A Long Game’s Journey Into The Night

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By Ted Gay  –  @TedG63

It’s 3:15 AM.  I have to get up and go to work in three hours.  I am watching the endless World Series game in bed, my wife wisely asleep on the other side.  My Brussels Griffon is snoring next to me. The game is blissfully muted, because, in the top of the 13th my Yorkie Pocket had a panic attack, unable to take the tension or John Smoltz’s voice.  That girl can’t handle her baseball  I have written and deleted this blog three times.  This is the final shot. Justin Turner just struck out. We are headed for the 17th inning. I’m a Red Sox fan. It’s the World Series. Where else would I be?

Ten minutes later Mookie Betts and Xavier Boegarts failed again, two of Boston’s best hitters experiencing an entire series’ slump in one game.  Eovaldi gets the ball for his seventh inning.  He has thrown his 92nd pitch in relief.  If he had started this game he would be out by now. Drew Pomeranz, the ultimate last guy picked in a schoolyard game begins warming.   Eovaldi delivers a 3-2 pitch and Max Muncy goes David Ortiz on it.  The Dodgers win the game and the losing pitcher was Boston’s biggest star.

The Sox lost this game in the 13th, but they refused to stay down.  Perhaps, given the state of their pitching staff, staying down would have been the wiser choice.

In game two of the 1973 Athletics vs. Mets World Series, A’s second baseman Mike Andrews made two crucial errors that cost Oakland the game. Owner Chuck Finley went into the A’s clubhouse postgame and promptly fired Andrews. Major League Baseball reinstated Andrews and Finley was roundly criticized for his fit of pique. Today Red Sox fans would like nothing more than the reanimated corpse of Chuck Finley to arise and fire Ian Kinsler’s ass.

The second baseman threw away Game Three and possibly the series trying to get an out the Sox didn’t need and allowing Max Muncy, who had gone to second when Eduardo Nunez’s momentum carried him into the stands after snagging a pop up along the third base stands. If Puig should have even hit with first base open will be long debated.

This postseason the Sox have been a jet, the fans the passengers, and Alex Cora the pilot.  The plane begins to stall, and he elects to ditch the plane in the Hudson? It works. He wants to land on a small island atoll?  It works. He wants to land upside down in the ocean? In Sully Cora we trust.   But in Game 3 the wheels came off the plane and it skidded towards the deep Pacific.

Cora was, as much as Dave Roberts, a victim of the Dodgers inability to score runs.  If they had put up, a five-spot early Cora would not have used David Price or Nathan Eovaldi, which resulted in the Sox having the weaker staff and someone pitching Game 4 on little rest.

Cora was like Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg.  He did not need to attack. Washington DC was behind him.  He could have retreated to victory. But the enemy was ahead of him, and he had his back up, so he went all in, Pickett made his ill-fated charge, and decimated his army. Cora, too, went all in when he didn’t have to, pitching everyone but Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz, who is so inconsequential Joe Buck spent most of the game forgetting he was on the staff.

The game began with a dominant performance from Walke Buehler who shut down the Sox like few pitchers have done this year.  Unfortunately, his teammates could only muster one run, and once Buehler was pulled, Jackie Bradley Jr. went yard to tie it

After that is was a combinatoin of missed chances and great plays.  In the Boston tenth, Kinsler pinch ran for JD Martinez and almost got picked off at first, overslid third, and got thrown out by 20 feet for the final out of the inning.  The inning was sparked, as was the 13th, by Brock Holt reaching first, whose inclusion as the fifth batter in the lineup was deemed “assanine” by Boston diva Tony Massarotti.  Holt would score on an error when Old Man Eduardo Nunez, who got injured after being upended when Yasmani Grandal tried to retrieve a mishandled pitch, then injured again diving to first on the error that would score Holt.  Some duct tape and Gorilla Glue put Nunez back together. The Sox would load the bases and have a chance to put the game away but Xander Bogaerts, who along with Mookie Betts had a horrid game at the plate, hit the ball three inches forcing Nunez at home.

Saturday’s starting pitcher, Nathan Eovaldi, did pitch on Saturday, but in the wrong game. If the Sox do win this series he is the MVP.  And they will dedicate the win to the late, great Eduardo Nunez.

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