White Knuckle Time
Urgency has reached the Red Sox for the first time in 2008. They lose tonight, and they’re in a very deep hole. Yes, I know they came back from 3-1 in last year’s ALCS, but last time they had a vintage Josh Beckett lined up for Game 5 and a battle-tested Curt Schilling lined up for Game 6.
They need this win tonight and it could come down to which way Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball is floating. Keep in mind, the venerable veteran was in this exact situation once before. The Red Sox trailed the Yankees 2-1 entering Game 4 of the 2003 ALCS and Wakefield came up huge in that game.
But the offense also needs to get going. Jacoby Ellsbury must get on base and Big Papi must start hitting again. If that happens, everything else should fall into place.
One stunning observation from yesterday is how dead the crowd was. And this is even before Lester gave up the longballs. I would expect the crowd would be much livelier tonight, given the situation.