Isn’t it comfortable when a game turns out exactly as you expected it to? After Sunday’s game, I just know the Orioles were in trouble. The Sox were going to be well rested, so even if the starter came out early there would be plenty of arms in the pen. The Sox would have gotten plenty of sleep the night before, so they should be ready to score and score and score. Hold on. That’s not what I said?
This was a game chalked up in the loss column. How could it not be? The Sox played forever the night before. They had nobody in the pen. They were up until the morning trying to get from Tampa to Baltimore, so they were playing on no sleep whatsoever. Then Wakefield goes out and puts them in an immediate hole. Go ahead guy. Pack it in. Go home, get some sleep, and come back and pound them tomorrow.
But, they didn’t do that. This team dragged themselves to take the lead. Amazing. Then what happens? Wakefield’s knuckler goes from moving like a gymnast to staying slow and straight. When it moves, not even Salty can catch it. When it doesn’t, even I can hit it. So, the Orioles take the lead right back after a big inning. That’s the final straw. The Sox can’t come back twice in a game like this.
But, as you know, they do! They pound the Orioles, eventually putting up fifteen runs! Fifteen! After only scoring one run in Sunday’s marathon. Unbelievable.
I sometimes think turnaround games are overrated. You often look back at a season, and people pick a turning point. The brawl game in 2004, for instance. It would be hard to pick yesterday’s game as a turning point. After all, it comes in the midst of a 9-1 stretch. But, it certainly could be a crucial victory. Nobody would have blamed them if they threw in the towel. Nobody would have blamed them for coming up flat. It would have been perfectly reasonable. The lead would have been trimmed to a half game over the Yankees. It would have been understood. But, the Sox didn’t do that. This has all the making of a game you look back on in September and say, “Remember that game against the Orioles when they were tired, but still pulled it out?”
That’s why they’re going to the World Series.