06 April 2005

BOS 7, NYY 3

WP- Mike Timlin (1-0)
LP- Mariano Rivera (1-1)
HR- T. Martinez (1), A. Rodriguez (1)

To paraphrase Mike...

"Boston Red Sox, in the case of Mariano Rivera... you ARE the father!"

--Mike as Maury Povich

Listening at work, it was an infuriating first few innings. A ton of hits with double plays and stranded runners, and Wakefield pitching well (only 3 hits) and still leaving with the game tied. We had all the opportunity in the world to be up 5, 6, 7-2, but lost opportunities and Edgar Renteria were holding us back. Chopper hit into TWO big DPs his first two times up, effectively killing two seperate rallies. Wakefield's only two runs came on a bomb to Alex Rodriguez and a flukey HR to Tino Martinez on a ball at his eyes that he flicked out to RF (and NB on Martinez, if Kay calls him "Constantino Martinez" one more time, I'm taking Suzyn Waldman hostage, and it'll be one finger at a time until he promises to stop).

After Timlin hit Jeter on the top of the shoulder/ head, it seemed like he was rattled (visibly, like it shook his focus) and he couldn't find the plate. Eventually Sheffield sac flied a run in, and going into the top of the ninth against Rivera, it was looking doubtful in a game we fought hard and were losing despite outhitting them to that point 12-3.

But of course, as has been increasingly evident over his last 11 appearances against Boston, arguably since his final appearance against them in the '03 ALCS, where Boston is concerned, Rivera is...


Owned. Here's rundown of Boston's 5-run 9th:

  • Mariano Rivera relieves Tanyon Sturtze

  • Bill Mueller walks.

  • Mark Bellhorn singles to right, Mueller to 2nd.

  • Johnny Damon singles to right, Bellhorn to 2nd, Mueller to 3rd.

  • Trot Nixon strikes out.

  • Manny Ramirez reaches on error by 3B Alex Rodriguez. Mueller scores, Bellhorn to 3rd, Damon to 2nd. 3-3 Score.

  • David Ortiz grounds out to the pitcher. Mark Bellhorn scores, Johnny Damon to 3rd, Manny Ramirez to 2nd. 4-3, Red Sox.

  • Dave McCarty walks.

  • Edgar Renteria singles to left field. Johnny Damon scores. Manny Ramirez scores. David McCarty to Edgar Renteria to 1st. 6-3, Red Sox.

  • Doug Mirabelli walks. Edgar Renteria to 2nd, David McCarty to third.

  • Felix Rodriguez relieves Mariano Rivera

  • Wild pitch by Felix Rodriguez. David McCarty scores. 7-3, Red Sox.

  • Bill Mueller strikes out looking.

  • And then there he walked, mid-inning off the mound, the cornerstone of the last Yankee dynasty, one of the great relief aces of all time, arguably the most dominant postseason pitcher in history... booed by the fans at Yankee Stadium as he left. Booed. Mariano Rivera. Great fans- standing "o" for Giambi the steroid abuser, boos for a recently down-on-his-luck postseason GOD Mariano Rivera. Go figure.

    It was great to finally see Renteria get some hits under his belt, especially that huge single to break things open against Rivera. I think Chopper will be fine once he gets comfortable- I've read Remy thought it seemed like he was trying to pull everything, a sign of pressing. He stayed inside that cutter nice today, and put a decent swing on it for the RBIs. Something tells me the 4 GIDPs in 3 games will go down too.

    This was a really exciting win, a fun game that went our way, but not all was chipper and well- Terry Francona was taken to nearby Cornell Medical Center after complaining of "tightness" in his chest. The latest reports have him resting comfortably and being transferred back to Boston to await further tests. Brad Mills will act as the manager in his absence.

    "He slept on the bus coming from the hotel," Mills said. "When we got in, I went in to get the lineup from him. I kind of joked, I said, 'You took a little nap.' He looked up and said, 'Millsy, I'm not feeling real well.' We had him go talk to [trainer Jim Rowe], [and] he looked at him. Right now, it's all precautionary, but he's still upbeat and still OK."

    The scary part is the spotty health history Francona has. In recent years, Terry had surgery to repair damage in both his knees (a chronic problem that derailed his playing career)- surgery which resulted in staph infections in both knees, blood clots in said knees, pulminary embolisms as a result of clots travelling to his lungs, and a reaction to the initial blood-thinning medication he received. In fact, Terry was actually in grave danger around October of 2002.

    Get well, Terry. Best Red Sox manager of my lifetime, seems like a real nice guy too.

    Erin and I checked out Sin City last Friday- it was good, very cool looking, fun style and subject: hookers, pedophiles, Hammett-style cops, canned tough guy dialogue. No Alba nudity, sadly- but some Carla Gugino and Jamie King no-clothes action, so that works alright.

    The funniest part was standing in line on Opening Night of a nerd orgy of a movie. Right in front of us were two guys both immersed in dog-eared copies of the Sin City graphic novels, breathlessly recollecting the original source material before they were blown away by the film. Behind me were vigorous debates over films like X2: X-Men United and Spiderman 2, all had by guys with long hair, shaggy beards, and those weird silk shirts with big, ugly, comic book character prints they all wear. Trenchcoats and acne were not in short supply.

    The thing you have to realize with nerds like this- specifically, comic book style nerds- they love to show you how funny/ cool they think something is. At even the slightest whiff of an attempt at humor in the movie, they fell all over themselves to choke out knowing chuckles and uncomfortably long-lasting howls- from guys you could just hear mentally thinking, "Oh I LOVE that line, that's from issue #45B. They really nailed that. Maybe if I laugh louder the people around me will think I'm like, something of a Sin City expert..."

    And of course, they all cheered like basement-dwelling little kids for the Star Wars: Episode III trailer which, while fantasically awesome, isn't something that would induce involuntary cheering from me on any occasion. But that's the thing- it's not involuntary. They're nerds.

    Apparently, Dirt Dog has set his sights on David Wells for his early season "who will fill in for Nomar/ Pedro?" sweepstakes. Congrats, Dave. The question wasn't IF he will treat certain Sox players like an unprofessional asshole, it was WHICH Sox player would he treat like an unprofessional asshole.

    So, he reports all these tales of Wells being out at a club in NYC two nights before his start. Last time I checked, the Sox weren't on DD's curfew. One of these days, I'm going start a site that examines Steve Silva's personal habits, which, as it happens, include lying and misrepresenting facts about players on his favorite baseball team on his "fan site" (ahem) linked to boston.com, in order to get more hits on his site.

    Also, though I'm looking forward to it myself, his shameless Fever Pitch shilling is pathetic- all because Fallon wears one of his shirts (I know this because I've seen the photo on his site about 1500 times). Let there be NO DOUBT that if this wasn't true, we'd be subjected to daily whines about Barrymore/ Fallon on the field post-WS win, and Fallon's being "a NYer."

    Of course, no DD entry would be complete without a totally misrepresented Pedro link/ comment. Here's the link to the recent Pedro interview from the Herald. In the interview (seriously, read it), Pedro is conciliatory, honest, well-wishing and excited about his time in NY. He does still take issue with Theo and management, something he's well within his rights to do. When referring to Schilling:

    "People are trying to throw that on the ground. I never had any problems. Me and Schilling got along really well. There was never, ever anything bad, or any disagreement on anything," Martinez said. "I don't really understand why the comments came out about my work habits. If anybody knows my work habits, there's no way to fool anybody.

    "I don't know if Schilling said it, but if Schilling said it, he doesn't know me all that well. Those are things Schilling should have never said if he said it, as a player. If he didn't say it, I guess I expect that from the media in Boston."

    Nothing too bad there. Giving Schilling the benefit of the doubt, but taking issue with him if he did say it, which is definitely his right, just as it was Curt's right to take issue with things said by Pedro on his way out the door. The rest of the article is downright heartwarming by comparison- well wishes, longing for his teammates, and enthusiastic appraisals of his current situation.

    Dirt Dogs link headline?

    And Crazy, Paranoid Pedro is Back!

    Sox fans, Dirt Dog is the enemy. Don't visit his site.

    Also, as a side note- the Herald headline wasn't much better: "High heat from Pedro -- Ace rips Theo, questions Schilling". He didn't really "rip" Theo at all, and his "questioning" Schilling was closer to his giving him a benefit of the doubt... the rest of the article is too nice to use in a headline, apparently.

    Quick note- Schilling's start tomorrow in the Pawtucket home opener will be available for FREE on MLB.tv- here's the link. His first start with the Big Sox should come on April 13th at home against the Yankees.

    Also, yes, I know I skipped Moss and Papelbon this week, and they will be resumed next week as Portland gets underway.

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