Red Sox at Rays, Game 2 ALCS Thread

October 11, 2008


After some deliberation, Cardboard Gods has decided to elect Bon Scott, shown here, as the reigning deity of my vision of the efforts of my team, the Boston Red Sox, in the 2008 American League Championship Series. Jack Kerouac hovered over the recently concluded divisional series against the Angels, and there was some thought that he would continue serving that role throughout the playoffs, but the truth is I may be running out of things to say about Jack Kerouac, at least for the time being, and anyway Jack Kerouac will forever be an angelic guy to me, and there are no longer any Angels around. This is a job for someone who is familiar with devils. 

In my mind the foremost of the devils masquerading as innocuously innocent “rays” is the one from Scott’s adopted country, Australia (which his Scottish family moved to when he was a wee lad). Last night, Australian Grant Balfour sailed one of his near-100-MPH heaters in the direction of J.D. Drew’s head. It was a situation that called for Drew to be walked, either intentionally or as a result of pitching to him very carefully. From the reaction of players in the Red Sox dugout, it seems possible that Balfour decided one pitch could do just as good a job of putting Drew on base as four pitches, with the added bonus, perhaps, of letting them know you’re there, something the chirpy, hard-throwing Balfour proved capable of during the Rays’ divisional series against the White Sox

Here’s hoping that the Red Sox can channel the great Bon Scott tonight as they provide a reply to such challenges.

Red Sox at Rays. 8:07 ET

Lineups, courtesy of The Boston Globe:

Red Sox
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, RF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Jed Lowrie, SS
7. Jason Varitek, C
8. Mark Kotsay, 1B
9. Coco Crisp, CF
SP: Josh Beckett

1. Akinori Iwamura, 2B
2. B.J. Upton, CF
3. Carlos Pena, 1B
4. Evan Longoria, 3B
5. Carl Crawford, LF
6. Cliff Floyd, DH
7. Dioner Navarro, C
8. Gabe Gross, RF
9. Jason Bartlett, SS
SP: Scott Kazmir


  1. 1.  That lineup for the Sox doesn’t look like it will produce a lot of runs unless Kazmir walks everybody.

    I predict that Kazmir will walk everybody.

  2. 2.  1 : I agree, it looks a little thin. They miss Lowell against lefties. The good news for the Sox is Lowrie and Varitek hit much better as righthanders.

  3. 3.  2
    Wow, just looked at his platoon stats and that is pretty crazy.

  4. 4.  Another Jason Bay moment!

  5. 5.  I think Chip Caray saying that the Red Sox two out hitting is so underreported that it’s overreported.

  6. 6.  Now Frank TV ads are aware of themselves.

    What kind of monster has TBS created?

  7. 7.  Top 5 OPS with 2 outs during the regular season:

    Boston 803
    St. Louis 800
    Texas 787
    Philadelphia 785
    Detroit 778

    The Dodgers were 29th at 673, just ahead of Oakland at 659.

  8. 8.  I’m starting to realize the Cubs are better off with Len Kasper today.

    Today for lunch I had: a beef taco, nachos, and a triple steak burrito.

    The Chick-fil-a cows are not happy with me.

  9. 9.  7
    Boston OPSed .805 overall, so they were actually worse with 2 outs.

  10. 10.  9
    But that’s an underreported theme.

  11. 11.  I entered “Boston” and “underreported” into a computer. The computer did not compute.

  12. 12.  We are all tied!

  13. 13.  The Red Sox were third in OPS with RISP (and any number of outs) at 819. Texas was first at 856 and Minnesota was second at 826.

    The Orioles were 7th.

    So I’m wondering what that stat is indicative of.

  14. 14.  So I’m wondering what that stat is indicative of

    I assume that people who want it to be indicative of something (good) intend for it to measure clutchocity.

  15. 15.  The Rangers should have a high OPS with RISP because they scored a lot of runs and had a lot of extra base hits.

    I’m not sure what the deal with Baltimore is. Aubrey Huff and Nick Markakis must have batted with runners on base a lot.

  16. 16.  Is your dinner companion female…?

  17. 17.  7

    I wonder how much of #1 is with Manny.

    And I wonder how much of #29 is without Manny.

  18. 18.  I’m going out with a group of people. Of varying genders.

  19. 19.  18
    Apparently some WWF wrestler’s dad died because he was eating a peach and choked on the pit. He was rushed to ER where they saved him, but found out he had aneurysm in his brain. They operated on it and then he died.

    I thought of you, Bob.

  20. 20.  19 I believe that is the very definition of a really bad day.

  21. 21.  17
    I’m not that ambitious to find out. But Jason Bay was very poor during the entire regular season with 2 outs and RISP.

  22. 22.  I thought the Red Sox were prohibited from hitting leadoff homers?

  23. 23.  Hooray for maybe the shortest MVP since Little Joe.

  24. 24.  that was a long out by poukilis…

  25. 25.  doh! thought i was at the banter. my apologies! : )

  26. 26.  And Gabe Gross becomes the first right fielder to record three putuots in one inning in an DS game since yesterday!

  27. 27.  I actually thought there would be spillover from DT of people rooting for the Rays, but that hasn’t happened.

  28. 28.  I think they sounded the horn from that home run before it cleared the fence.

  29. 29.  Lordy, ’08 post-season Beckett is the opposite of ’07 post-season Beckett.

  30. 30.  That happens when the 07 post-season Beckett is healthy and the 08 post-season Beckett isn’t.

  31. 31.  Rays up 4-3. Woo hoo?

  32. 32.  That was a very odd pickoff. Crawford was, as the bard of L.A. says, “off woolgathering.”

  33. 33.  Good night all.

    Of course, it’s a Red Sox game. It could still be going on four hours later.

  34. 34.  Why do they bother booing Coco Crisp, of all people (or nonentities)? What’s the story here? (Sorry for being dumb – I don’t follow the AL.)

  35. 35.  34 : Earlier this year Coco charged the mound after being thrown at by Shields, starting a benches-clearing brawl. Shields was responding to Coco plowing into Iwamura, which HE did in retaliation to Bartlett drilling his knee into him on a stolen base attempt.

  36. 36.  What can I give the Rays organization to stop playing that awful song during home runs?

  37. 37.  This is much more encouraging.

  38. 38.  35 Ah. I did hear of that fracas, forgot the protagonists. Thanks.

  39. 39.  If people are playing a Buck Martinez drinking game and routine is one of their words, then they are going to be really really drunk.

  40. 40.  Hooray for maybe the first Jewish MVP since Al Rosen (I think).

  41. 41.  Is there a darker art in modern commerce than casting Viagra ads?

  42. 42.  G’day mate!

  43. 43.  Good night, Josh. Good comeback for the Red Sox… tied up all over again!

    2 HRs for Pedroia! Wow, great game for the (potential?) MVP!

  44. 44.  43 : For some reason I find myself rooting for Pedroia to get the MVP, even though Youk is one of my favorite Red Sox. Youk actually had slightly better offensive numbers than Pedroia in the regular season and also proved very valuable in being able to switch to third base when needed. Pedroia played a good second base and hit wherever they needed him to hit. For a few games he was actually hitting cleanup (and doing well at it).

  45. 45.  I find myself rooting for somebody to dump a beer on Craig Sager so that he takes off that coat. I like Steve Harvey too, and there may come a day when white guys can go for that look, but it’s not here yet.

  46. 46.  I’m still here, actually. I thought when you said “G’day mate!” you were leaving, Josh. I forgot “G’day” was a form of hello.

  47. 47.  Man this is a long game. How do you Central and Eastern Time zone people do it?

  48. 48.  46 : Yeah, I was trying to razz the Aussie Balfour for giving up a dinger. That was a million years ago.

  49. 49.  47 i’m a vampire, so i’m always up late! : )

  50. 50.  Hooray! Extra innings!

  51. 51.  50 not yet!

  52. 52.  By the way, the highest total score in an extra-inning baseball game is 19.

  53. 53.  Matt Kempy catch for Upton, there.

  54. 54.  Happened twice, last time was G 2 of last year’s ALCS in which the Induians scored 7 in the top of the 11th to win 13-6 over, guess who, the Red Sox.

  55. 55.  Weird game. Several hours ago, no one could make an out. Now nobody can score. Wonder if we’ll see Paul Byrd trying to get outs for the Red Sox at some point.

  56. 56.  55 byrd’s up in the pen, so it’s quite possible. david price for the rays…

  57. 57.  Longest playoff game: 18 innings. Longest ALCS game: 14.

  58. 58.  33
    I’m back!

  59. 59.  Man, the ball-strike calls have been awful especially in the AL this postseason.

  60. 60.  I can’t decide if this is a great game, or a horrible one.

  61. 61.  It’s amazing how late I will stay up just to watch the Red Sox lose.

  62. 62.  60
    Did you like Game 4 of the 1993 World Series?

  63. 63.  58 and in less than 15 minutes, it’ll be the 4 hours you mentioned in 33 !

  64. 64.  62 I hated it.

  65. 65.  64 i watched it at my apt. in Central PA with my Philly roommate and his philly area friends…

  66. 66.  My dinner reservations were for 7:15, but the group I was in didn’t get seated until close to 8 and it still was the 5th inning!

    We went through appetizers, a soup/salad course, then entrees, then desserts, then we talked for a while as two people were celebrating birthdays.

    And I still got home to see the end of this game.

    Then I could tell you the tale of the day I bought my Prius. Which was Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS between Houston and Atlanta.

    It’s the Curse of Dan Wheeler!

  67. 67.  64 : Oh man, I remember that game. I drifted in and out of sleep like five different times, waking up each time to a wildly different score. I was rooting for those misshapen Phillies.

  68. 68.  67
    Darren Daulton went through four different astral projections during that game.

  69. 69.  It would be pretty remarkable if Timlin turns in a scoreless frame. He’s been pretty brutal this year.

  70. 70.  I believe John Farrell got ejected there.

  71. 71.  70 Shouldn’t he be though? What business does the pitching coach have to argue balls and strikes with teh ump, no matter how bad a game he is calling?

  72. 72.  By the way, Timlin pitched in that Phillies-Jays game mentioned in 62 . He was one of only two Blue Jays pitchers not to give up a run. I wish that version of him was on the mound now.

  73. 73.  Presumably the home plate umpire is calling the balls and strikes equally poorly.

    Farrell seems to argue a lot for a pitching coach.

  74. 74.  How did Bartlett not get to first before the throw on that play?

  75. 75.  66 i live in atlanta and one of my dear friends is a huge braves fans. we’re professional musicians and he was on the road, unable to watch or listen to the game. i did play-by-play for him over the phone for at least 5 of the innings, if not more. it was fun! well, for me anyway (i’m not a braves fan…).

  76. 76.  Cowbells are worse than beachballs.

  77. 77.  76
    Bruce Dickinson disagrees.

  78. 78.  75 Congrats…on the non-Braves fan-ness.

  79. 79.  an Iron Maiden reference! scream for me Long Beach! (nicko doesn’t play much cowbell though. Pretty much just in “Can I Play With Madness”…)

    now, ron darling is talking about Dire Straits! ; )

  80. 80.  One-one.

  81. 81.  Wow, I assume Navarro would not have beaten that throw to home.

  82. 82.  You wonder why the Red Sox just don’t appeal for the hell of it?

  83. 83.  78 well, i come from Bronx Banter though, so you might wanna recant the congrats! ; )

  84. 84.  Not that Perez left early however.

    Fernando Perez, greatest postseason performance by a Columbia grad since Lou Gehrig!

  85. 85.  A lot of bad throws to home tonight. Up the line quite a bit even though the TBS pundits have said that each was a good throw.

  86. 86.  The only people truly happy about that result are Red Sox fans with tickets to Game 5.

  87. 87.  Fitting final score for the team with the “9 = 8” slogan.

  88. 88.  83 That’s fine with me. I’m a Phils fan.

  89. 89.  86 i am very much truly happy about the result of this game! : )

  90. 90.  88 i know. i read all your posts! : )

    i’m rootin’ for your Phils as i have tons of Penn State ties (my alma mater)…

  91. 91.  And now I can watch the final 2:22 of the UCLA-Oregon game!

  92. 92.  By the 17 total runs in an extra-inning playoff game has been done just four other times.

  93. 93.  92 And the Red Sox have lost the last two in 2 consecutive seasons.

  94. 94.  amazingly, there were no errors in this game. hey mike and bob – is that some kind of postseason record? 11 innings, 17 runs, 24 hits, run scoring wild pitch, 14 walks…and no errors!

  95. 95.  94 I posted the games with 17 or more runs in an extra-inning playoff game. Not sure if any were error-free. I’d have to check.

  96. 96.  62 Not really.

    66 In that 18-inning game, I left in the 8th inning, took a 20-minute walk with my kids to a movie theater, saw a movie, walked back, and I still caught the last two innings of the game.

  97. 97.  95 cool! i’ll scoot over to your rants and check it out in a minute…

  98. 98.  The 13-6 game last year between the Sox and Indians had no errors.

  99. 99.  both young rays stars were soft-spoken and well-spoken. i like that…

  100. 100.  Is Harold Reynolds sexually harassing Eck?

  101. 101.  96 hey ken, thanks for another terrific season here at the toaster, best baseball site on the interweb! : )

    100 i’m glad H.R. is back in the baseball world…

  102. 102.  Joe Madden should have a cameo on Mad Men.

  103. 103.  100 i dunno, but Eck does sing high like a girl! he’s not bad, actually…

  104. 104.  Good night, I look forward to game 3 of the Phils’ first postseason sweep tomorrow night.

  105. 105.  How did Bon Scott end up?

  106. 106.  105 : How does everyone end up?

  107. 107.  104
    I guess you need to keep looking.

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