Season On The Brink — Again
Here we go again. The Red Sox fighting off elimination. In manager Terry Francona‘s term as manager, the club has faced elimination in eight postseason games and have won seven of them.
If you stretch it back to 2003, the team is 11-2 in those situations. And if you want to go back to 1999, they are 14-3 when they face elimination. If you really want to stretch it out, the Red Sox are 24-11 all-time on nights they could have been eliminated from a postseason series.
In all honesty, that doesn’t help them win tonight’s game. They need to out-execute the Rays to do that. But it does, as Jason Varitek says, create a “sense of belief”.
I would expect a revved-up Fenway crowd for this one. It’s been strange to see the team play so poorly at home, where they are 1-3 thus far in this postseason and the only win came on that fluky botched squeeze by the Angels.
To get to the World Series, the Red Sox need to win three in a row. An optimist would point out that they’ve done that 15 times this season, and twice against the Rays.
Including the postseason, opponents are 0-for-1 against Dice-K with the bases loaded this season, though I’m sure most Sox players and fans would hope he doesn’t try to stretch that stat out tonight.
And after a dreary day, the sky is brightening. It’s a mystery who will throw out the first pitch. I haven’t seen anything on that yet. Any guesses? I’m sure most people are more preoccupied with what Dice-K and Kazmir’s first pitches are going to look like.