6:05 That's all she wrote! Anderson drives one deep to center but Crisp is there to catch the flyball for the final out. Beckett with a dominant complete game shutout of the Angels to set the tone for the Sox. I disagree with the decision to send him back out there, but it worked out. Huge effort by the kid. If the bats come alive tomorrow we will be in good shape.
6:04 Vlad grounds one cleanly up the middle for a hit. Considering the location and flatness of the pitch, not a bad outcome.
6:04 OCab continues to help out with a first-pitch grounder to Lowell. Two down and the Beast approaching the plate.
6:02 Tito sends Beckett out for the 9th in an attempt to weaken him. He's good like that. Figgins again gets his pitch and lines it to left, but thankfully Ellsbury makes a diving catch to save the day. His cape is cool.
5:59 Santana hangs a curve to Manny and he pops it up. These guys have really cashed it in.
5:57 Ortiz rips two pitches foul to go 0-2, gets back to 3-2....and gets a good pitch to hit but pops up to center field. Huh? What just happened? Is Santa dead?
5:55 Youks does that slappy thing to fly weakly to right for the first out of the inning. The slappy thing doesn't work too often.
5:50 Kendry Morales pinch hits. You can tell by his gut that he has some power, and possibly some snacky cakes stored away in the uniform. This discombobulates Beckett to the point that he throws a wild pitch. Beckett crosses the 100-pitch mark for strike two, then backdoors him for his 8th strikeout of the night to close down the inning, and probably his night. Nasty stuff.
5:48 Beckett apparently hears the Announcer Corpse badmouthing the sharpness on his curveball and hits Admiral Aybar with a nasty one for strike one, then gets a quick strike two. The Admiral chops one to second and beats the DP throw for a tasty FC.
5:47 Kendrick battles to stay alive, then singles between a diving Lowell and a picking-his-glove-up-too-sooning Lugo. He really does it all.
5:45 Kotchman grounds to first, and the best First Baseman in baseball fields it cleanly and throws to Beckett for the first out. Youks.
5:41 Pedroia goes down on a nasty curveball, but has looked pretty bad tonight. He needs to get on track pronto. Heading into the eighth.
5:40 Watching Crisp and Lugo hit back to back is truly agonizing, isn't it? The difference is, at least with Lugo you could see how the mechanics could work; it's just that he doesn't understand hitting at all. Crisp's swing simply makes no physical sense. Anyway, Lugo shocks everyone by striking out. Two down.
5:37-9 My desire to light Dane Cook on fire reaches an almost irresistible fever pitch. Why? Why have they done this to us? TBS sucks. Ervin Santana, who was destroyed by being on two of my fantasy league teams this year, comes in. Crisp embarrasses the uniform again, popping to third. One down.
5:35 Beckett continues to shake off Tek (or appear to shake him off by design) and gets Izturis to ground into an FC by Pedroia on the cut fastball. Three down, and he's still under 90 pitches for the game.
5:33 Good-lookin'-out by Anderson who first-pitch pops up. Two down.
5:30 In a strange twist, Vlad appears to be swinging for the fences. Beckett stays away from him with repeated curveballs before trying to bust him inside, but Vlad uses his amazing powers of contact to stay alive before the umpire reverse fucks Beckett by not calling strike three on the same pitch that got Manny and Youks. Vlad singles on the next pitch, and Vegas Vice continues their investigation into home plate umpire Darling.
5:29 Beckett gets behind in the count to Cabrera 2-1 but gets him to ground to Lugo. One down. Amazingly, Lugo still alive.
The Sox appear to have taken a brief nap here, with the exception of Beckett. But I guess he's the one that counts. TBS does Lackey a favor by spending a few minutes in an horrifically unflattering camera portrait of him on the bench. John thanks you, guys.
5:25 After fouling off the hit'n'run pitch, Varitek looks nobly to the third base coach for a few minutes before hitting into another double-play. His beard was unavailable for comment.
5:21 Lowell breaks his bat on a grounder to O-Cab. Drew comes up in his most likely scenario to do well - a low pressure situation. He gets on with some help from Lackey. I so badly want him to play like he's able, but I guess that's his deal: not to.
5:20 Frank Thomas barely refrains from beating his co-anchor to death before Cal Ripken saves the day. When they cut back to the studio it's like watching The Office.
5:18 Figgins gets the one pitch he can hit (go figure how this happens again) but lines it to center field, where defensive genius Coco makes a sliding catch.
5:18 Beckett shakes off Tek a few times and gets Willits swinging on a nasty breaking pitch. Willitts vows revenge as he stalks off the field, then goes back to work on subject-verb agreement.
5:16 Napoli tries the "I Dare You To Throw It Where I'm Swinging" approach, and fails. One down.
5:11 Manny tries to pull an outside fastball and misses it. I get angry. Round two to Manny. Takes call three: count is full.....and ump fucks Manny on strike three. That is now three called strikes that were not really close, and it's time to start wondering if "Darling" is another word for "Donaghy".
5:10 Manny misses the best pitch he'll see to hit all playoffs. I get angry. Around we go.
5:09 Lackey dances around Ortiz, and eventually walks him to face Manny, who is, oddly, being Manny.
5:07 Youks gets fucked by the ump on strike two but works the count full. While battling Lackey during the AB he is also battling him for the crown of King Perspiration. He is later fucked by the ump on strike three; just a terrible, terrible call. Two down.
5:04 Pedroia still looking very uncomfortable at the plate, but gets a pitch he likes and puts good wood on it. Starting to come around, perhaps. One down for Youks.
5:01 After drilling a long strike into the RF seats, Kotchman non-drills a short strike into Tek's mitt to sit his ass back down. One pitch later Kendrick bounces out to Pedroia, and Beckett walks slowly back to the dugout after telling Lugo to fuck off (I assume).
4:58 As we listen to Corpse and Stone discussing the Beckett trade, the question really becomes: can Theo trade to get Ramirez back from Florida? Beckett gets Izturis to pop up for the first out, before TBS cuts over to their Announcing Sideline Puppet, with Moustache.
I, like the Angels, sit during the commercial break thinking that you couldn't draw up a better half inning to shift the momentum. I seriously hope Beckett is handing out nougies like candy in the dugout right now.
4:51 Lugo continues operation "Let Them Back Into The Game" by swinging at the first pitch and eventually striking out looking embarrassed. He'll be gone next year.
4:50 Tek idiotically avoids taking a pitch off the arm to get on base, then badly misses a ball way out of the strike zone to K. Just a painful, painful AB to watch. One second later Crisp puts together the worst AB of the season.
4:47 Ouch. Anderson looked silly on a swinging strike three. At least he can play the pinkeye card. It's a useful one.
4:45 Vlady-dady, he likes to party, and ground to short. Lugo makes the play and there is a puzzled muttering from the Fenway faithful.
4:44 O-Cab over-matched, Ks on a hard inside FB. Not a chance.
4:42 Beckett back out with a four run lead. He is throwing gas.
4:40 Drew infuriates everyone again by taking a perfect first pitch then hitting into an easy DP on the second. How does he do it? His every move is calculated to achieve maximum fan rage.
4:38 Lowell at 3-2 now, Manny on second.........soft liner to center - MANNY SCORES! 4-0 Sox!
4:36 Lowell takes a fist pitch hack, unwisely. Lackey badly overthrowing his pitches now, and appears to be really overheating. Bizarrely Manny takes second on a wild pitch.
4:34 Manny goes 3-2 in the count, making it a successful AB.....follows it up with foul ball and finally works the walk. Another batter in the inning for Lackey, who is nearing a gaseous state.
4:31 PAPI GOES YARD!! Lackey hangs the curve and Papi just lights it up. 3-0 Sox.
4:31 Youks shows the speed as he doubles to left. Takes a quick break for some oxygen and a sandwich. Papi up with a RISP.
4:29 Pedroia does the exact opposite of what he is supposed to do. It looks like another early season slump for DP. Popup, one out.
4:25 Figgins misses strike three by juuuuussst a tad. Beckett with a quick inning; rushes back to the dugout to let Lugo and Crisp out of their lockers so they can un-wedgie themselves.
4:23 Willitts doing exactly what he does: being a minor nuisance that you would like to crush, like a small, tic-lipped gnat. Manny makes a casual play on his lazy fly ball, proving that you don't have to use the word "lazy" twice in a sentence if you don't want to.
4:21 Lowell shows Lugo how baseball is played with a great play on a tough Napoli shot to the corner. Lugo calls home to make sure those damn kids are off his lawn.
4:17 Lugo Assassination Guild sets a timetable for their assault after Lugo makes a lazy slide and turns a stolen base into an out. Emulating Varitek, Lugo begins playing with a red dot on his uniform chest.
4:15 Lugo says "Look, Ellsbury fanclub, even I can hit this guy!" Ellsbury fanclub sets a timetable for their assault.
4:14 Crisp, being strictly a fastball hitter, gets down two on junk pitches then swings at a ball to create a doubleplay. The Ellsbury fanclub starts loading their weapons.
4:12 Varitek steps to the plate featuring his recently created beard made of iron filings, and uses the extra power to line a single to right. El Capitan!!
4:09 Proving that cheaters never win and winners never cheat, except in American business, politics, religion, and sport, Kendrick flies out to Crisp in center.
4:07 Kendrick A-Rods one, and gets another chance to hit after some timely cheating. Nicely done Howie! The kids appreciate you!
4:07 Thank you. Appreciate it. A curveball gets Kotchman to ground to Pedroia, who robot-shovels it up.
4:06 After getting ahead 0-2 Beckett inexplicably throws a reachable fastball. Again. Is it too much to ask to see a goddamn secondary pitch?
4:04 Announcer jinx rolls both ways. I am still trying to determine if Robinson or Stone is the Undead.
Couple commercial break thoughts here. One Lackey is a sweater. Jesus. I hope they have a spare uniform for him. He looks like the douchebag senator from the X-Men movie after Magneto got ahold of him. Two, he is not throwing the junk for strikes and isn't commanding the fastball well at all. The Sox need to sit on him until he gives them one.
4:01 Drew dribbles a ball (that he should have beat out) softly to short. Great. Much better Lord, thanks a bunch.
4:00 Please, Lord, do not let me see a 2-out, bases loaded at-bat for Tek, I am begging you.
3:58 Announcer jinx is set to High, as the Studio Corpse gets Lowell to pop tamely out into foul territory. Seriously, who the fuck is this guy?
3:57 Manny tells me to Suck It, rips one down the left-field line. Good job Manny.
3:57 Manny goes out of the strike zone early and gets behind 0-2. Good job Manny.
3:55 Lackey having a little trouble with the zone. If Papi can get on and extend the inning this could be a long inning for the kid. He beat me to it! Single, Big Boy!
3:54 Robinson and Stone talk briefly about Manny's defensive expertise, then go on to document Martha Stewart's history of philanthropy.
3:52 YOOOOUUUUUKKKKKK!! I guess my kid's first dad-made book will be entitled "The Hairy Mensch That Could".
3:50 Pedroia injudiciously swings at the second pitch. Hey, it's his first playoff game in the Bigs. Now he's so pissed he'll be fine.
3:46 I realize I had confused Kendrick with Anderson vis-a-vis the pinkeye. This now makes the Scioscia decision to bat Kendrick 7th completely flummoxing. Looking at him I can only surmise Olive Loaf had something to do with it.
3:45 Chone Figgins proves the awkward postulate that he can beat the Sox by himself.
3:44 Angels pull the old "run and hit", with OCab helping his old team out by swinging at a ball after Figgins had already stolen second. Gracias mi amigo.
3:41 Prediction here is stolen base, with Lugo attempting to catch the throw with his "prehensile nipple". He talks about it a lot in the offseason.
3:40 Six straight fastballs to start the game, ending predictably in a hit. Testicles crawling up into abdomen early tonight.
3:35 Will I be able to do this every game? No. But tonight I will. I have a fresh beer, Beckett's already up in the strike zone, what could go wrong? Living the dream!