Thursday, October 07, 2004

Do you think there are network executives at Fox who get down on their knees and pray each night for a Red Sox-Yankees ALCS? Just wondering.

Another win in Anaheim for the Olde Towne Team. Last night the good Pedro showed up and he did a nice job keeping the Angels in check until the offense could score some runs. I was worried about this one at the start. The Sox loaded the bases twice against Bartolo Colon in the first two innings and only came away with one run. Mark Bellhorn could have ended up wearing the goat horns if this game had gone the other way, as he was caught napping on second base with two out, the bases loaded and Ortiz at the plate. David Eckstein snuck in behind Bellhorn and catcher Jose Molina fired a strike to catch Bellhorn before he could scramble back to the base.

Unfortunately, I missed most of the middle innings. With the 10PM start I passed out on the couch sometime in the 4th inning with the score 1-1 and woke up in the 9th with the score 8-3. I did catch a great new NESN innovation this morning before work though. They played every hit, out and other important play (like Francisco Rodriguez’s wild pitch), so you could see all the important points of the game in about 10 minutes.

The Sox really broke it open against the vaunted Angels bullpen. They scored 5 runs against K-Rod and Brendan Donnelly last night, blowing open what had been a close game when Colon left. The Boston bullpen, on the other hand, has only allowed one baserunner in four innings so far in the series.

So, the Sox go home to Fenway up 2-0. Being a Red Sox fan, however, I’m taking nothing for granted. Tomorrow nights game features Bronson Arroyo’s first post-season start against Kelvim Escobar. Arroyo is typically pretty unflappable, but it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to the October spotlight.

The Yanks barely avoided going into a 2-0 hole last night. The Twins took a 6-5 lead into the bottom of the 12th, courtesy of a Torii Hunter homer. Joe Nathan, the Twins closer, came out for his third inning of work and promptly couldn’t get the ball over the plate. He walked two, and then A-Rod hit a ground rule double to tie the game. Nathan was replaced and Hideki Matsui hit a sac fly, scoring Jeter to win the game for the Yankees.

Now here’s what I don’t understand. Nathan hasn’t pitched more than two innings all year. He’s never pitched three innings in his entire career. The Twins manager, Ron Gardenhire, had no one warming up in the bullpen. Gardenhire claimed that Nathan was his best choice, but wouldn’t it make sense to have someone ready in case Nathan started to tire? And what makes managers think that players can do things in the playoffs that they haven’t done all season? Of course, a manager leaving a pitcher in too long during a playoff game in Yankee Stadium is something of a familiar sight around Red Sox Nation.

I’m really looking forward to the weekend. It’s been a busy week, with the Wahconah Park situation and quarter end at work. I’m writing this from the 8:25 commuter rail train, since I didn’t get everything I needed to do finished until around 7:30. I had anticipated that this would be one of the two worst days of the quarter close - next Tuesday should be bad, too. It’s good to see that I can still pick ‘em.

The weekend is pretty full with the usual events. Soccer, swimming and Sunday School will keep the kids busy. We have a birthday party (for grown-ups!) on Saturday night which should be fun. The weather for Saturday isn’t looking too good, so I might take the kids to see Shark’s Tale in the afternoon. The reviews haven’t been too good, but the kids will probably enjoy it and it would be fun to take them out for a couple of hours. I’ve really been wanting to see Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow, but I haven’t had the time since it came out. Maybe I can squeeze it in next weekend one night after the kids go to bed.

Go Sox!!!


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