Sunday, October 5, 2008

See You Tomorrow: Sox - Rays Playoff Game 3

For all the crying and complaining Garza did today, I can tell you one thing: it was John Danks that did him not, not any of those other distractions he occupied himself with. First, he was chasing a pigeon [Perhaps the Pigeon can be the Rays' version of the Cubs' goat or cat or what have you] around like he was Cerrano (Sorry, Major League II was on TBS yesterday…) then he and the groundskeepers had to work for 10 minutes on making the mound “just right.” He could have had his A game today, but the truth is that the John Danks pitching today wasn’t the John Danks we saw in late August and early September. He is Big Game Johnny. He may get tired after 6 innings, but he has baseballs of steel.

There really was some good pitching from John Danks. Sure, he gave up a 2-run homer to get the Rays within 2 runs of winning, but that wasn’t as much his fault, as it was Ozzie’s for not pulling him out early enough. He was nearing the 100 pitch mark and getting tired. He was throwing more balls and showing signs of fatigue. He was awfully close to getting out unscathed, but it was up to Ozzie to see he needed to go to the ‘pen. Dotel, Thornton, and Jenks finished up the game, picking up their holds and saves. Tomorrow, the Sox’ fate rests once again on the shoulders of youngster Gavin Floyd.

I talk a lot of smack about Dewayne Wise, but I’ll give him this: every now and then, he’s our star player. In fact, he has been our biggest RBI guy this series. [Just goes to figure that I give him a kick-ass nickname (Dewayne "The Rock" Wise) and he runs with it and plays like a kick-ass baseball player. You're welcome. Next on my list of unexpected players to become MVP after receiving a kick-ass nickname... well, just stay tuned. But BA is giving me a run for my money in the nickname department. He nick-named Wise the African American Ross Gload. Like I said, BA & I are blogging together this post season. It's like we're sharing a brain...] Today, he got a 2-RBI double down the left field line, scoring a couple in a great 4th-inning rally. The Sox made 7 hits and 5 walks into 5 runs. Paired with some good base running by Wise, Anderson, and even a stolen base by Uribe (although he didn’t manage to score…), the Sox out-ran the Rays. With no home runs. The last home run the Sox scored was Konerko’s 9th inning solo shot in Game 1 of this series. The Sox are going back to basics, and running aggressively, and it has worked today.

So, the Sox stay alive for one more day. I would feel much better about tomorrow had they won at least one game in the Cow Pen down in Tampa, but I still take pride going into tomorrow’s game in seeing that our team was not swept (especially at home) and that we certainly haven’t choked and made infield error after infield error, hurting our hard-working pitchers like our Northside counterparts. The comparisons that were made between the two teams are quite ludicrous. From comparing Ronnie Woo-Woo to Sox Man (Excuse me, but Sox Man happens to be a very intelligent guy that writes for the papers and is a Super Fan, rather than a noise maker that distracts the fans from another loss. [True story: there were guys at a Cubs game that I attended asking for his autograph. I’m certain Sox fans would have been too busy watching the game.]), to comparing their fans in general, to comparing their hot-tempered managers, the conclusion is simply drawn from their post-season efforts. While the Cubs couldn’t keep from being swept by another National League team, the Sox- or rather, a patched up version of what Ozzie and Kenny envisioned as their playoff team- continue relentlessly against the best teams in all of baseball.

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