Wednesday, April 30, 2008

GAME TWENTY-EIGHT: Classic 1968/1881 baseball game/ show-down.

Luckily for the Sox, nobody could for Doc Halliday, Deadly Cy Young Doctor of the North. And wow, has his team continually fucked him. As badly as Bob Costas' "moderation" fucked Will Leitch. Four straight complete games for Roy Halliday (!), three losses (!?!&$@$#). His ERA is 3.26. His record is 2-4. Remember this the next time you hear an idiotic announcer talk about a pitcher's will to win: Halliday could have pitched a 12-inning complete game and still have lost.

(Although by that point, someone I do not trust in close games would have probably been on the mound, so maybe Roy should've just shut the Sox down another inning and then three more after that. Whaddaya, Doc, a pussy?)

Two runs in three games is disturbing no matter the high quality of starting pitching the Red Sox may be facing (wait, did I just call Edwin Jackson a quality starting pitcher?), but all the same, yesterday's game was taut, fun, brief (2 hours, 18 minutes) and ultimately fulfilling.

Jon Lester had his customary bunch of walks; he was also almost unhittable, and got through 8 innings under 100 pitches. Of course, Lester being Lester, you watched wondering if it was going to fall apart any minute, particularly feeling the pressure of Halliday's dominance continue (the first time in the game two base runners were on in the same inning was, yes, the 9th inning). Papelbon had a right to his relief after the amazing diving stop Pedroia made to save the game, and stop Troy Glaus from scoring on Vernon Wells' hot shot (almost) through the hole, a dive reminiscent of the one Dustin saved Clay Bucholz's no-hitter with.

And then, of course, Halliday proved mortal, and with his first walk of the day, a Manny Ramirez single to center that would have been a shallow fly-out if Wells wasn't practically playing on the triangle, and Youkilis' liner through the middle, his chance to win passed away. "This is funny," he remarked, looking at his boots lying at his bed. Good game, Doc. Not looking forward to the next time.

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