OK. Diving right in. The Sox are not in a must-win situation, but a win today would settle the Boston fans who treated last night like Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
We need to keep in mind that the Red Sox did have a 14-game lead over the Yankees. But that was in May. At the All Star break, the lead was nine. Given that the lead today is four games, it doesn't seem so bad, does it?
Archetype is here with me. He literally just arrived from Boston. We're basking in front of my HD plasma on a sunny and beautiful New York afternoon. We've got our beverages and possibly thin crust pizza later. It's all good. Play ball.
16:03 Top of the 1st. One out. Derek Jeter hits a solo home run to deep center. Bad start, Josh. "What a BOLT to center field." - Tim McCarver
16:06 Sodenj5 on Sons of Sam Horn: "Great, for the rest of the game we get to hear about Jeter's power."
16:06 Indeed, I might have to mute my TV if Tim McCarver starts talking about Jeter's greatness.
16:10 "Is this the Yankee broadcast? I just want to make sure." - Archetype.
16:12 Posada is at-bat. Two outs. Tim McCarver: "A lot of the time, catchers are the toughest hitters to pitch around, because they call pitches to pitch around hitters." Good Lord.
16:14 End of the first. Please, Red Sox, can we get some payback?
16:15 Clay Buchholz reads the starting lineup for the Red Sox.
16:16 Sodenj5 on Sons of Sam Horn: "Can anyone deny the fact that Buchholz is a dead ringer for Beavis?"
16:21 Bottom of the 1st, Pedroia is on first (walked) and there's one out. Ortiz at the plate. A hit! Dustin now on second. Ortiz at first. Keep it up. Produce runs.
16:23 Lowell gets an RBI single with a liner down the 3rd base line. Johnny Damon is playing left and we know his arm is not great. Dustin scores.
16:24 JD Drew grounds out. Ortiz advances to third.
16:24 "Can we sell JD Drew to Atlanta for half price? Or the Sox can sell him on Half.com." - Archetype
16:31 Dustin Pedroia stops a grounder, turns to his right, and fires at first for the out. Beautiful. Golden Glove nominee, I think. Remember what he did in the Clay Buchholz no-hitter two weeks ago.
16:32 A 1-2-3 inning for Josh Beckett.
16:40 Sox go down in order. End of the second.
16:52 Beckett strikes out A-Rod. His pitch count is getting higher, though. 58 pitches through three innings.
16:53 Mets just lost a second straight game to the Phillies. Their NL East lead falls to 4 games. Pedro Martinez struck out 9 in just 6 innings, and his effort was wasted.
16:59 Bottom of the third. Two out. Ortiz walks.
17:02 Mike Lowell walks. JD Drew is up. This won't end well, right?
17:02 Stephen King is in the house. So in Rene Russo. And Steve Martin is sporting tinted bifocals and it looks like he cut his chin shaving just before the game? Wow.
17:04 JD Drew walks! Three straight walks issued to the Red Sox. The bases are loaded. But watch Veritek ground out...
17:06 Tek pops out. I need my first drink.
17:15 Beckett deals his way through the top of the 4th. Nice. Pitch count is up to 73 as the shadows get darker in the outfield.
17:20 Sox go in order in the bottom of the 4th.
17:30 Yankees go in order in the top of the 5th. I just ordered pizza. Waiting for something big to happen. Please score runs. Plural.
17:40 Bottom of the 5th. Kevin Youkilis is hit in the hand. He is replaced by Ellsbury. Ortiz gets a hit. Ellsbury advances to third.
17:44 Now JD Drew is up with 2 outs. And Ho-Ly-Shit! He lines one down third for a hit! Ellsbbury scores. The Sox take the lead! Jason Varitek swings at balls and then chops out. Boooooo!
17:53 Pizza is here. Sparkling shiraz is flowing. Aw yeah! For anyone who is into wine, you gotta try sparkling shiraz with pizza. Step away from your highbrow pinot and have some fun.
17:55 Three straight Yankees ground-out to Julio Lugo. Another easy inning. BUT WE NEED MORE RUNS!!!
17:58 Hinske hits a wall double! Nice start to the bottom of the sixth.
18:00 Coco gets a hit to center! But Eric Hinske wasn't running? He only advances to third. Sigh.
18:01 Julio Lugo flies out. One out.
18:03 Coco steals second! Now we have something brewing.
18:06 On a grounder, Hinske runs home to find Posada with the ball. He plows into Posada. It's an out, but I like to see a collision like that. Looking at the replay, it was a realy big hit. Nearly took Posada's head off.
18:10 Jacoby Elssbury gets a hit! Coco scores from third. Boston now leads 3-1.
18:12 David Ortiz gets a HUGE double to the center gap. Jacoby Ellsbury scores from first. The ball reaches Posada's glove as Ellsbury slides, but Posada does not apply the tag! Ellsbury is safe! Boston takes a 5-1 lead! Oh good times! Good times!
18:24 Top of the seventh. Beckett passes 100 pitches. But he is throwing great stuff. I assume this is his last inning. Finish it strong, Josh!
18:28 Josh Beckett strikes out Melky Cabrera! Take a bow, Josh.
18:33 Bottom of the seventh. JD Drew walks. This guy is the offensive player of the game so far.
18:36 The Yankees make their second pitching change of the day. Edwar Ramirez is out. U Mass alum Ron Vallone is in. JD Drew is on first and there is one out. Eric Hinske is next to bat for the Sox. He asks Jorge if he is OK following their collision. That's nice. He still rolled over Jorge like a truck, which will earn him a lot of respect from these passionate fans.
18:41 Hinske walks. Another pitching change. Brian Bruney comes-in for the Yankees.
18:45 Coco Crisp doubles. JD Drew scores. Hinske goes to third. Still just 1 out. This is wonderful. 6-1 Boston.
18:48 Julio Lugo walks. Bases are now loaded. Please someone score!
18:50 Dustin Pedroia strikes out. Two out. Oh no...
18:51 Pitching change for the Yankees. Sean Henn comes to the mound.
18:54 Jacoby Ellsbury singles. Two score. The man is 2-2 since coming into the game for the bruised Kevin Youkilis. El honbre es en fuego. Sox lead 8-1. We can breathe easy now.
18:58 David Ortiz walks. The bases are loaded again. When I think Sean Henn, I think more runs. And more runs have come.
18:58 Joe Torre comes to the mound for the fourth pitching change for the Yankees this inning. The Sox needed another big inning and this seems to be it. Even if no more runs score, the game seems to be in the bag.
19:00 Uclis20 on Sons of Sam Horn: "Somewhere, Michael Kay is complaining about this."
19:00 NYCSox on Sons of Sam Horn: "So does anyone think that Michael Kay would be bitching about all these pitching changes?"
19:02 Mike Lowell walks. Julio Lugo scores. Sox are up 9-1. I am breathing easier. But with the bases loaded for JD Drew, I want to see something great happen.
19:06 Oh well, JD Drew strikes out. End of the 7th. The Sox scored on 2 hits and 5 walks. The Yankees made 4 pitching changes. The inning lasted 36 minutes. That should be it for the Yankees today.
19:11 Now is the time for Fox to stroke Derek Jeter and replay his solo home run from the top of the first.
19:22 Top of the eighth. Two out. Mike Timlin strikes out A-Rod!! Take a bow, Timmeh!!!!
19:25 The Yankees make 5 defensive substitutions. Joe Torre lets the kids play and effectively concedes the game. Joba Chamberlain is warming-up in the bullpen. We probably won't face him, unless we score more runs here.
19:27 Eric Hinske homers into the Yankee bullpen! Joba almost caught it! Boston's first homer of the game. They now lead 10-1.
19:30 Obscure Name on Sons of Sam Horn: "Joba spraining his shoulder trying to catch that would have been the greatest thing ever."
19:30 MartyBarettMVP on Sons of Sam Horn: "How funny would that have been had Joba hurt his wrist going for that homer?"
19:35 The Red Sox are about to win this game and the Fox commentators are talking about the Sox former 14 game lead again. My head hurts.
19:38 Game over. The Sox win. We beat Wang. Now we have to put the hammer down tomorrow night. The magic number is 9. And get this - it will be Roger Clemens against Curt Schilling. Set the DVR. This is going to be great.