30 September 2005

The David.

...as in, "Manny, David and Blue are dot, dot, dot." In all honesty, right around the middle of the 6th inning, with the team down 4-1, which easily could have been something like 7-1, our offense just a cold fish, the Yankees winning 8-2, Cleveland shutting out Tampa, and the prospect of being two games out with three to play- I thought the season may have been over. I felt like I'd extended them enough rope, and that they were just wilting.

But when Jason Frasor- who's been good against us and everyone else this year, like a lot of the Blue Jay bullpen- came in to face Ortiz, Ramirez and Varitek, the tide s-l-o-w-l-y started to turn. Facing the full shift, Ortiz hit a ground ball that was destined for an easy out to 2B Aaron Hill- until Russ Adams, playing on the 1B side of 2B, dove at the grounder, cutting it off and leaving no play for Ortiz to be made. Next batter, Frasor came in on Manny, and what has to be a great sign for the rest of the way, Manny really drove a ball hard the other way, 2-R HR, and we were back in the game.

Maybe the tide turned in the top of the fifth when Clement, getting knocked around, had the bases loaded with one out and made an astonishing play to get the runner forced at home- a little shovel pass.

But then David picked us up and carried us- off Vinnie Chulk in the 8th (with Schoenweiss, having been burnt the night before in 2.2 IP, on the bench), David smacked one opposite field to tie the game, and though a HUGE opportunity got lost with three straight non-productive outs after a Manny BB, Varitek single, and Manny Pete Rose into 3B- you had the feeling that this was one we weren't going to lose because we flat out couldn't lose it.

And seriously, I get chills thinking of what Papelbon did last night. 2.2 IP, nothing but a pair of bloop doubles and some dynamite stuff. The best was after Bill Mueller made a tough play on an in-between hop ground ball to 3B, Papelbon was fired up, giving him the old "attaboy Billy!" He even had Gabe's number written on the back of his hat. When he retired the side in the 9th too, he slowly paced off the field with Hannibal Lecter eyes- just pure icewater in his veins. Fun to watch.

In fact, I must say- the void left by the Right Arm of God for the place of "My Favorite Red Sox Pitcher" has been filled- by Jonathan Papelbon. Blue comes thrue.

"We have the future Roger Clemens in the house," Ortiz said of Thursday night's winning pitcher. "That kid, man, I'll tell you; this guy is something else. Somebody said on the TV when I was [swinging the bat], this guy looks like he's been pitching 20 years. Let me tell you, the attitude that he has when he is out there and the concentration ... I tell you, he's going to be the future Roger Clemens of this ballclub. I'm telling you that right now."

And then David- sweet, sweet David. I just- I knew he would do it. That might sound academic at this point, but I think for anyone who watches a lot of baseball, I don't think you can even approach reasonably saying that for any other baseball player on the planet. But when David comes to the plate with the game in the balance and any kind of chance to win it- you just feel like he will do it. It will happen. It's such an odd feeling. At this point, David has definitely reached, in Boston sports culture, Bird/ Orr/ Yaz status.

Biggest game of the year- HR to tie it late, single to win it even later.

So yea, bring on New York. Let's win out and do this.

So yeah, gotta keep rolling with the Papi offerings I think. Think it'd be a good idea.

"You think I hit this ball hard? Damn, dude, I only touched that thing. The Yankees are going to look at this and say, 'I wish David did THAT to us instead' after what I lay on them this weekend. Everybody get on my back, we gonna win out and burn through the playoffs, dude. This isn't apple sauce, or barbecue sauce...THIS IS RED SOX, BABY."

Small note- this is from a video of David in the Japanese All Star Games after the 2004 season- the same series he hit that unbelievable HR hit that smacked into the back wall of the dome they were playing in- interesting to note that the images move forward right to left- isn't this how the Japanese language is laid out, how it's read? That's probably why it's like this. Interesting...

The power of the ganj is STRONG in you, my sons. Go demolish those corporate conference room checkbook pigs and knock em down a few pegs- it'll be good for baseball!

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