Thursday, October 02, 2003

OK, I'm not a happy person this evening.

Of course, I'm sure you know that the source of my unhappiness is the Red Sox 2-0 deficit in the ALDS. Oakland won last night's marathon game in 12 innings 5-4. The game started at 10 PM Eastern time and didn't end until about 2:45 in the morning. I lasted until the top of the 7th, at which point the Red Sox led 4-3. Todd Walker had just given the Sox the lead with his second home run of the night.

There were two reasons I headed to bed at that point. The first was the fact that I couldn't keep my eyes open. Second was I decided that there was no real upside at that point. If the Sox held on and won the game, then I wouldn't have really missed much. If the bullpen blew the lead, well, I really didn't want to see that. So I got up this morning and heard the results on the radio. Seems like sleep was the better alternative.

If I had to hand out awards for the top three Goats of the Game (sort of the opposite of the Stars of the Game they do in hockey), here are my picks in reverse order of importance:

3. Grady Little - Grady blew it by not pinch running for David Ortiz in the top of the 8th after he walked leading off the inning. Ortiz is generally acknowledged to be the slowest man on the team. Virtually anyone else would have scored on Bill Mueller's double one out later, but Ortiz stopped at third. Someone fast, like Adrian Brown, certainly would have scored the insurance run the Sox could have used in the 9th.

2. Manny Ramirez - your $20 million a year slugger has got to get a big hit once in a while in the post-season. Manny ended the 3rd with two outs and the bases loaded, and the 5th with two outs and runners on the corners. He needed to get a hit in at least one of those situations, especially in the 3rd when it looked like the Sox had Tim Hudson on the ropes a little bit. Instead they came away with nothing. Manny ended the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th innings.

1. Byung-Hyun Kim - He's the obvious choice. Your closer can't go out and walk the eighth batter and hit the ninth batter in the last of the ninth. He just can't.

Today's game was really the story of one bad inning for Wakefield and a great performance by Barry Zito. Not much more you can say about it.

So, the Sox return for two (I hope) at Fenway on the verge of elimination. The Yankees are down 1-0 to the Twins and are tied in game 2 1-1 in the top of the 6th as I write this. Don't you think there are some Fox TV executives about ready to kill themselves at the prospect of an A's - Twins ALCS instead of Boston-New York?


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