October 2008

A Phantastic End, to a Phantastic Year

After various delays that prevented the completion of Game 5, the weather was finally cooperative Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Couple of things

1) Did you see that Chase Utley play? Getting out Bartlett at the plate was HUGE, the biggest play of the World Series.
2) Brad Lidge had a perfect season, that’s pretty sick. Having him strike out Hinske for the final out (at 0-2 nonetheless) and just hearing the roar of that Philadelphia crowd was so exhilarating. 
3) Cole Hamels. I don’t know if there is much more to say about him, but I was so happy that he won the MVP. Even though he didn’t get the win in Game 5, he still had four postseason wins, which is remarkable. 
4) The Rays. I guess the Cinderella story didn’t end the way they wanted it to. Everyone thought they were going to do it, I mean, look how far they had come! From worst, to almost first! The AL East is going to be even tighter than it was before. They had a great year, and if they keep building on top of that, it won’t be long until they are in the World Series again.
The saddest part about the World Series ending is that baseball season is over. What do I do now? The offseason is so awkward, there’s nothing to talk about except for trade rumors, and what has happened in the past. Whether it this past season (and I’m going to be hearing a lot about Ellsbury going 0-20, and the Sox not making it to the World Series, but I can deal), or the years before that. Everyday I hear about Bucky Dent, Aaron Boone, Bill Buckner, Babe Ruth, anything and EVERYTHING that Red Sox haters can come up with. I may not be blogging as often, but I’ll still blog. After all, I’ve barely had this blog for a month, not even yet! I’ll be around, but if you’re looking for a solid, good, baseball discussion please e-mail me. elizabethxsanti@aol.com
Congratulations again Phillies!!! 

Playing in Puddles

Everyone was really excited for Game 5; Cole Hamels, and Scott Kazmir were pitching, and it was a potential clinching game (in Philadelphia nonetheless). Kazmir got racked in the first inning, pegging Chase Utley in the ribs. Has anyone noticed how close he stands to the box, and how he actually steps into the box? No wonder he’s the single batter who has gotten hit by pitches the most. KInd of like how Jason Bartlett totally leaned into a pitch in Game 7 of the ALCS. Then, Shane Victorino comes up and hits a two run single. Cole Hamels is pitching well, until the Rays start stringing some runs together, and finally one came off of a hit by Evan Longoria. It took long enough.

My question is this. So, a baseball game is official after 5 1/3 innings right? So, if the Phillies had still led 2-1 after the bottom of the sixth, well, would they have won? What a cheap and sucky win that would’ve been! I would’ve been so annoyed. So now, game 5 is going to continue with the Phillies coming up in the bottom of the sixth. The Rays got SO lucky because now Cole Hamels isn’t going to be pitching anymore. I wonder if the teams are going to continue to their next starters, or just use the bullpen. According to Selig, he would’ve just kept the game in a rain delay until it was appropriate to resume play. I like that idea, and I think everyone should too. No one wants to win a World Series due to a rain delay. If it had gone less than official game standards, by the rules, it would’ve started over. So this is the first time in history that a World Series game has ever been suspended, that’s pretty sick. I can’t wait until I find out what’s going to happen with the rotations and what not. I’m sure the Fox announcers will address this topic until it dies. 
On another note, the Sox picked up Virgil Velazquez on irrevocable waivers issued by the Tigers. He’s had somewhat of a rocky start of his career, and he didn’t see any playing time with the Tigers this past season. So, hopefully, the Sox will see what he can do in Spring Training, and then proceed to put him in the bullpen (most likely)

World Series (Games 3 and 4… Game 5), Red Sox offseason

So unfortunately, I was unable to see Game 3, but I heard it was pretty epic. Crazy ninth inning or something for the Phillies? I still have to watch the recap, and I’m behind on everything else too. Then there was Game 4, which got to be a crazy blowout game from what I heard. Ryan Howard, the sleeping giant, has awoken and helped boost the Phillies to victory in a 10-2 game. The Phillies now lead the series 3-1 and their chances are looking pretty strong. I’m sure Matt Garza at least pitched decently in Game 3, since it was a pretty close game after all. Originally, I thought that in order for the Phillies to win, Cole Hamels would have to win both his starts. But even Jamie Moyer did well. I truly enjoy watching Cole Hamels pitch, he is pretty attractive. The Rays are now in a must win situation, and they’re sending out Scott Kazmir to pitch Game 5. Now, I don’t think that anyone should chalk up a win just because Cole Hamels is pitching. That’s kind of what happened to Jon Lester, remember? So, I think that everyone just needs to relax. 

Dustin Pedroia got named to the Sporting-News All-Star team. The only Red Sox member to do so. Among others are Grady Sizemore, Joe Mauer, Josh Hamilton (I think, though, I’m not sure), Cliff Lee (SP), and Francisco Rodriguez. Kevin Youkilis and Aramis Ramirez won the Hank Aaron Award. There’s no big news about trades yet, same free agents as before, same prospects, etc. Keep your eyes out for Michael Bowden, Lars Anderson, and of course Clay Buchholz (who is regaining his confidence in the AFL) to appear in ’09 Spring Training at City of Palms Park. 
I’m excited for Game 5, who do you think is going to win? Can the Rays push it back to the Trop?

Cole Hamels Once Threw a Curveball so well, that the batter’s children struck out

I should be getting twenty sites for my research project (due tomorrow) for debate, but I realized that this is more important to me. Before we get started, I think we should all just take a minute to note how lame I can be: Today in home room, we were handed this blue sheet, and we’re supposed to fill out our after school activities. Guess what I put? BLOGGING. 

So Game 1 was yesterday, it was a pretty tight game throughout. Was anyone else thinking during the national anthem *God this is *****, and I totally thought the Backstreet Boys broke up*. Kazmir had a shaky first inning, giving up a home run to Chase Utley. He settled down nicely though after that, and pitched a great game. There’s a reason why Cole Hamels is pretty much the ace of the Phillies staff. His breaking ball, his curveball, his pitching in general! Did anyone else notice that he’s good looking, I just love watching him pitch. He got so lucky with that balk too. It really came down to the opinion of the umpire. It was 50/50. Phillies did a good job striking out BJ Upton with the bases loaded. The Rays came fighting back though, scoring two, but Philly scored once more, to make it 3-2. Brad Lidge, who has had a perfect season, came in and got the save. The Rays looked a little nervous, but I think that they’ll adjust. Tonight it’s James Shields vs. Brett Myers. Hopefully, Shields will actually be able to get some run support this time. I wasn’t really rooting for anyone last night, it was nice just watching. 
On another note, the Sox re-signed basically their entire coaching staff, except for first base coach Alicea. I’m glad that they decided to keep almost everyone. 
Can the Rays even up the series like they did in the ALCS?

I don’t know who to root for…

So today during history, us loudmouths were arguing again, as we do everyday. The classic battle between the Red Sox fan and the Yankee fan (except they are not really Yankee fans, they just happen to hate the Red Sox). So as our argument continues to get louder, and louder, one girl in my class goes: Doesn’t it get boring to argue about the same thing every single day?

Everyone at once goes: No! I think that really shows how fun baseball really is, to talk about at least. Even though it’s the same argument day after day, it’s still fun. And when the season is actually going on, it’s even better. Now the arguments rest on history, and boy do I have to put up with a lot. It’s all fun though.
It’s barely five o’ clock right now, I’ve been suffering baseball withdrawal since Sunday night. I can’t imagine how the real offseason is going to be (once the World Series is over). I’m sure everyone is getting really excited about the World Series. I’m sure there are more Florida fans jumping on the Rays bandwagon as we speak. I hate saying that, but it’s true. You know you scoffed the Rays when you saw the empty seats around the stadium at the beginning of the year. Now they’re selling out? And please, tell me who came up with that annoying cowbell idea? Matt Garza doesn’t even like it! Did you not see his earplugs? 8:00 ET starts Game 1 of the Fall Classic. It’s going to be a classic battle between Cole Hammels and Scott Kazmir. 
When my team isn’t in the World Series, I struggle to decide who to root for (I’m sure everyone goes through this). I do have some relatives up in Delaware who are Phillies fans, but that’s not influencing by decision. Look, even though the Sox got beat by Tampa, why not them? It’s so special to go from worst to first (the last team that did it was the Braves in ’91), so obviously they want to go all the way. It’s a Cinderella story. Also, if we’re gonna get beat, we might as well get beat by the World Series champs. This is the Rays first post season appearance, and they got all the way to the World Series. 
Then again, there are the Phillies, and rooting for them would be logical because I guess I’d kind of want the Rays to get swept after losing to them. But that’s obviously not too sports-man-like. Also, they haven’t been to a World Series in a while, and they’ve got some players that are just so incredible to watch.
So, I’ll let you guys in on a little secret. I’ll be happy either way for whomever wins the World Series, but, I think that the Rays should win it. Even though they beat us, what they’re doing with themselves is so cool. Just to say, I’m in no way jumping on any form of a bandwagon, I’m just going to be the objective third party spectator. Objectivity?? From me?? This only happens one in a while…
What am I looking forward to most? SPRING TRAINING ’09!!!!!!!!!
Ultimately, I just want this World Series to be a great matchup. I don’t want to see blowout games, I want to see low scoring pitchers duels. Good luck to both teams tonight!!

A Day of Abuse, all is normal

It was nice having Monday off, so that I could really take it all in. It was definitely not has heart breaking as the 2003 ALCS, which I watched as a 10 year old, and was astounded by what happened. In fact, it wasn’t even that heart breaking, a little disappointing sure, but nothing huge. The day off came at a good time for me though, I wasn’t ready to deal with all the abuse that I would’ve gotten. I was still getting over the fact that this might be Jason Varitek’s last year as a Red Sox, and I don’t know if I ever will be over that. 

Of course, as soon as I got to school today, the abuse started, and boy did they go to town. All the Red Sox haters were at it, some of whom don’t even watch baseball, which really annoys me. A few of my teachers were surprised I wasn’t wearing all black in mourning of the Red Sox. I suppose they infer that I’m a Red Sox fan from the earrings, the sweatshirt, oh, and the shoes. If it wasn’t that it might be the loud arguments I have on a daily basis with some of the Red Sox haters (none of which I start). One person commented how he had the same batting average as Jacoby Ellsbury, another decided to bring up Bucky Dent *spits*, Aaron Boone *spits*, and Bill Buckner. Really shows their level of maturity, huh? 
Theo Epstein is already pondering the offseason, he sure has a lot on his plate. There are a bunch of free agents out there, and players up for trade for that matter. Some of which are: Jake Peavy, CC Sabbathia, Mark Texiera, Salty (you know who I mean!) On a positive note, Theo is going to sit down and talk with Jason Varitek’s agent and try to come to an agreement. Theo called Varitek an “invaluable asset to our team”. I think he will do all that he can (within reason of course) to keep Jason Varitek. Mike Timlin will probably be retiring, Curt Schilling too, and even perhaps Tim Wakefield. He might try and squeeze one more year out though. The thing is, in this offseason, we don’t really want to give up our young prospects. Our team is pretty young right now, so perhaps we should focus on building a team for the future, while still keeping around some important veterans. We definitely want to keep people like: Jed Lowrie, Justin Masterson, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Clay Buchholz. We also want to bulk up contracts for people like Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, among others. I think we need to work on perhaps some more starting pitching (unless they do something with Masterson), and maybe even the bullpen. Don’t forget though, that Masterson, Okajima, and Papelbon were the ones who really came through for us in the postseason. 
On another note, Joba Chamberlain got arrested for DUI, but hey, plenty of athletes do. I’m sure he’ll get some crap about it, but the fact of the matter is: that doesn’t change how great of a pitcher he is. Whether he’s setting up for Mariano Rivera or starting, he’s scary to face. However, it is a nice backup argument to use during my daily (involuntary) debates. 
Where do you think Jake Peavy will go? CC Sabbathia? Texiera, Salty?? Anyone else (like Manny?). 
World Series starts tomorrow night, it should be a great series!

The World Series, Red Sox offseason?

Really, once again, you’ve gotta tip your cap to the Rays. We got beat, we just got beat, it’s as simple as that, and it’s not the end of the world. Really, with all our injuries, it’s pretty amazing that we even forced a game 7. Everyone was overworked, so I think a week of consistent sleep is a good remedy. The ALCS MVP ended up going to Matt Garza, appropriate I suppose since he only gave up, what, two hits? I totally thought BJ Upton would’ve gotten it, after all, he’s just been some kind of monster with home runs lately. 

So it’s going to be the Phillies vs. the Rays. Two very explosive teams, with two dominant pitching staffs. I don’t know too much about the Phillies, but I’ve collected a lot of new knowledge about the Rays after playing them for seven games. Their entire lineup is dangerous. They’ve got BJ Upton, Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford (I’m pretty sure that’s the order) back to back to back to back! Their pitching staff was great in the ALCS too: James Shields (who pitched well, but lacked proper run support), Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza (duh), and Andy Sonanstine. The only thing they’ve got to work on is securing up that bullpen so they don’t blow a seven run lead (again) with seven outs to go. That would be ridiculous. As far as Phillies pitching goes, I don’t know much. I know a little about their offense though. They’ve got Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Pat Burrell, Chase Utley… looks pretty good. I think it’ll be an exciting series, I’ll be watching, will you?
Now to the Red Sox off season. What moves are Theo going to make? We’ve got some serious options, and I think some serious contracts are going to need to be signed. Before we get there though, I thought it was so sad that after the game, Kevin Youkilis did not want to take his uniform off and ended up staring at his locker for twenty minutes. I thought it was commendable how Mike Timlin went around shaking every players hand, congratulating them. He’s likely to retire. The saddest part of all, the part that makes me cry every time I think about it, is that when a reporter asked Jason Varitek about his contract being up, tears filled his eyes, he hung his head and said (in a choked up tone): I don’t want to talk about that right now. 
I don’t know if I can imagine the Red Sox without our captain. He is truly an example for everyone out there, and he had become a leader behind the plate. Sure his offensive numbers have suffered, but can you imagine what a train wreck the pitching would be without him? Seeing him go would be worse than seeing Johnny Damon go (and I still cry about that), it would be worse than seeing Manny go the way he did, I don’t know how I would be able to walk on two feet ever again. 
Remember, Mike Lowell is having surgery this offseason, hopefully he will be ready to go for 2009 spring training, but you never know. Injuries plagued him this season, so his numbers weren’t anywhere near his 2007 season. I have faith in him though, even though he’s steadily aging. So right now, our options are Kevin Youkilis at third, and Mark Kotsay or Sean Casey at first. Now, perhaps Mark Texiera coming to the Red Sox? That would be one hell of an acquisition but here are two problems
a) who do we give up for him?
b) one of our star players will have to be benched. If he plays first, then it’s likely to be Mike Lowell.
We’ll also have to make a choice on who to keep: Sean Casey or Mark Kotsay. Kotsay is more versatile seeing that he can play a solid first base or outfield, but you’ve got to love the spirits that they mayor bring along. Who can forget that time where he crawled back to the bag? Also, hopefully we’ll be seeing Jeff Bailey in spring training?
We’ve got to get rid of Lugo. Seven million went right down the drain. Plus, Lowrie is better and we’ll want to keep our utility infielder, Alex Cora, with us. 
Let’s bring back Clay Buchholz. I know he went something ungodly like 2-9 but the poor guy had his mechanics readjusted down in Pawtucket, and they obviously didn’t work for him. I think if he works hard this offseason, then he should be re-evaluated during spring training.
I think we should keep our outfield as it is right now: Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury, Coco Crisp, and JD Drew. Sure Jacoby had his ups and downs this season, but he’s a monster on the bases and can make incredible catches. Perhaps Coco can be used for trading bait, but I think that the Sox should hang onto him.
I want to keep the following in the bullpen: Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson, and Jonathan Papelbon.
As far as what happens to David Aardsma, and Javier Lopez, well… we’ll see.
Tim Wakefield might be at the end of his career, you never know with him though. He can fool so many hitters with that knuckleball of his, but then again, if they catch on, he’s done for. Perhaps he can work on some more pitches for next season?
Paul Byrd: I don’t know what to do with this guy. He’s alright, but I think we should try and trade him to get someone better. Maybe.
Mike Timlin: Like I said before, he might very well be retiring after this season. All we can do is pay our respects to him for always having a great attitude. 
If we can trade Paul Byrd for some type of middle reliever, perhaps we can move Justin Masterson up into the starting rotation. That’d be great! 
I’m so sad that the Red Sox season is over. Now  I don’t have anything to look forward to every night, something to talk about with everyone at school, that’s always fun, arguing about games. It’s what baseball is all about. Shoving your passion down other people’s throats, like whatever they say in that Bank of America commercial. I’ll miss baseball season, and hopefully this offseason will bring some positive excitement in to the Red Sox clubhouse.

A toast to the Red Sox, thank you for a great season. Congrats Rays.

FIrst of all, to the Rays. To beat us in Game 7, well… good job. Matt Garza pitched one hell of a game, so a tip of the cap to him. Jon Lester did pretty well himself, and perhaps JD Drew could’ve given him some extra run support in the top of the eighth if that umpire had correctly called that pitch. Dustin Pedroia produced our only run, with a home run in the top of the first. I’m thankful that TBS successfully broadcasted this one. A couple of mistakes by Jon Lester, sure, but other than that, he was pretty solid. 

I want to thank the Red Sox for one hell of a season. I had an exciting April-October as always, and everyone contributed to that. I have something positive to say about everyone
-Josh Beckett: Thank you for pitching through your injuries. Your back spasms started in spring training, but you did all you could to help us. Thank you, and you still totally deserve the ’07 Cy Young.
-Daisuke Matsuzaka: Thank you for getting out of all those jams this year, and accumulating 18 wins. You were one of the best pitchers in baseball
-Jon Lester: Thank you for being our most consistent starter, thank you for throwing a beautiful no hitter to the Kansas City Royals on May 19. Thanks for getting us to the ALCS.
-Tim Wakefield: Thank you for being there for us since 1995. Thank you for adjusting to Kevin Cash after we released Doug Mirabelli before the season started.
-Clay Buchholz: Thank you for throwing a 3 hitter against the Rays early in the season, I’m sorry that they tried to change your strategy. I think that you’ll be able to fix it. Thanks for persevering though.
-Paul Byrd: Thanks for pitching some strong ball after we got you. 4-2!!! Thanks for going to the bullpen when we needed you too.
-David Aardsma: Thank you for a few innings of solid relief this year.
-Javier Lopez: Your delivery is pretty cool, and thanks for some pretty solid innings of relief this year, the bullpen is so under appreciated sometimes.
-Manny Delcarmen: Thanks for stepping up this year when we would need you too. If Jonathan Papelbon had been overused, sometimes we could turn to you in the ninth. You worked a lot for us. Thank you.
-Mike Timlin: Thank you for always assuring me when a game is over (just kidding, that’s really mean of me). Thanks for having such longevity and always being ready for us with a great attitude.
-Justin Masterson: Wow. You started in AA this season, and now you’re basically our eighth inning set up man, and a potential future starter. Thanks for stepping up, and performing the way you did. Can’t wait to see you next year.
-Hideki Okajima: Thank you for persevering through some hard innings this year. Even though you weren’t as lights out as last year, thanks for being solid in the post season.
-Jonathan Papelbon: Thank you for being absolutely incredible this year, thank you for having that intimidating stare, and that 98 mph fastball that no one can hit. Thanks for being a workhorse always ready to go. 
*To all the pitchers in general: Thanks for a great season, working through the tough ones and always being ready. It was a hard year, THANK YOU!
-Jason Varitek: Thank you for setting the example for this great team, and leading us in the right direction always. Thank you for persevering through a tough offensive year, and please re-sign with the Red Sox, for the health of Red Sox Nation. 
-Kevin Cash: Thanks for stepping up and catching all of Tim Wakefield’s games, it’s a huge help to give a day off to our captain and it’s hard to catch knuckleballs. 
-Kevin Youkilis: Thank you for being the rock of the Red Sox, thank you for getting clutch hits and lots of RBIs, you’re one of the biggest reasons we got to the post season.
-Sean Casey: Thank you for making me laugh that one time you over ran second, thank you for being the mayor and always light spirited.
-Jeff Bailey: Thank you for getting those few home runs, but I know you got them! I hope to see you up again!
-Mark Kotsay: Thank you for getting those few few few hits in the post season, but they were important. Thanks for playing some solid defense, it made a difference!
-Dustin Pedroia: Thank you for being in only your second season, and playing like a maniac. Thank you for being one of the best hitters in the majors, thank you for being so cool!
-Julio Lugo: Thank you for those few times that you made plays, thank you for throwing me that foul ball🙂
-Jed Lowrie: Thank you for stepping up when Julio got hurt! You play a great short stop and you are a pretty good hitter. I hope to see you in the future. Thanks for signing my ball.
-Mike Lowell: Thanks for playing well when you could, and thank you for trying to persevere through your injuries. Thanks for playing a solid third base. I hope your surgery goes well!
-Alex Cora: Thank you for being a utility infielder, you play well anywhere.
-Jacoby Ellsbury: Thank you for stealing fifty bases, as a rookie. Thank you for making those wicked catches that virtually no one should make, they really made a difference. Thank you for getting some great hits, and I will always believe in you.
-Coco Crisp: Thank you for stepping up in the post season, and being a good sport about not starting everyday. Thank you for stealing when we needed you to, and thank you for being AWESOME and getting into that fight with James Shields.
-JD Drew: Thank you for having that wicked month of June, and thank you for turning it around this year, thank you for your clutch hits.
-Jason Bay: Thank you for stepping up and having a great season after Manny left. You aren’t a replacement, you are a Red Sox. I can’t wait to see you next year.
-*Ode to Manny Ramirez: I’m so sorry that you were unhappy in Boston, and I will always love you because of what you did for us. 
Terry Francona: Thank you for being the best manager in baseball, thank you for making all the right decisions, thank you for maintaining my trust, thank you for a great season.
Red Sox: Thank you, if it wasn’t for the collective effort that makes you up, we wouldn’t have pushed it to game 7. Thank you for making me feel the magic, and performing that game 5 miracle. I will always have faith. 
This isn’t the end of the world, we can’t expect to win every year. If we didn’t win with our 1967 dream team with people like Yaz, and Carlton Fisk, then we definitely can’t win every year. I’m amazed that we could even get this far with all our injuries.
Thanks for a great season Red Sox, probably the biggest understatement of the year. Words will never be able to describe how much I love you. 
Congratulations Rays, you’ve had one hell of a season.

Looks like the Sox bullpen can get the job done…

Game 6 isn’t going to be remembered for some spectacular, unbelievable feat like Curt Schilling’s bloody sock of 2004, or Pedro’s six innings of hitless relief in 1999. Josh Beckett pitched through five laborious innings, but with his lack of perfection, it was pretty damn good for what it’s worth. Everyone is so proud of him, or everyone should be. After starting out rough for the Sox this post season, he really turned it around for this start giving up only four hits (two of them home runs: one to BJ Upton, and one to Jason Bartlett). Stupid TBS decided to have a power problem that forced me to endure 15 minutes of ‘The Steve Harvey Show’. Watching it on gameday just isn’t the same, no matter how fancy they try and make it.I’m hoping that TBS is forbidden from further broadcasting crucial MLB games. The early deficit was no problem for the Red Sox. The RBI machine, Kevin Youkilis belted a solo home run in the top of the second inning to even it up. Barlett’s throwing error proved crucial once again when it allowed Dustin Pedroia to get on base in the next inning. Big Papi then hit a double putting runners on second and third for Kevin Youkilis. Kevin Youkilis grounded into a fielder’s choice, but it did score Dustin Pedroia. Youk always does his job doesn’t he? Now, after going 0-for-14 in this ALCS, I knew it was time for Jason Varitek. When he got up to the plate in the sixth inning (was it?) I knew. I don’t even know how, but I knew. I didn’t have a single doubt in my mind. I called his shot, placement and everything. And it was our captain that broke the tie. It was then an RBI single by David Ortiz that gave us a much needed insurance run. Not that any lead was at all comfortable.

I knew that Terry Francona would do some kind of combination with Okajima, Masterson and Papelbon. It would either be M.O.P. (mop ’em up!) or O.M.P (Oh my Papelbon!!!). Okajima, once again, came through for us as that “hero in the dark” and with eight outs to go, it seemed like the Rays were in a similar situation that the Sox were in only two nights ago, with a much smaller deficit. But it was the Red Sox bullpen that was able to hold onto it. I swear, Terry Francona loves Justin Masterson, but who wouldn’t? He was in AA early this year and now he’s our eighth inning man? Even though he got two men on quickly, John Farrell came out and calmed him down, and Masterson was all strikes from there! Jonathan Papelbon came in and pitched a solid ninth, but you could tell he didn’t have his normal stuff when his fastball peaked at 93 mph. It worked though! And now, once again, it’s time for game 7.
I’m happy that Terry Francona is going to be giving Jon Lester the ball. We’ve got to ignore what happened in Game 3 and just focus on Game 7. I think that it was the fact that everyone was so confident in Lester, the fact that everyone had already chalked up a win for him, I think it just got to his head. He’s still a young guy, and the key here, is to not let his emotions get the best of him. As for Matt Garza, the key for him is to get him really pissed off. Start fouling off on purpose, start bunting, stealing, whatever. If we can get a run or two in the first inning, Garza will go sooner. I think Garza gets over confident too. In Game 5 at Fenway he was joking around and shushing the crowd, as if he had already opened the bottles of champagne. But boy was he in for a surprise. I think the Rays are still going to have that ‘deer caught in headlights look’. Pena thinks that they’re due for a turn around, but they already had their peak. The Red Sox are still riding their turn around, and they’re not stopping yet. I believe in Jon Lester. I don’t care about his last start, and he said that last year is irrelevant too (although he has pitched in a clinching game). And he’s absolutely right. He just needs to focus on this game. I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again. It’s time for Game 7, it’s not time to say: oh we’re making that same comeback like we did in ’04 and ’07. No. If you focus on the past, then you definitely will never progress. It’s nice to think about, and it still leaves me a little bleary eyed, but you’ve got to focus on the present. You can’t even think about the future for that matter. If you focus on advancing to the World Series, then you’re not gonna win Game 7. You’ve got to build the bridge before you cross it. We’ve got to focus not only on making Matt Garza royally pissed off, we’ve got to focus on winning every inning, and concentrate on winning every pitch, and for Jon Lester, he’s got to focus on executing every pitch. This is not going to be easy, it never is. The Sox have a lot of momentum going into this game, but that does not mean that it’s over. 
This just in (5:21pm) Terry Francona has announced the lineup:
1. Coco Crisp (CF)
2. Dustin Pedroia (2B)
3. David Ortiz (DH)
4. Kevin Youkilis (3B)
5. JD Drew (RF)
6. Jason Bay (LF)
7. Mark Kotsay (1B)
8. Jason Varitek (C)
9. Alex Cora (SS)
Jon Lester (SP)
I’m fine with everyone in this lineup, except for Alex Cora. But, I trust Terry Francona, so I’m not gonna question his decisions. Jed didn’t help us produce last night, or the night before, so it’s time to give someone else a chance. I have a good feeling about Jason Bay tonight!
I believe in everyone in this lineup, I believe in Terry Francona’s decision. 
It’s going to be crazy, it’s going to be epic. I believe that the Red Sox can win this game!

Game 5 is over, it’s time for game 6

As much as it is nice to dwell on the past, the past being Thursday’s epic finale of game 5, we simply can’t. If we focus on the past, not only do we have a lot going on for us, but we have a lot against us too. So the key is to focus on game 6. The key to game 6, in my opinion, is to pretty much disregard the number. Numbers tend to give us really high, or low expectations for people. In Game 3 everyone had pretty much chalked up a win for game Lester because they relied on his impeccable numbers, but it just didn’t happen. So regardless of what Beckett has done this post season, this season, or in post seasons in the back, it’s over, and it’s happened. Right now, Josh Beckett is going to pitch game 6, and I believe in him.I completely trust every decision that Terry Francona makes. He chose to put Coco Crisp in instead of Jacoby Ellsbury, and it worked; so maybe he will do it again, and maybe he won’t. Whoever goes out there tonight, I have faith in him. The Red Sox have all the momentum going into this game because they can carry it from the past, into the present. and hopefully, into the future. Once again, we can’t say: Oh we won game 5! We’re definitely coming back now. No, because remember, if we focus on game 7, then we don’t win game 6. We need to focus on winning each inning, winning every pitch. Josh Beckett needs to focus on communicating with Jason Varitek and executing his pitches properly. I believe that he can come through in the clutch, and I believe that everyone else can too. We’re in another must win situation. It’s going to be epic.