The Baseball Desert

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Déjà vu

I would have preferred that the Red Sox not cough up a six-run lead over the last three innings of the game, but if that's the price you have to pay for some more walk-off magic, then so be it.

All that you can say about David Ortiz has already been said, so at the risk of being all blasé about the walk-off hit, I'd like to give credit to the players who got the game to that point in the 12th: Coco, who led off with a double; Youk, who, despite having seen more pitches this year than any other player in the American League, hit the very first pitch he saw into center to drive in the tying run; Loretta, who worked a crucial walk to bring Papi to the plate. Papi will get all the headlines, but without those guys, he doesn't even get to come to the plate.

And it's not just the guys hitting in front of Papi who get the credit - if you want to single out the real reason Papi got that chance, then look no further than the guy hitting behind him. The Phillies had already pitched around Ortiz in the ninth and it had worked, but here they had no choice - do you really want to load the bases for the active career leader in grand slams? I think not... Credit Papi with the game-winning RBI, but credit Manny with some Fear Factor points.

So, nine consecutive games for me, nine wins for the Sox - a pretty good streak on which to take on the best team in the National League. I'm not going to be greedy and ask for another sweep, because that's unlikely, but two out of three would be nice. Whatever happens, there's going to be some pretty good baseball at Fenway over the next three days.