The playoffs have accentuated the different personalities in my family. Mum, the ever pessimist, has yelled at the entire Red Sox team on the tv all season long and gets discouraged from the slightest missed opportunity. Dad, the optimist, has been counting down on wins needed for the World Champions trophy pretty much since June. I am in the middle, a hoper who’s afraid to predict anything before it actually happen. My brother, just plain cheers.
JD Drew just made himself the most popular man in Boston. It’s ironic give how fans have been boo-ing him for so long. Which brings to mind of fan behaviour.
I’m as guilty of criticising players as any. For 7-8 figure salaries, these guys need to play at some minimum standard. But I can never understand loudly and actively booing a player at the stadium, especially at the player’s home turf.
Drew and Gagne has been getting that treatment from the Red Sox fans. I agree both of them have had disappointing seasons. I’m still uneasy when Gagne pitches because he has actually cost us games. I didn’t mind Drew not hitting as much since it’s just not taking opportunity to make offense and feels less costly.
Red Sox gains nothing from being boo-ed by its own fans in the stadium, no matter how annoying their players are. Ultimately, whether we approve or not of a coach’s or manager’s decision, we want our team to win, right?
Tonight. One last game to the ALCS. I’m excited that the team came from a 3-1 deficit. Now, it all comes down to one single game. Nerve-wrecking enough for me. I’m comforted that the last game is in Fenway. I’m bummed that I am not there. I wonder what’s in store for all of us…
I will say this. The Indians have been tough. They’ve forced the Sox to put their best game forward and didn’t let them get away with anything less. It has been a good match between two good teams. It’s made a good series and good baseball. I still expect the Red Sox to gun it and secure a win, but, thank you, Cleveland, for making this a great series to watch and to fret over.
… that 7-running inning? Please don’t do that again. It took the fun out of following baseball altogether. No, I didn’t quit rooting for you. I even took joy out of hearing about the back-to-back-to-back homeruns. If only you could have done that three more times. OK, I’m reaching, here, I know. But 7 runs in one inning??
By the way, I’m officially nervous, now. No, I’m not panicking because Beckett is up next. But, one more game, gents, to salvage another chance for another game. One game stands between Cleveland and the World Series against the Rockies. So, yes, I’m nervous.
Get your rest and give your fans a game to enjoy tomorrow, please. Then we’ll see you back in Fenway.
The Sox looked dominant tonight, no doubt about it. But I was rather disappointed about the pitching performance. What I anticipated as a big show down of excellent pitching didn’t happen. The generous reporters are calling Beckett “dominant” “sublime” etc. While Beckett clearly game a superior performance over Sabathia (who really disappointed me), I didn’t think Beckett was as sharp as he could be. I wasn’t expecting the ALDS repeat but I thought he would knock off more strike outs and I thought even he laboured a bit from the fifth inning on. No matter. Tonight is when the batting really starting coming together. This is the best I’ve seen from the team in a long time and am I ever glad. Beckett definitely inspires excellence from the team, whether intentional or not.
The Gagne dilemma. As being a fan goes, I’m quick to judge and quick to forgive. But I still question Gagne’s value. He allows so many batters onto base. 9th inning and bases loaded, c’mon. Yes, he got himself out of his jam but part of it was bad swinging from Cleveland. Because there were not that many pitches into the strike zone at all.
The Ellsbury Quandary. Ellsbury has been replacing Manny in the last inning lately. The Sox is smart to hang into Ellsbury. He’s got a lot of potential and he has actually been able to realise some of that for the team. He clearly has some rough corners that needs to be polished by gaining experience on the field. But the big question is: where can the Sox put him? Ellsbury is a left fielder, as is Manny, who has proved invaluable since the day he came back from DL. Manny and Ortiz are batting as they are ever able to and have the highest hit counts. The team certainly can’t pull Manny out. Then there’s Coco in center. Whose batting is so-so. But we don’t know how Ellsbury’s batting will compare. Although Ellsbury was phenomenal in August and September, he’s so freshly novice that there isn’t all that much past performance to show a more fair comparison.
Three Frozen Statues. Watching Lugo, Manny, and Coco watch a fly ball land right between them was something I never ever ever want to see again, especially not in the play-offs. I don’t care how good the offense is. These guys are paid too much and too experienced to commit such a Little League mistake and to start slacking on defense. I will allow that Manny compensated for that in the late game superb catch. It actually looked like a quick pick from the ground when Fox replayed the move. But it counted as a catch and the way he got it was pretty impressive.
It’s good to get a game down. I really was hoping for more of a pitching duel. But, hey, it’s a win and I’ll take it. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the game thoroughly and I was especially relieved for the huge lead at the 9th inning when Cleveland loaded the bases. The Sox is on a roll and so are the fans. Go Sox!!