Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Changing the Story

Tom Brady won his first three Super Bowls. He was steadily marching towards his place at the greatest quarterback of all time. Then, he lost his next two. Some people started to whisper, “Maybe he’s not as good as we thought.” (These people are fools, but bear with me) After all, he just barely won a couple of those championships. Were it not for a couple last second field goals, maybe he doesn’t have any rings.

To some people, the story had changed.

That’s what the Red Sox did yesterday to the Tigers.

The first game had a clear story. The Sox were almost no-hit, for crying out loud. They were dominated by the Tigers. Many people assumed that the Tigers had an unbeatable staff, and this was more proof. Then, the Sox were no-hit for the beginning of game two. Even though the Sox came back for a dramatic victory, it was viewed almost as luck. Sure, they squeaked one out after Scherzer left the game. They were still dominated two games in a row by that Detroit starting rotation, and Verlander was waiting for them.

Then yesterday happened.

The Sox beat Verlander himself, and turned the story…and the series…completely around. Suddenly, it’s not about the Sox offense that somehow can’t score runs…or even get hits. It’s about the Sox pitchers who just won’t give up runs. It’s not about the Sox being in trouble when they lost the Lester start. It’s the Tigers trailing in the series, even after winning the Lester start. Just like Brady, you start to go back and look at the other two games more closely. Sure, the Tigers took game one. But, they only scored one run. They didn’t even have many more baserunners than the Sox did. The Sox actually brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth inning of a game they were supposed to have been dominated in. Detroit had a big lead in game two. But, they scored most of their runs in one bad inning. Maybe they haven’t been as dominating as everyone has been implying. Maybe the teams are pretty evenly matched. Maybe that’s actually bad news for the Tigers.

After all, the Sox just took back home field advantage. After all, the Sox just won the two games started by Scherzer and Verlander. After all, if those two pitch again, it will probably be in Fenway.

They say momentum in baseball is the next day’s starting pitcher. That’s why Sunday’s dramatic victory wasn’t going to help the Sox. Verlander would settle things down. So, it would still be tough to say that the Sox now have the momentum. But, the Tigers now know that the Sox can beat their bullpen. They now know that they can beat their ace. The Tigers now know they have to win some games. That may not be momentum.

It’s a new story.

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