Sunday, October 21, 2007

Live blog: Game 7

Kevin Millar threw out the first pitch in Fenway, then read the Red Sox' starting lineup.

That's Kevin Millar, contract employee of the Baltimore Orioles.

8:37 p.m.: Youkilis grounder through the hole between short and third. The BABIP is alive and well, and will kill Jake Westbrook.

A friend just pointed out that the Red Sox win probability is now 70 percent.

8:47 p.m.: J.D. Drew just grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. Sox Nation screams, WHAT A BUM! WHAT HAS HE EVER DONE WITH THE BASES LOADED?

65%, down from 71% before the double play.

8:54 p.m.: Dice-K is well on his towards a complete game shutout. On pace for it, you might say.

Westbrook, on the other hand, is on pace to give up nine earned runs in nine innings.

See, we can do sabermetrics too...

WP: Red Sox, 69%; Indians, 31%

Too bad they can't calculate the win probability for when Josh Beckett makes his way from the dugout into the bullpen. I think the Indians are so freaked out that their WP just dipped to 19%.

9:05: Here're 14 letters to describe that Jacoby Ellsbury hit:

Murderous BABIP.

2-0 Boston.

9:22: The folk hero that is Youkilis just doubled, hitting a ball just past the outstretched glove of Casey Blake. All the Red Sox hits have been through the left side, so maybe the Indians should consider the reverse-Ortiz shift?

BAP... ah, screw it. If I don't stop now I'm going to be saying it all night, and I wouldn't want to upset Joe Morgan any more than I have.

9:27: Youkilis just scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Mike Lowell. Red Sox' magic number for clinching game down to 15 (WP=85%).

9:29: Drew hits it 303 feet, essentially flying out to "deep" left to end the inning. Did we mention Westbrook is on pace to give up nine runs in nine innings? Because he is.

9:42: Ryan Garko just had the at-bat of the night. No description here will do it justice, but let's just say he doubled off the center field wall -- a little more to the right and it would've been a two-run homer -- after fouling off some absolutely nasty stuff, and laying off a 1-2 fastball that was about an inch and a half off the outside corner.

3-1 Red Sox. WP down to 81%.

And a Fox graphic tells us the Indians have come back three times from four runs down. The great thing about Game 7s in baseball -- and you can't say this about any other sport -- is that as the contest progresses, one can feel, as sharply as a migraine, the vise of pressure tightening ever so gradually. It's not just one game that hangs in the balance... it's the weight of an entire season, 170+ games and those two months in spring training and, in the case of the Indians, the decades of failure (they have the longest World Series drought in the American League). It's like a countdown towards some doomsday...

9:50: Varitek hits a ball that rolls between short and third. Westbrook wears a look that says, "[expletive] you, baseball gods."

9:55: This is getting silly. Jacoby Ellsbury took off on a pitch, drawing Asdrubal Cabrera to cover the bag, and wouldn't you know it, Julio Lugo singled through the spot vacated by the second baseman. About as predictable an outcome as the law of averages could have drawn up.

Westbrook fell off the mound with slumped shoulders, looking crestfallen.

9:59: This, too, is BABIP at work: Lugo took off on a pitch, again drawing Cabrera, but this time, the batter hit it directly at the second baseman, who tagged out Lugo and threw to first to complete the inning-ending double play.

Had the run scored, the Indians' WP would have been down to 13%. As is, 17%.

10:11: It should be 3-3.

Grady Sizemore's sac fly made it 3-2, but it should be tied, since the second-base ump erroneously called Kenny Lofton out earlier in the inning. What was a leadoff double turned into an out (his left hand made it into the base before Pedroia's (Lugo's?) glove came around to swipe him in the chest). Two base hits followed.

10:15: Randy Marsh's tiny strike zone has given Cabrera second life. "Double off the wall," my friend just said.

10:16: Strikeout. Nasty pitch.

Okajima time when the 6th rolls around?

I'm going to watch the rest of this game with some diehard, hardcore Red Sox fans at a bar. This should be a pleasant, wholly enriching experience for me, possibly life-changing. Will correspond tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. uVme is a fast-moving and unique business that combines three of the
    most exciting phenomena on the internet:
    Social Marketing.
    This market is so powerful, it’s growing four times faster than the
    It’s NEW, VIBRANT, DYNAMIC, and above all else, it’s FUN. And you can
    join today and it won’t cost you a single penny.
    The online games business, although already massive, is extra special
    right now because of the timing.
    Timing is critical in business, and this market is emerging as the next
    evolutionary step in online entertainment