The Yankees STUN The Red Sox With A 6 Run 8th And Take Game One Of The Series
At the end of seven innings, the Boston Red Sox held a comfortable 7-2 lead and all was well in the Hub of the Universe. And then the Yankees stepped up to the plate for the top of the eighth, and all hell broke loose. Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Boston starter, stuggled a bit but effectively mixed his pitches well enough to hold the Yanks to two runs. But his control was still not where it should be. He walked five and threw 122 pitches before being taken out with 2 outs in the sixth. Javy Lopez finished the inning and recorded the first two outs of the seventh. Okie was summoned to finish the inning, which he did, and started the eighth. With the Sox holding a five run lead, the Fenway Faithful, including me, was feeling pretty darn good. Damn fine, in fact! But Okie was not able to record another out, and gave up 4 runs before Paps came in to put out the fire. He fanned the flames instead, giving up the other two runs of that 8th inning on three hits. Silence ruled when before there was a kind of quiet jubilation, an inner peace and happiness that ruled the scene. But that changed in what seemed like a mere heartbeat. The Yankees 'pen held that one run lead, and the New York club, the hottest team in the majors since before the All Star break, won the game by a score of 8-7. Terry Francona, who went with his tried and true formula of Timlin/Lopez to Okie to Paps, said this after the game.....
"When the inning started, we have Pap in there (warming up) in case they get something going," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "But second and third, we're still up three. It wasn't the way we drew it up, but we always feel good when Pap's in the game.
"Our bullpen has been really strong. We gave up a lead to a real good hitting team and it's disappointing. But we'll come back and do it again [today]."
Peter here, and now it's a two game series. The Red Sox cannot afford to lose both games. They'd only be up two games in the loss column if that were to happen. We pin our hopes and dreams on our best pitcher, Josh "Baseball" Beckett, who will face Chien-Ming Wang, the Yankees' best, in what will be a battle for the AL East crown and for the Cy Young award voters to closely scrutinize. All eyes will be on FoxHD shortly before 4pm edt. Let's win this game and take the pressure off and eliminate the possibility of a sweep. Let's face it, my readers, both of these teams are deserving and WILL be in the playoffs. But after being in the lead of their division for most if not all of the season, finishing second to those who wear pinstripes would be a bitter pill to swallow. So enjoy your Saturday. We've seen the worst. It can and only WILL get better. "It's getting better all the time," Paul McCartney wrote in a 1967 song. "It can't get no worse" was John Lennon's refain and lament. True, John, too true. You speak for all of us. You always did. You always will.
Click on the title of this post for the Herald's Tony Massarotti's look at the state of the Red Sox pitching right now, and as always, thanks for taking a few minutes from your busy day to be here. I wish I could have been writing this post with a happy ending. But no, I can't do that. But there's always hope, and faith. Remember that. And keep smiling, even through the pain.