just another night with the ace killerFirst, some housekeeping, a tragic comedy, in two acts:
ACT ONE: MONDAY
Katie: I hate doing this thing with the Beckett starts. I bet everyone else hates it too. I hate Dave Matthews Band.
Kelly: I know, but we can't stop yet. We'll jinx him.
Katie: But I hate it. I hate getting "The Space Between" stuck in my head all the time.
Kelly: We have to keep doing it until he loses a decision. Then we can stop.
Katie: Okay. Except, wait, making this decision is probably a jinx, too.
Katie: [knocks on wood]
Kelly: [knocks on air near wood]
ACT TWO: THURSDAY
Kelly: God dammit.
So there you go, it's probably our fault that Josh Beckett sucked last night, and we're discontinuing the Josh Beckett Random Dave Matthews Lyric Performance Generator until further notice, but I totally reserve the right to bring it back later if a reverse-jinx becomes necessary. It's for the best, because I'm not sure I could bear to code Thursday night's pitching line. Although, screw it. He gave up six runs in five innings (including two long balls, Christ), but remember when Dice-K gave up five runs in the top of the first inning and the Sox turned around and answered with five more before the inning was over? What happened to that team? Why have they been replaced with this bunch of imposters who bat 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, who had two fewer hits but six fewer runs than the Rockies? Does Tito understand that putting Drew at lead-off puts Coco, Lugo and JD all in a row, creating a black hole so potent that there's a good chance that part of the line-up might create antimatter? And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, is there any explanation in this life or the next for why Manny has decided to start wearing high socks?
Seriously, you guys. Even though I spent last weekend watching the As sweep the Giants in a disastrous and devastating fashion (including the game where the Giants ran out of position players in the 10th and had to put a relief pitcher in right field, the highest of all high comedy), I am still eating nails about this series. Katie, Cspan, the PM and I will be there tomorrow afternoon, but since tonight I am, as per usual, sitting in my living room, drinking beer in my pajamas, and the Sox only play my wretched natal team on the rarest of interleague occasions, I might as well live blog:
TOP OF THE FIRST
Dave Roberts! So glad you're back! And, I … really should have seen that score from first coming. Barry Bonds! Welcome to Fenway! Have you met Pesky's Pole yet? Ya'll go get acquainted, I need to start chewing antacids.
BOTTOM OF THE FIRST
My brother says that he read that the first time Barry Zito played the As, Jason Kendall sat the team down and broke down every single aspect of Zito's game. I imagine that would psychologically break anyone. And then: PEEEEEEEEDROIA. Only Dustin the Sea Monkey Pedroia would almost trip over his own bat while rounding the bases. He's very small! The bat didn't see him! And just like that, the Sox have scored more runs with no outs in the first inning than they scored in nine innings last night. Good times! Not good times: Papi getting tossed. Similar to the Ted Lilly toss from last weekend, where it was so clear that the ump was willing to toss him on perceived intent rather than action, which is bullshit, but whatever. Was Tito dipping when he got back to the dugout? I don't blame him, this would drive me to dip, too. MANNY. HIGH SOCKS. I MEAN. WHAT?
TOP OF THE SECOND
I was just excited that Julio Lugo managed to field a routine grounder. I fucking hate that guy.
BOTTOM OF THE SECOND
Oh yeah, this is going be a fun night. Is it possible to get in a bench-clearing brawl with the umpire?
TOP OF THE THIRD
Do you think intentional walks anger Batshit Tavarez? I bet he thinks "But I could just drill the guy to put him on base." But he and Barry are old teammates. I bet they're buds. That's a wonderful mental image.
BOTTOM OF THE THIRD
The PM suggests that Manny's high socks are the next step in his slow transformation into Jack Sparrow. I am so hungry for him to break the game open with bases loaded and no one out that I can taste it, but Manny has perhaps been going heavy on the rum lately, so I have to settle for a force out and a run in.
TOP OF THE FOURTH
Molina hits it back to Tavarez, Tavarez manages to restrain himself from bowling the ball to first base. On the other hand, he'd obviously choose to imitate a different sport if he ever did that again. Maybe he'd shoot the ball toward Youk like a fadeaway jumper?
BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH
I admit, I fully expect that Julio Lugo will be unable to pass up the opportunity to go 0-for-2 in plate appearances and 2-for-2 in inning-ending outs, but I guess I underestimated Barry Zito's fragile psyche. Which then proceeds to crumble before my eyes. Blown pick-off! Bases clearing two-out double! 5-2! Pedroia's now three-for-three! 6-2! Exclamation point! Exclamation point! Exclamation point! Even another Wily Mo Mighty Strike Out Special can't get me down!
TOP OF THE FIFTH
Okay, I stand corrected. Tavarez is clearly an avid bowler. I would love to see him playing Skeeball, actually.
BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH
The Tavarez skeeball 60 ticket shot gets shown five or six times. That's about all that happens.
TOP OF THE SIXTH
Batshit gets out of a small jam, one out, runners on first and third. He manages to refrain from playing any carnival games.
BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH
See how much fun it is to be on base, Coco? You get to steal things! And score! It's awesome! Also, I swear to God, if the whole batting-Drew-lead-off experiment actually works, I will buy Tito his next packet of dip/bubble gum. Drew and Pedroia are now, amazingly, a combined 7-for-7.
TOP OF THE SEVENTH
The shot of the Cavernous Maw with D'Angelo Ortiz prompts the predictable reaction from the PM and myself, but where is his mother? Is the Cavernous Maw, like, babysitting him? That sounds like a bad idea. But it does remind me of a conversation we had earlier this year about Little Papi, and how he looks much more like the product of the genetic material of Papi and Manny than Papi and Tiffany Ortiz. At the time, the PM hypothesized that at one point, three and a half years ago, Theo came to Papi with a Dixie cup and said, "Look, I know you love your wife, but I love Manny more." Remy and Don-O discuss how Tavarez is clearly playing through the pain in some way, I have never loved him more. If you told me this time last year that, a year from now, aliens would have landed in Zimbabwe and I would be pledging my allegiance to Julian Tavarez, I would have been more likely to believe the former over the latter.
BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH
I don't know, it's possible absolutely nothing happened.
TOP OF THE EIGHTH
The Cavernous Maw gives a wonderful report about how Okie uses a stick of some kind to go through his warm-ups, which explains what Papelbon was doing earlier in the game, I thought he was trying to get a game of ping pong going out there, clearly missing the presence of gaming champ Tavarez in the bullpen.
BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH
All I'm sayin' is that somebody pitched 7.1 innings of shut-out ball in New York tonight, and it wasn't Roger Clemens. PEEEEEEDROIA is now 5-for-5. When I was over checking the score of that, uh, other game, I noticed his beaming little sea monkey face on the ESPN Top Performers header.
TOP OF THE NINTH
Joel, son of Kal-El, throws a modified one-two-three (base hit + double play) and the Sox pick up a feel good win coupled with a Clemens-owned loss from the Yanks. Also, there's a new Under Armor commercial and it features tiny children! Everything is confusing, terrifying and wonderful! Exclamation point! Exclamation point! Exclamation point!