Monday, October 22, 2007

Red Sox Advance

Down 3-1, the Red Sox won the last three games against the Indians to take the series and head on to the World Series, where they will face the Colorado Rockies who have been idle for the last six days. The first game will be Wednesday, October 24th, meaning the Rockies will have been resting for more than a week. Will that have an impact on their incredible hot streak? The only way to know will be to watch the game.

Meanwhile, Game 7 was quite interesting. The Red Sox got off to a good start, scoring a run in each of the first three innings, but it was still disappointing, as three double plays prevented them from getting much more. They blew the game open in the 8th inning though, putting six runs on the board to extend their lead to 11-2. A few notes about the game:
  • Josh Beckett won the ALCS Most Valuable Player award. He started and won both Game 1 and Game 5, allowing just three runs, nine hits, and one walk in 14 innings. He also had 18 strikeouts in his two appearances.
  • Towards the end of the game, FOX put a graphic on the screen about Kenny Lofton, and how close he's been to a World Series title without actually getting one. Three times he's been one win away from the World Series and once from the title itself: he was on the Giants when they were up 3-2 in the World Series in 2002; he was on the Cubs when they were up 3-1 on the Marlins before Steve Bartman, and poor Cubs play, intervened; he was on the Yankees during their historic collapse against the Red Sox in 2004; and now he was up 3-1 with the Indians. Perhaps he'll get another chance next year.
  • One of the culprits, although certainly not the only one, to blame for the Indians demise has to be Travis Hafner. He was just 4-27 in the series, and went 1 for his last 18 with 11 strikeouts. But I can't talk about reasons why the Indians lost and not mention C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona. They were just plain bad in the series. Very bad.
  • When the Red Sox were up 3-2, I was thinking about what it would take for Eric Gagne to get into the game. Would it take a 25-inning game? Or sudden vomiting spells from all the other Red Sox pitchers? Would Terry Francona have put himself in to pitch before Gagne? Even when the Red Sox went up 11-2, I'm not sure Gagne could have been trusted with the ball.
  • Dustin Pedroia had a fantastic game, going 3-5 with 5 RBIs and 3 runs. In the 7th inning he hit a 2-run homer to stretch the lead to 3, and in the 8th inning he hit a 3-run double to push the lead to 7.
  • The Indians were the victim of one bad call (Kenny Lofton being ruled out at second base on a throw by Manny Ramirez) and one bad stop sign (Kenny Lofton being held up at third base when Manny Ramirez was still about 25 feet from the ball), but their defense really did them in. Jhonny Peralta mishandled a ball in the first, Casey Blake booted a ball in the seventh, and then Peralta and Blake allowed a ball to drop when they bumped into each other in the eighth.
  • Speaking of that play, it seemed like that area was the Bermuda Triangle of the game. When Julio Lugo and Ramirez went to catch a ball there, it glanced off Lugo's glove and fell to the ground. Of course, while the Red Sox capitalized with a home run when the Indians let it drop, the Indians held up Lofton at third on the subsequent single and then grounded into an inning-ending double play.
  • After the game, Jonathan Papelbon was asked if he had another dance planned to follow the one he performed upon the Red Sox's clinching of their divison (which happened against the Twins). Unfortunately, he said he did. If you didn't see the Twins game directly after the Red Sox clinched, the announcers showed and commented on the clip of Papelbon dancing approximately 63 times, and I simply found it annoying at best and disturbing at worst. If you really must see it, this is it. So now you know why I don't care to see the next one.

So it's Red Sox versus Rockies for the World Series title. I'll take the Rockies... Red Sox, actually I'll take the... Rockies in seven games. It's pretty much just a guess, but I did pick both the Championship Series correctly, and got the number of games right for the ALCS, so who knows?

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