And then the Sox PA announcer called John Williams “the epitome of our culture.” I want to think a composer with Williams' talent, despite the clumsy orchestration last night, is the epitome of our culture, but I think, sadly, American Idol is a little closer.
The game is about to start, and all I can think is 21 of 22. Unfortunately for the Sox, the last time they faced a team that started 7-0 in the postseason (the 1975 Reds), it didn’t work out in their favor.
And then it started. Taveras down in three. Matsui down swinging on a nasty one. And the best pitcher in baseball right now looks brilliant. I loved the man when he and Dontrell Willis mowed the Yankess down in 2003, and I can't help but appreciate his stuff now.
Pedroia hits a first-pitch solo shot. That sucks, but it's still not too late.
Not too late until Clint Hurdle calls the infield in while it's still a one run ball game in the first, exhibiting the kind of baseball acumen that makes Eric Byrnes's lucky comment look prescient. What the fuck, Clint? Thank God Atkins and Helton manage to connect on a beautiful one to stop the bleeding. “Yeesh,” is the summation of the twenty text messages that come trickling in.
Right around the time Hawpe was fanned for Beckett’s fifth strike out, I begin to notice an incredibly annoying, low-pitched, mechanical whine in the background of Fox’s broadcast audio. The annoyance factor is lessened by Tulo’s double, but amped back up again by Dane Cook's hair.
When Youkilis scores because Holliday lets it go to the wall, so Taveras -- who has the arm of an atrophied Johnny Damon -- has to make the throw, and Tulo's relay has no hope to begin with, I get a little sick to my stomach. And I'm getting really sick of Hurdle trying to bunt Taveras on. He’s not Juan Pierre, even though he has Pierre's arm.
In the fourth, when a three run lead becomes a five run lead, I double over and wish I'd taken my Prilosec this morning. Maybe that Sports Illustrated cover has gotten to Francis a little late. The Pony Express of curses may take a while to cross the plains.
My grandmother would have said that Franklin Morales has a "hitch in his giddyup." I would have said Morales went as much to first as he did to home last night when he got called for a balk in the fifth. I would also say that Kevin Youkilis -- give credit where credit is due to Theo Epstein and this home-grown monster in a time of free agency -- is on fire and serving him anything over the plate is bad idea. 7-1. Oh, and then there’s Papi. 8-1. And that other guy, the one with the pretty finish and the hair. 9-1.
Fox announcer, Disembodied Voiceguy, chooses this point in the game to point out the differences between the leagues, noting that when the Rockies played the Cubs in the NLDS, they played a team with an overrated offense. No one corrects him (warning, flyover-state-inferiority-complex about to surface) ,and the Fox broadcasting crew proves yet again that the AL, East Coast, sports-media myopia has once again overlooked some basic facts, namely the Rockies went through a very good Phillies team to get to the NLCS.
The only bright spot in the fifth was Torrealba’s phenomenal blocking of a would-be Morales pass ball on his second-to-last pitch of the evening. The next, a screamer knocked up the middle, was just out of reach for an outstretched Tulo. 10-1. Ryan Speier misses four times with the bases juiced. 11-1.
This is the point in the game where I decided it would be great to put peanut butter on crackers and, while reaching into the pantry, I thought of George Washington Carver. The natural progression of famous black Americans led me back in time to Crispus Attucks. Attucks was, of course, the first man shot … Speier misses four more times. 12-1. After tonight, I never want to see Bob Apodaca again. Four more times. 13-1. This is why we have not seen Speier all postseason.
I think some other stuff happened after that, but I can’t be too sure. Herges probably looked good. I think Latroy Hawkins did as well, but I can't be certain. I've never before been so excited for a Thursday.
Thursday will bring a Rockies win, and a free taco to the nation, and all will be right with the universe. -- Sean Cronin