Friday, December 7, 2007

ALCS Game Notes

Here at the game notes I took from the Red Sox Championship Series games, raw and unedited as well.

ALCS Game One: Beckett vs. Sabbathia

Despite the fact that Beckett is the most dominating pitcher in the league right now (trust me) I am terrified of this Indians team. They have a deceptively good offense where the scrubs always seem to come through and CC and Fausto are both great pitchers.

1st: Beckett K’s the first two, then Hafner unloads on one into the RF stands…
Martinez stikes out weakly, 1-0 Tribe.
Youk singles to lead it off, Pedroia grounds out and Ortiz singles as well! CC isn’t at his sharpest yet, we need to capitalize. Manny comes up and they show his absurd career numbers against Sabbathia, whose pitch count is up for the 1st.
“Manny listens to his own music…was born to hit.” Gotta love commentators. The AB is taking so long thy show another graphic about Manny, this being his career numbers from 1993-2000, and 2000-2007. They are virtually identical in terms of avg. HR, RBI and games played. Unreal, this guy is a hitting savant. Makes me sound good by lacing and RBI single! 1-1 game. Lowell comes up with an opportunity to take it CC early, but grounds into a DP.

2nd: First pitch groundouts for Garko and fantasy killer 2k6 Jhonny Peralta. Lofton quickly flies out to Manny who makes it more interesting than need be in the OF with a leaping catch.
Dane Cook needs to be stopped with all these damn commercials.
Mr. Kielty, wo supposed hits CC well strikes out in ugly fashion, followed by Tek and Crisp. 12 pitches and 3 K’s, just what I was afraid of.

3rd: Guittierez K’s after being praised by the announcers. Great pick by Lowell to get Blake and then Beckett strikes out “5 tool” Sizemore. Beckett looks fired up and it could be a quit night for the ‘pen.
Lugo doubles as we are told by the booth that is “Inside the Park” territory at Fenway, which is true if you get a lucky bounce and not hit it right at the fielder. Pedroia with a textbook sac bunt to advance Lugo. We never used to do this by the way. Youk walks on 4 pithes and Fox gives us a homoerotic montage of Ortiz with Perry Cuomo playing in the background. “No Cuomo hits from 2004…” What?? Papi gets HBP inside, although it looked ike mostly his jersey and we loaded em up for Manny. He works and 0-2 count into a walk and we take a 2-1 lead! CC looks officially awful tonight. Sick of the drivel from the booth I secretly wish for Scooter and the Diamond cam to make a comeback. Lowell punishes a two run double to right, ground rule double at that. Kielty gets an intentional free pass. Run scoring groundout for Tek to make it 5-1! Crisp grounds out to end the inning.

4th: Cabrera flies out. Hafner works a long AB ended when Tek chases down a check swing strike 3 in the dirt and throws him out. The booth alerts us that Beckett is 48-2 when getting 5+ runs of support and that Eric Wedge owns a batting cage in Boston called Strike One.
Sox go down in order.

5th: Garko gets HBP, but then they ground into a DP. Lofton doubles and as he runs the bases I surmise that he may or may not be 50 years old. Pan to Steven King reading a book in the stands…wtf? Guiterrez frozen by Beckett curveball to K and end inning.
Ortiz walks after an 0-2 count, Manny blasts one up the middle, Lowell walks to load the bases and CC looks like he ate a bad bucket of KFC. Kielty doubles in 2 runs and its 7-1. Sabbathia hitting the showers! Tek doubles in Lowell before Lugo flies out to end inning.

6th: Casey Blake, the Indians mountain man doubles down the line on a hanging curve, followed by a groundout and a scrubby run scoring single up the middle from Cabrera. Hafner flies out, but a passed ball advances the runner. No further damage as they groundout to end inning.
Pedroia singles in what looks to be one of his only decent AB’s in a week. Youk singles sending Dusty to 3rd and Ortiz walks. Second bases loaded situation for Manny this game! He walks again after being down 0-2 making it 9-2 Sox and remains 2 behind Gehrig all time for Grand Slams. Lowell sac fly to center to make it 10-2. JD “the corpse” Drew flies out to CF as a PH for Carrot Top Kielty and Tek K’s to end it.

7th: Timlin takes over for Beckett, who although dominating doesn’t need to keep pitching in this blowout. Garko gets a wind aided bloop hit, followed by a flyout, strikeout groundout inning over combo. I’m loving this shit.
Crisp doubles and shows some signs of life at the plate. Lugo flies out, Pedroia with and ugly K, Youk fly out to end inning.

8th: Javier Lopez on the hill now for Timlin. Blake doubles to lead it off. JD Drew makes an amzing catch to save a HR near the pole, sending Blake to 3rd on the tag up. Guess Drew has some value. Cabrera hits a sac fly to Manny who makes a great snowcone, shoestring grab making it 10-3 Sox. Hafner walks, because Lopez is awful and can’t get any lefties out. Cut to Steven King interview in the stands. He is a weird dude and it’s no wonder that he A. writes creepy horror novels and B. is from Maine. At least he has been a fan since the 50’s, but man I don’t like this famous people are the face of the team BS. Lopez gets out of trouble without further ado.
Borowski in and Ortiz blasts his first pitch off the CF wall for a double. Manny walks AGAIN! And Ellsbury in to run for him. Lowell flies out, Drew grounds out advancing the runners and Tek flies out to move us to the 9th.

9th: Gagne in to pitch the ninth…oh boy, here we go For some reason, I am not nearly as nauseaus as usual. Guess a 7 run leads helps that. Gomez PH for Garko and strikes out. See! Gagne CAN pitch! Of course he then gives up back to back hits to make it 1 out runners on 2nd and 3rd. Crowd begins light booing. Schilling wears 38, Gagne’s old number and so he wears 83 – no wonder we have the bizzaro Gagne on the mound al the time. Guitierrez K’s and gets ready to head back to AAA ball and Blake works a walk to load them. My god Eric, just end this game. He strikes out Sizemore to end the threat and the game, but Gagne still looks like shit and that he is fighting himself. Ibet he’s hurt and isn’t telling anyone. Dick. Series is still 1-0 Sox though!

ALCS Game Two: Schilling vs. Carmona

I went to watch his game at Jillians down in Boston with a group of friends. We were offered box seats for the game by a scalper for 200$ each, but declined since we all wouldn’t be able to go to the game. Plus I am a retard and didn’t bring a coat or sweatshirt and would have froze to death in the late innings.
This game was excruciating, very close back and forth. Nothing like being a bar surrounded by tons of random Red Sox fans celebrating each exhilarating moment and being miserable and neurotic when things take a turn for the worse. We lose in extra innings in a big way.

ALCS Game Three: Dice-K vs. Westbrook

I spend the first several innings driving around getting a wrench set and a new car battery since mine shat the bed 6 weeks after the warranty expired. This is typical of my automotive experience so far and hopefully not a bad sign.

1st: Sox go 1-2-3 on a DP by Ortiz. Pedroia still can’t get on base, he needs to start busting out. Indians go 1-2-3 as well.

2nd: Sox get bases loaded on walk, single, error and then fail to get a run as Tek flies out to shallow left and crisp hits into another DP. This needs to stop, we are not going to make Jake Westbrook look good tonight. Meanwhile, Dice-K continues to work deep counts and Kenny Lofton hits a 2 run shot to right and is now the new spokesman for AARP. 2-0 Tribe.

3rd: Sox look feeble again, and Pedroia is officially worrying me now with all these groundouts. Tribe get 2 on for Martinez and Dice strikes him out on a full count with a well located fastball inside. We need 6 or 7 strong from him tonight.

4th: Big guns coming up, need to get something here. Ortiz leadoff double. Manny hitting .600 with an 0-2 count and an absurd 5 walks this postseason. I love it. After 2 very, very close pitches Manny grounds to shortstop and it hits Ortiz, who had no business moving on that ball. Red Sox baseball, just like the old days. After being informed that Lowell graduated from High School with a 4.0 average he dominates one just foul down the LF line. Fox is always good for a gimmicky graphic or totally unrelated factoid. Lowell grounds out while Manny advances. JD Drew can send the fans a refund anytime after that ground out. [Why do we always play the teams whose homecrowd is waving towels or thunderstix or something dumb. What ever happened to good old cheering and heckling?] Tribe go quietly, thankfully, and Dice looks in control.

5th: Of course, Westbrook can do no wrong as we ground out in order. Jesus fuck. Eric Wedge is really grizzled, holy crap. Blake a long single, advancing on a ball in the dirt. McCarver claims Dice-k just threw a gyro –ball but I don’t buy that. Sizemore than walks and Francona looks depressed and in need of some chew. Asdrubal (fun name btw) singles up the middle to score Blake, 3-0 Tribe and Dice-K has thrown like 100 pitches or so. Fuck. Pedroia almost turns a sick DP by himself on a ball deep in the hole, and Tito out to argue. Looked safe to me though, making it 4-0. Hafner pokes one into left and Dice is done after 4 and 2/3 AGAIN. Glad we paid $176 Million for him and Drew. Scott Boras go kill yourself. Timln in to stop the bleeding. Gets Garko swinging and we need some runs. Vintage Timlin though, showing signs of the man I loved so much in 03 and 04.

6th: Pedroia continues to struggle, but Youk singles and Ortiz walks. Umpiring note, lots of close pitches being called balls and several pitches well out of the zone have been called strikes. With a two strike count the fans are all cheering, I wonder if Manny thinks they are cheering for him? Wouldn’t put it past him. The hiting savant then procedes to kill the rally with a DP and I get an angry stomp from the upstairs apartment for my vulgarity. Timlin keeps turning back the clock making quick work in the 6th.

7th: The Corpse gets a hit, and we are now relying on the bottom of the order to fuel the comeback. Tek HOMER!!! O’ Captain my Captain! Straightaway center field too. Finally a blemish on Westbrook and a non-groundball. Crisp strikes out, but Lupe Fiasco gets on only to have Pedrioa foul off like 6 pitches from reliever Jensen Lewis before striking out swinging at ball 3. I throw things at the wall. Okajima in to relieve Timlin. Groundout, LONG flyout for Sizemore. Flyout Cabrera.

8th: Youk, Ortiz, Ramirez due up. We need to get some runs here to have any kind of shot. Youk works a 10 pitch AB like only Youk can…and then K’s. Ortiz line the first pitch right to the Right fielder. Manny pops out. Borowski is our only hope. Oki still pitching and gets a groundout. 4 pitch walk and he’s done. MDC comes in and gets two K’s, glad we held onto this kid and hopefully Hansen can regroup from his 06 shellacking and come back to the bigs next year.

9th: Last ups, hopefully we face Borowski and not more Betancourt. Borowski and his 5 ERA need to help us out. Lowell pop out…Drew flyout…..Tek working a VERY long at bat here. If I keep saying stay alive and get on base, it will happen right? No…inflied fly.

Game Four: Wakefield vs. Byrd.

Huge game for the Sox tonight, not a “must-win” per se, but essentially that’s the case. Wake hasn’t pitched in 16 days, so he could go either way, and Byrd doesn’t generally stink up the joint.

Before the game Fox throws out this gem: “Four years ago today was the 2003 ALCS game 7 where Wake served up that gopher ball to Aaron Fucking Boone while pitching in relief.” God I hate Fox. They are secretly upset their Babe Ruth graphics are useless, I can tell.

1st: Pedroia ground out to third on the first pitch and attempts an A-Rod-esque slide/slap combo. Simply terrible. Down in order. I already hate Byrd’s windup.
Sizemore walks but Cabrera looks baffled by Wake and strikes out. Sizemore steals, Hafner and Martinez do nothing and inning over.

2nd: Manny hits a rocket to left for a single. Lowell groundout to advance Manny. JD Drew looks so pretty strikeout out swinging, asshole. Crisp srikes out on a ball that looked low. Inning over. Wake is dealing and makes quick work of the Tribe with 2 Ks.

3rd: Mirabeeli doesn’t look terrible at the plate despite having 10 ABs since mid August, but flies out. Lugo taps back to Byrd. Pedroia actually gets a hit, finding space between 1st and 2nd. Amazing. Youk singles to left and we need to plate a man here. Ortiz grounds out to second, son of a bitch. He really needs that knee surgery. Guittierez gets on, Shopach K’s (5 for Wake), Sizemore ground out, advancing runner who was going.
[ESPN cuurently is wondering why wakefield started this game. Essentailly, because he is Mr. Red Sox, we want to keep out pitchers on normal rest and he is capable of doing exactly what he has done so far, shut down good hitting teams by keeping them off balance. The only reason this is a debate is because Beckett won the 03 WS for the Marlins on short rest. Irritating.] Meanwhile, Cabrera still looks lost against Wake and flies out.

4th: Manny and Lowell fly out, JD Drew displays he perfect swing and miss a couple more times before getting a line drive single to center. Also, what the heck is with that double pump Byrd has? The Corpse almost gets picked off first [replay looks like he did] becomes a moot point when Crisp flies out to end inning.
Hafner K’s (6 for Wake!) and the knuckler is dancing tonight. 2 pitches later Martinez flies out. Peralta doubles to left then Old Man River grounds out to end inning. That
double broke up Wake’s no hitter bid by the way, that’s how good he is tonight.

5th: Mirabelli chases ball four to strike out. Lofton almost gets decapitated by a Lugo line out. Surprisingly enough, Pedroia grounds out to short.
Casey Blake the mountain man unloads one into the left fields stands. 1-0 Tribe. God I hate these towels. Gutierrez singles to left. Wake needs to regroup fast, since our offense is shitting the bed it seems. Shoppach gets hit, 2 o no outs. Bullpen gets a call and Tek runs down to the bullpen with his gear to get loose. Sweet Jesus, hold it together. Sizemore ground out to force at second. FUCK! Youk drops a foul ball for a would be out. In a rare twist, Fox tells me something I don’t know and the drop saved a run since he bobbled it and the runner can go on first contact. Cool. Wakefield knocks down a liner, no plays anywhere and a run scores. Potential DP ball we lost there. 2-0 Tribe. Hafner K’s for the third time, huge for us. Marinez singles to left and Sizemore scores from second making it 3-0 and Wake looks done, just like that. MDC comes in a serves up a 3 run bomb to right for Jhonny “Fantasy Killer 2k6” Peralta. Holy fucking shit 6-0. Lofton singles. Sweet jesus, what the fuck is happening? This is why it is a bad thing when your game 2-4 starters only go 4 and 2/3 each. Lofton steals second. I am catatonic at this stage, sitting on the floor motionless. Casey Blake flares one to center, which a diving Crisp can’t get scoring the geriatric. 7-0. Sizemore reaches, MDC looks shell-shocked and wild. Issues another walk. Now Lester is warming up, mother of fuck we need a miracle. Mercy K from MDC. Kill me.

6th: Youk hits a bomb to left!! There is hope. Ride the wave. Papi goes Yard! Back to back Baby! Suck it, Byrd, he leaves the game. Ortiz’s home run ball sold in the stands to a sox fan – awesome. Jensen Lewis is a rookie, we need to capitalize on this momentum and wait for our pitches. MANNY GOES YARD DEEP CENTER HOLY FUCKING SHIT! First time in LCS history back-back-back shots. This is insanity! Shades of the Chase Wright, set up the Tee game. Lowell grounds out. Drew continues to suck, taking neither pitches or getting on base. I am I the only one looking for Kielty or Ellsbury. Crisp continue to be terrible as he flies out. Good start to the rally. Bullpen needs to hold.
Lester in to pitch, Tek doing the catching. McCarver and Buck are on Team Lester because of his cancer comeback, which s good, seeing as they have a penchant for idiocy.
Walk to Sizemore, not good. [FOX says Beckett’s postseason ERA is 1.20, the rest of the starters 5.96. FAAAANNNTASTIC.] Cabrera K’s, so does Hafner. Throw to first gets away and Sizemore advances. Martinez flies out inning over. 7-3 Indians.

7th:Tek puts one through the gap by short. Lugo hits into a double play – please go commit a murder suicide with Eric Gagne now. Cabrera makes a great leaping catch to rob Pedroia. 8th inning needs to be our inning.
Lester still pitching. Peralta flies out to Youk. And Lofton K’s looking and has words for the home plate ump. Groundout, inning over.

8th: warning track power for Youk, 1 down. We need baserunners. Both Youk and Ortiz were taking home run cuts. As was Manny. Inning over, mother fucker.
Lester still on the hill and K’s guitierrez. Shoppach gets a nubber to rol down te 3rd base line for a hit. Sziemore flies out as FOX states that not only did the Aaron Boone game happen on this day in 03, but the 19-8 game three drubbing happened the next year. Awesome. Ground out, inning over.

9th: Lowell, Drew, Crisp. In theory they could start a good rally. Betancourt still on the hill, Lowell fouls out. Uh oh…Well, at least Drew took some pitches before flying out…Crisp lines out to first and we are officially in a bad place right now.

ALCS Game 5: Beckett vs. Sabbathia

My epic quest to purchase PumpkinHead before the game as a token of good luck failed miserably due to the terrible lawmaking in this area of Mass. Nearly drove me to a homicidal rage. Not pretty. I felt like such a second class citizen.

Kielty reads the Sox lineup tonight and the comedy scale was absolutely off the charts. He kept glancing at the teleprompter offscreen as if he didn’t know his own teammates, sheepishly grinned when he announced himself and just generally looked like a goon. I’m taking this as good sign that the boys are loose (or drinking again). Crisp is starting still, which may or may not be a horrible decision.

1st:Pedroia ground out to short for the 17th time this series. YoOOOOUUUUKK! Goes yard though, 1-0 Sox. Great sign here. Ortiz out on a close check swing call before the hitting savant doubles past Old Man River in left tying Pete Rose with a 15 game LCS hitting streak. Dad (Lowell) flares one to shallow right and they send Manny, who is thrown out handily at home with no slide. Inning over. Shades of Dale Sveum there for sure. This better not haunt me later. Time for a beer.
Sizemore bloops one into left on the line and none of the three Sox get to it, double. Oddly, not nervous. Ass-dribble lines one past the pulled in Youk, 1st and 3rd. Drinking heavier. DP for Pronk to tie the game. Martinez singles to left. Beckett strikes out Garko to end the inning, something his predecessors had trouble doing.

2nd: Kielty strikes out looking after a decent AB, maybe he needs another shot. “McCarver: When they throw it across the plate it’s a strike:”
Tek get HBP. Crisp strikes out looking and getting hits in the state of Ohio may be against is religion or something – Ellsbury please? Lugo flies out to end inning.
Peralta strikes out on a great curve, AARP steps into the box and grounds back to Beckett. Guiterriez walks. Mountain Man Blake strikes out.

3rd: FOX goes into a debate about Pedroia sucking in the postseason trying to say he was getting unlucky. With the exception of the Cabrera grab last game and maybe one hard grounder elsewhere I disagree. Of course he makes me look dumb by working a 7 pitch AB and singling to right field. [Sidenote: I just read on a message board that the singer of the National Anthem and God Bless America for game 5 is Beckett’s ex-gf. Wow. The towels were just the beginning it seems.] Youk ground into a DP [9th of the series], Ortiz walks. Manny hits one to right that appears to go out of the yard. Ortiz scores and Tito is out to argue it was a HR – getting incensed now after they rule it a hit. After 8 replays, its almost too close to tell. I think it misses by about ½ inch. No way any ump can make that call. Lowell strikes out. 2-1 Sox. That homer looked a lot like the one hit over JD Drew the other day as I think about it.
Sizemore strikes out and has done nothing since game 2, which is fine by me. Pedroia may not be hitting, but his defense is still top notch as he robs Ass-dribble of a hit. Hafner strikes out and Beckett is in great from right now.

[AIG commercials inform me that laughing a lot can extend your life by 8 years, and singing can extend it by 15. If I start laughing more at myself when I do stupid shit and having more 3EB sing-a-longs will I live to be 50 then?]

4th: Kielty base hit. Tek fires one through the gap by short, 2 on. Dear Coco, get a hit. Love, New England. He fouls off two bunt attempts, then strikes out horrendously on a pitch low and away. WE WANT JACOBY!. Lugo grounds into an inning double play and I’m off to pound a beer and see if I can telepathically get Francona to shake up the lineup. Cora, Ellsbury, Anyone?
Martinez grounds out. Garko grounds out to Beckett. Another ground out. Postseason Beckett at work.

5th: Another Pedroia groundout on a decent play by Peralta. Youk grounds out on the first pitch to third. Ortiz grounds a single to left. Manny walks! Lowell just misses a double down the line. Sabbathia hits Dad. Then Ginger boy flies out w/ bases loaded, inning over
Old man river flies out and Beckett yells at Lofton, who jaws back the whole way to first and comes at the mound – bullpens and benches clear. Guitierrez K’s. Blake singles, then Beckett tips a grounder up the middle that Lugo gets in the way of Pedroia of, 1st and 3rd. BECKETT! Sick K of Asdrubal.

6th: Tek and Crisp groundout, surprise surprise. Lugo k on 3 pitches. Alex Cora anyone?

Hafner K, Martinez groundout, Garko K. Loving the Beckett. Can he pitch every game?

7th: Pedroia not only gets a hit, but doubles! Youk then gets a triple on a Sizemore hesitation on a fly to right center, Dusty scores 3-0 Sox! C.C. is done! Betancourt is in….ugh. [ 32 yr old former SS in the Sox organization? Bizzaro]. Ortiz hits a lon sac fly to the Lofton who basket catches it. 4-1sox. 1 out. Manny Ks on a great pitch on the corner away. Lowell hits one right to Sizemore.
Lowell good play at third to retire Jhonny P. Lofton sneaks one past Beckett and Lugo has no play, single. Guittierez flies out to Coco and JD Drew is making a cameo in right it appears. BECKETT K”S THE MOUNTAIN MAN! TO THE 8TH!.

8th: Perez in to replace Betancourt. The Corpse walks! Crisp hits a DP ball but Perez fucks up the throw to 2nd and everyone is safe! What luck. [3rd shot of Papelbon warming up in the pen. Love it]. Lugo bunts on to load the bases with one out for Dusty!! Perez is done, Mastny coming in and he may be somewhere between 18-31 years old by his baby faced look. PASSED BALL! The corpse makes its way home. Pedroia walks to load them up for Youk who walks a run in! 6-1 SOX!. Ortiz sac fly to make it 7-1! Manny K’s looking on a good pitch outside corner.
Beckett still on the hill, Ellsbury in left field. Sizemore files out to Jacoby, glad he’s getting some type of action at least. [Oki and Pap getting loose, me getting hard].
Strikes out Asdrubal on a 96mph fastball for K 11!!! Hafner grounds out, inning over.

9th: Lowell flies out, and JD gets a double in a relatively meaningless situation. Typical. Tek grounds out. Crisp ground back to pitcher. I cry a bit to myself.
Paps in to get some work in. Even with a 6 run lead he looks like he is going to kill someone. I love this kid. Strikeout of Garko, money. [Awesome video of Pap dancing riverdance style after Sox clich├ęd the division. I love this team]. Garko doubles to deep center. Peralta grounds out to Lugo, advancing Garko. [Nice shot of awkward Ortiz/Beckett high five/hug]. Walk to AARP. Guitierrez flies out, see you fuckers in Boston!!

ALCS Games 6 & 7 (Schilling vs. Carmona and Dice-K vs. Westbrook).

I slept on the street for tickets and went to both games. Refer to earlier blog post for highlights.

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