Sometimes not much needs to be said to describe incredible, almost miraculous moments. Here’s one you might have seen, oh, early this morning:
Not since 1929 has a team been seven or more runs down in a postseason game and still rallied to win. But we shouldn’t be surprised by the Boston Red Sox anymore, should we? Many of these players were on the 2004 team that was down 3-0 to the Yankees in the American League Championship Series and won. Many of these players were on last year’s team that was down 3-1 to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS and won. Terry Francona managed all three clubs. There’s history there. And heart, which is the most important thing of all.
I’m not sure what the day off does to the surging Red Sox, who have the momentum, or the dazed Rays, who have to be devastated that they couldn’t close out a game in which they had a 7-0 lead in the seventh inning with one of the best bullpens in the game all lined up. We’ll see what these young guys are made of.
Will Joe Maddon’s strategy of pitching Scott Kazmir on Thursday and having James Shields ready for a possible — and now definite — Game 6 back at Tropicana Field pay off?
Will the Red Sox defy the odds yet again and win two in a row on the road to make it to their second straight World Series?
Let’s hear your predictions.
I hope you all stayed up late to watch that epic game between the Red Sox and Angels. L.A. finally showed why they had the best record in baseball, breaking their winless streak against the Sox and getting one more shot in Fenway Park as they try to take that American League Division Series back to Anaheim.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day the White Sox did the same thing in their home park. Here’s a quick recap:
WHITE SOX 5, RAYS 3
Rays starter Matt Garza is young, talented and very emotional, and we saw that yesterday. We also saw that the White Sox are no joke. This is a team that won it all only three years ago and a team that’s always tough to beat at home. Monday’s game brings a lot of intrigue, as the Rays need to show they can win on the road when it counts. We all know how good they are at the Trop, but can they bring it at the Cell? And the White Sox, well, they’re just trying to stay alive. And they’re good at that.
ANGELS 5, RED SOX 4 (12)
Wow. What else can you say? There was so much going on that you could write a whole blog about this game alone. This series just got a lot more interesting, too. The Red Sox look banged up, with J.D. Drew, Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell all playing hurt, but that 2-1 series lead and another game at Fenway make them seem a lot healthier in a hurry. The Angels just want to win one and get another shot at home. A rested and revenge-minded John Lackey should help.
How are your predictions turning out? What will the AL Championship Series look like?
Tell me what you think.
The Red Sox continue to show why they’ve won two of the last four World Series titles. They flat-out know how to get it done in October, and if you didn’t believe they could win it all this year, all you had to do was watch them last night. On to Friday’s games…
RED SOX 7, ANGELS 5
The guy they got for Manny, Jason Bay, puts them on top right away with an early homer, and then J.D. Drew breaks a tie with a two-run blast off K-Rod in the ninth! In other words, the Red Sox can taste another title, and going up 2-0 on the road against the team with the best record in baseball is pretty impressive in my book. The Angels have to be wondering what’s going on, losing their Major League-record 11th straight October game against the Sox. Fenway and a possible early clincher awaits …
RAYS 6, WHITE SOX 2
The tone-setting homer by Akinori Iwamura, the lockdown bullpen, the late insurance runs. It was a textbook October victory for the hometown Rays at the Trop, leading them to another 2-0 series lead heading back to Chicago. Can you believe how poised this young team seems? It’s like they’ve been playing in the postseason for years.
The weekend will be wild, with all four series possibly ending early in sweeps. Let me know who you think will get it done right away and who you think has the goods to pull off a stunner and take three straight.
You know I’ll be watching.
What a night.
But the longest All-Star Game ever?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
This is one stadium that knows how to put on a show.
Yankee fans cheering a Red Sox homer.
National League players refusing to give in.
And the look on Terry Francona’s face that said it all.
Somebody’s going to reap the rewards in OCTOBER. With home-field advantage in the World Series.
Angels? Red Sox? White Sox? Tigers? A’s? Even the Rays?
Keep your eyes and ears open.
The first half flew by — the second half is ON.