Saturday, October 06, 2007


I saw Game 1 at my friend's apartment with a few other Red Sox fans. We saw it on my friend's (I'll be charitable here) 12" TV. It was great to be in the company of friends and we all had a great time watching the game together, but the TV was so small that we couldn't read either the score or the pitch count.

After Game 1, my friend went out and bought a $1,000 flat screen TV and hooked it up. We watched Game 2 on that. What a difference and what a game to break the new TV in on. We could actually see Manny's titanic shot head out over the Monster, over Lansdowne Street, and over the parking garage towards the Mass Pike and off into the night as the Sox celebrated.

Well, we would have seen it if we hadn't been jumping up and down screaming. And, Oh my God he crushed it. I don't have a whole lot to add to Manny's blast. My comment at the time was something along the lines of, "OH MY GOD!! HE CRUSHED THE #&$% OUT OF THAT!! AHHHH!!".

I did want to bring up the bullpen though. Its likely that the job the bullpen did to hold the Angels and keep the game close/tied may be forgotten in the pure power and majesty of Manny's homer. I suppose that would be OK. Thats the way of things, and especially the way of the national sports media.

But its important for us Sox fans to notice that after Matsuzaka turned in 4.2 innings of 3 run ball (and potentially more as he left runners on when he exited), the bullpen threw 4.1 scoreless and hitless innings. This allowed the Sox offense to wade through the Angel pen to the point where Manny could crush the Angels with one swing. Oh, and did I mention he slapped the crap out of that ball?

Manny's homer casts quite the literal and figurative shadow. Here are some other semi-unsung heroes of Game 2 which should be noted:
  1. J.D. Drew- OK, Drew got one hit and its not like he crushed the ball either, but it was a damn valuable hit. Drew's single with the bases loaded in the first brought home Youk and Papi and accounted for two thirds of the Sox runs up until Manny totally jacked one.

  2. Julio Lugo - Again, Lugo only accounted for one hit, but it was a well-timed one. Lugo's line drive single in the bottom of the ninth sparked the rally which was ended when Ramirez just creamed that pitch by F-Rod.

  3. Hideki Okajima - Okajima was the most effective of the Sox relievers, throwing 1.1 innings of perfect ball while striking out half of the batters he faced. Maybe that dead-arm period is over with?

  4. Terry Francona - In Game 1 of the Yankees/Indians series, Chien-Ming Wang was struggling for the Yankees. He had given up 4 runs in 4 innings and trouble was threatening again in the fifth. Torre sat on his hands and as a result a close game turned into a rout.

    Francona took the opposite tact, deploying his bullpen excellently in Game 2. He recognized that Matsuzaka was struggling and before the game could get out of hand he took evasive action. Unlike Torre, Francona recognized that a game in the ALDS isn't like a game in July, and as such you have to manage them differently. Whereas in the regular season a manager can wait around to see if his starter rights himself, in the post season and especially in a five game series, there is no such luxury. Francona prevented the Sox from falling any farther than a single run behind.
Tomorrow: The series moves to Anaheim and the Sox go for the win. Curt Schilling takes the mound opposite Jered Weaver. Game time 3:07pm EST.

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