shifters” that breaks the Rangers and propels the Sox to a ten-game win streak? Here’s what they’re saying at the Rangers blog at the Dallas News:
Worst loss of the season? It has to be. This team has shown an ability to bounce back, but this will be their biggest test yet. The bullpen blew it twice. Eddie Guardado in the sixth and Francisco in the ninth. Instead of gaining a game on Boston and the Angels, they fall 1 1/2 back in the Wild Card and stay 4 1/2 back of the Angels. Ouch. Do the Rangers recover?
Hell, this is baseball, and you can just never tell. All I know is that a Red Sox offense that has been giving us fits and false starts finally came through big when we needed it most last night, reminding us of a time when no game was out of reach, no matter the score, no matter the inning.
If we can keep a little of that magic going for the balance of August, I’m all right with that. But thanks to the Sox for one of the most thrilling wins we’ve seen in a while.