**** The Boston Red Sox Are American League East Champions ****
The Boston Red Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-2 last night, and coupled with Baltimore's amazing ninth inning comeback to tie the game with three runs off Mariano Rivera and one in the 10th to win it, clinched their first American League East Division championship in 12 long years. And it was Daisuke Matsuzaka's turn to shine brightly last night. He went 8 tremendous innings for the good guys, giving up only two runs on 6 hits while striking out a commanding 8. He used a devastating breaking ball to fool many of the Twin's hitters, and mixed his fastball and slurve in at the right times. He was in charge from pitch number one, and he was a joy to watch. Jonathon Papelbon recorded his 37th save with a 6 (!) pitch ninth. When word of the Yankees' loss came roaring through the clubhouse, where many of the players had stayed and watched the O's remarkable win, the champagne started to flow, and it wasn't long after that that the players brought the celebration to the field, where many fans had stayed and stood and laughed and rooted, just to watch the Yankee-Orioles game on the big scoreboard. And they were happy they did!
I want to, I HAVE to mention Big Papi. He had another multi-hit night, going 3 for 4 with a double, a double that made history. He set the record for most doubles hit in a season by a DH. Last night was double #52, surpassing the 1995 mark set by Seattle's Edgar Martinez. He has had a phenomenal season, his best so far in terms of batting average and on base percentage, and he's vital to our team. Papi, WE LOVE YOU!!!
So now, with the division clinched, the only thing that matters now is having the best record in the league, and Boston is tied right now with the Cleveland Indians. The Sox own the tiebreaker 5 games to 2, so even if the two teams end up with the same record, the Red Sox will have the playoff schedule option. Two things are certain...the Angels and the Red Sox will play, with the Sox being the home team, and the Yankees will play Cleveland as the away team.
Congratulations to our 2007 Boston Red Sox. This is but step #1 in our magical mystery tour of October baseball, one that very well may end with another World Championship trophy. And needless to say, with so many deliriously happy members of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International saluting their 2007 Boston Red Sox, myself included, front and center.
Click on the title of this post for more about the magic of Friday night at Fenway Park, a night we will never forget. Have a wonderful weekend. I couldn't think of a better way to start it out...the Red Sox did that!!!!