Flying home

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.’"

26 Comments

We’re going home!!!! Thank God, I hope that Schill gets good rest and a little side throwing in.

Great job by Beckett, I loved The Millar Mission Statement. He still loves those guys!!!

AWESOME! Great Beckett! To me Beck pitched a 8 inning shutout, the bloop double was catchable.
Ellsbury, the sparkler, MUST start in Game 6. The hapless Cereal could not even lay down a bunt. Patience and loyalty wear out. I believe Francona will start Ells in Game 6. If he doesn’t, the Sox should offer him a contrcat that he can refuse.

I’ll preface this by saying I do want Ellsbury in there. But just remember the public clamouring for Bellhorn’s head to roll in 04. We wouldn’t hqave won the World Series without him, particularly with that 3-run homer in Game 6.

What did Millar say? I didn’t see it.

007. couldn’t agree more about coco. and tito if he doesn’t make a switch! seriously coco, tek, and lugo are all stinking it up offensively but he’s the only one they have, potentially, a better option for.

We all want Ells in there, myself included. But from Tito’s perspective, just remember our CF in 2004. He was Terrible in games 1-6 but he played a small role in game 7. I think Francona might have that on his mind.

In 04, we didn’t have Ells type player in the bench. If the Sox does come back from 1-3 deficit (I am confident they will), I would compare it to the simliar historic comeback from Cleveland, Angels, and Oakland series. In 04, after the Game 4 win, the Sox faced rather ineffective pitchers like Jon Lieber, Javier Vasquez, and Kevin Brown.

I think last night was Coco’s last start of the year. His inability to get the bunt down is what will cost him his starting position. Francona and the Red Sox will not put up with that.

All the momentum is on Boston’s side. Cleveland couldn’t get the job done. Sabathia failed again in the playoffs. The Tribe had there ace going and he didn’t deliver.

Boston looking good!!! A great win on the same day where Torre says see ya later!!!

Please tell me somebody caught the postgame interview with Beckett where he was asked how he felt about his ex-girlfriend singing “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch. If you didn’t catch it when it originally aired, here’s what Beckett said:

“I don’t get paid to make those (expletive) decisions. She’s a friend of mine, so it doesn’t bother me at all. Thanks for flying one of my friends to the game so she could watch it for free.”

Except when this aired on NESN the first time, they forgot to bleep out the expletive. It was hilarious because I don’t think any of the media were expecting him to say that. Gotta love his intensity, even after the game.

Jeff, keep filling the blank space on the wall and keep petting the head of your black cat. Whatever irrational behaviors you have done, it worked!

Frankly 007, I think my pep talk had alot t do with it, lol!

yeah, ellen, your pep talk worked also.
Let’s score some runs for Schil, but just don’t surrender HR with runners on.

Let’s hope that Dice K will give us a strong 4, 5 innings, Timlin (no Delcarmen, do I miss Corey), Oki and Pap will take us to the WS.

In case you didn’t catch the interview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tizy7kDOnA4

haha that was great! i love when he swears.. he’s done it so many times in postgame and it cracks me up all the time. oh well, he pitched great…

btw, i missed the god bless america.. who sang it??

yea, Beck, the Ace of the Aces,looks so serious too.
Do you feel easy and relaxed with Beck on the mound (smooth and easy) even with 2 on, none out, and 3-0 count on the hitter? Watching Schil and Dice K pitch makes one nervous at every pitch even if they are effective.

Can someone tell Dice K to stop that annoying hesitated windup and Byrd’s double windup, oh we won’t see Byrd again.

yeah, byrd’s double windup is pretty annoying

Now if they only had Beckett mic’d up for whatever he yelled at Lofton, we’d be in business.

How’s everyone doing?

I’ve been weighted down by work, et cetera, but I still have the time catch the playoffs anytime.

That was a tremendous effort by JB the other night, truely amazing. He has accumlated 65 plus innings of work in postseason, this inculdes 73 K’s, only 13 Walks, 3 SHO’s and 3 CG’s. JB also owns the 3rd best WHIP in playoff history, and the 5 least hits allowed per 9 IP, at 4.66 or about 5.

IMO, I think that Beckett should start GM 7. In two postseason games in which he recieved 3 days rest he has combined stats of 13 IP, 12 K’s, 1 ER and 6 H’s, with 1 BB. (One game was a 4 IP relief appearance were he struckout 3 and gave up a run on 1 hit). We all know the dominate GM 7 v. the Yankees.

I also enjoyed “Millar’s Mission Statement”. It was humorus when he said “they pulled my fat @#$ for Dave Roberts”.

Rsjones – just so you know he wouldn’t be going on 3 days work, he’d be going on 2 days, which is why it’s unlikely they’ll start him.

the 4IP relief was on 2 days rest, but… to start on 2 days rest might not be good. (Most pitchers do throw a side session between starts, so some do instead throw their side during games. Think Andy Pettite)

In his little post, Ian talks about the vibe of a team changing after one game. Man, the vibe of this blog has sure changed. You sit and watch the game last night everything was going against the Sox from the very beginning. Sizemore’s double, Manny out at home, Coco can’t bunt, Lugo follows that with a DP ground ball, Manny’s 390 foot single, Pedroia hitting rockets right at people……. Meanwhile I’m sitting there watching Beckett bust his hump to keep the Sox in the game and I’m thinking, there’s no way, there’s just no way that the Sox can win with this much going wrong. But then….doink…. Grady “the best player in the world” Sizemore plunks Youk’s fly ball, walks, an error on a DP ball to the pitcher, a bunt single by Lugo, a passed ball, a sac fly and right before my eyes the worm is turning and things are going the Sox’ way. It was amazing to say the least.

I had the same feeling, the bloop double should be caught, Manny taged out standing at plate, 390 feet single. Suddenly luck was turning to the Sox’s favor and will be from here on. The Tribe had their shares of good fortune. Everything evens out eventually.

My fault, thought to quickly.

gsm. thanks for reminding me. how many times have manny and ortiz been thrown out at home this year combined? 70-80? i’m being sarcastic obviously but you’d think hale would get the point eventually. THEY’RE NOT VERY FAST. it takes more than a shallow single to score them from second. i still hope him and magadan are on the same flight out of town fter this season ends. hopefully in 2 weeks.

smck: I don’t know about youbut, if it was me guarding the plate, just the thought of seeing EITHER Manny OR Papi coming at me even at their “not very fast” rate of speed, I’d just haul my butt out of the way!! Guess that’s why they’ve got Martinez, Shoppach and the like back there, but I’m sure that even THEY still have second thoughts about them coming straight their way!!!

lol. 007chow, apparently my bizarre rituals did work, and since I am superstitious, I firmly believe they are just as responsible for the Sox Game Five victory as Josh Beckett’s masterful performance and the return of the bats :) So, tomorrow night, I will light a victory candle, pet my black cat on the head seven times before each half-inning and situate myself on the new chair and ottoman I recently bought (sitting on the new couch only brought three losses, so it is off-limit during a game). I will also wear the same Red Sox shirt and hat as I did for Game Five. In addition, I have not shaved since the Sox Game Four loss, so I think that has contributed to the good luck as well, and even if I end up looking like Casey Blake, I will not shave until after the Sox win the ALCS. I don’t think I could hold out until after the World Series.

And, if anyone is wondering, no, I am not married, but I do have a longtime serious girlfriend. Hmm…I wonder why she has not agreed to tie the knot.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

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