Okay. I’m finally sitting down to do this after last night’s game. I reiterate how much I hate west-coast games and how excited I am that they are playing in the Fens tomorrow. I also gotta say, I usually don’t watch games with my dad. Being in school and all, you know, he’s not there. I’m home for the weekend so I got to watch it with him (its been about two years since we’ve watched a playoff game together). Watching with my dad truly highlighted the absolute difference in generations of fans. I’m from the generation where we don’t remember the heartaches as much. I mean, the first time I saw the Sox in the World Series, I was a month old and they lost (1986 WS). My mom eventually took me away from my dad, for fear that instead of the remote flying at the TV in frustration, it would be me. Of course, my dad would never actually throw me at the TV, but I digress…
So we’re watching the game, and I get nervous, turn my hat inside-out, change shirts, etc., but I don’t give up. I am an eternal optimist. The whole “Sox fans are all crazy pessimists” is a stereotype and you have to look at the ages of these people. Those of us born in the past 20 years or so only remember a few bad years, like 2003. But we mostly remember 2004 and 2007. While we’ve heard all the stories of all the bad years, we didn’t live through it.
So we’re watching the game, and my Dad is like a yo-yo. He can go from loving the Sox to needing a prozac in 30 seconds or less. Two outs in the first, Drew is up to bat, Papi and Youk are on base. Dad is thinking of JD’s game 1. Then he hits a double and scores Papi. Next up, Jason Bay. At this point, Dad is just amazed, because the Red Sox never rally with 2 outs. Lets be honest, here, no one really does. So Bay steps up and launches a three-run shot, becoming the first Red Sox player ever to homer in his first two post-season games. (Think he’s enjoying his first trip into October?)
After that, we watched (me nervously, my dad, angrily) as the Angels pecked away at our lead, until finally, in the eigth, its tied 5-5 on a sac-fly in the 8th (inherited runner from Masterson). Due to the day of rest, both Tito and Scioscia had the closers on in the 8th. Paps shuts down the inning, continuing to have a 0.00 ERA in the post-season (its only two games, but still…) At this point, I have changed my shirt to bring some good kharma and my Dad is close to giving up. And we both really, really, really want to strangle the rally monkey (seriously). So Papi hits a double and we come to Drew with one out in the ninth. JD’s been fierce tonight, and me, the eternal optimist, have already said before this inning: one fo them could hit a home run, you know. My dad scoffed at this but a two-run dinger from JD Drew let me say “I told you so”. JD Drew hit a homer off of K-Rod, with the count 2-2. That just doesn’t happen. All of Red Sox nation is again celebrating JD Drew’s clutch homer (remember last year?) which immediately silenced the crowd and put away the monkeys (seriously, monkeys?).
Down to the bottom of the ninth, Pap is back, and Hunter bunts, but is out on a good play by Youk. Then Matthews works Paps for quite a few pitches, and fouls one off. It’s going to land in the cameras, but Youk reaches in and grabs it for an amazing catch and the 2nd out of the 9th. Then Paps gets Kendrick to end the game and put Boston ahead in the series 2-0. So here’s to game 3, and for my father’s health (I seriously worry about his heart during the playoffs) I hope they blow the Angels out of the water.
In other news: I’m currently watching the Cubs continue to collapse. Its the top of the 8th and they are down 3-1 to the Dodgers, two out, one guy on. My prediction is the Dodgers are about to achieve what the Brewers managed to avoid today: the sweep. Any one taking the ChiSox at home? I am. I have this feeling that series is going to go 4 or 5 games. Obviously, I’m gonna take the Sox at home to finish the sweep of the Halos. Maybe killing the rally monkey in the process…you know, maybe one time he bounces right into a black hole or something? Sorry. I have an inexplicable hatred for the Rally monkey. Not sure what that’s about, but…eh.
Hopefully on the playlist for tomorrow: Sweet Caroline, I’m Shipping Up To Boston, Dirty Water and Tessie. GO SOX!