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.
65%, down from 71% before the double play.
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%.
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.
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%.
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.
Okajima time when the 6th rolls around?