Another Josh Beckett masterpiece later and the Red Sox packed their bags and headed home with confidence and a feeling of rejuvenation.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from covering the postseason over the years, it’s that the vibe of a team can change so much after one win.
I saw it 2001 when the Yankees won Game 3 of the Division Series in Oakland after losing the first two games of that series at home. I saw it two years later at Fenway Park when Trot Nixon’s walkoff homer beat those same A’s in Game 3 after Boston had lost the first two games. And clearly, we all saw it in 2004 when the Roberts steal and the Ortiz walkoff gave the Red Sox the life they needed to climb out of an 0-3 deficit.
Is that to say the Red Sox will win this series? Of course not. Nobody can know. But things are looking a lot better down 3-2 than down 3-1. And now they’re going home, and now they’ll have Fenway behind them.
If there’s anyone besides Josh Beckett you’d want to take the ball in a game like this, it would have to be Curt Schilling. I know he struggled in Game 2, but I also remember what he did on one leg in Game 6 in 2004.
The Indians have Carmona, who has great stuff. But the Red Sox were able to get to him a little in Game 2. Will that be the case again in Game 6? It depends on how well Carmona handles the pressure of the biggest game he’s ever pitched. This isn’t the biggest game Schilling has ever pitched, just one of the biggest.
And I leave you tonight-this morning with this line from Josh Beckett:
"We’re excited to get back to Boston," said Beckett. "This is not where
we want to be, but, obviously, we’re inching closer to where we want to
be. Kind of the motto in the clubhouse right now is, ‘It’s better to
die on your feet than live on your knees.’"