The Sox should act as if tonight is a must win. I want absolutely no part of another game tomorrow night.
One reason is personal. I’m a friggin mess. I haven’t slept in a week. I’m living, basically, on coffee and Mt Dew. My appetite is gone due to nervous anticipation. My stomach is in knots. I’m jumpy and cranky, and just need them to win now.
It’s funny. I don’t remember this level of distress with the other championships. I think 2004 happened too fast to get all worked up. Once they went down 0-3, there wasn’t really the stress of coming back. More of a “Boy, be nice if they won this one so they won’t be swept.” Then, “gee, they forced a game seven after all.” By the time they got to the World Series, it was cruise control for a week. There wasn’t time to be nervous. In 2007, it was different too. The Red Sox were clearly the better team in every round. Even going down 1-3 wasn’t stressful because you knew Beckett was going to win before you came back home. In the series, the Rockies had no business being there in the first place. There wasn’t time to be worried. Tired, yes. Stressed? Not really. I actually remember the feeling of being able to enjoy that series.
This year? Not so much. I still don’t trust this team unconditionally. I can’t sit back and say, “They can’t touch Pedro, or can’t get Manny out.” They’re going to scrape and claw, sure. But that’s not a comforting feeling. Do I think they’re a better team? Absolutely. Do I feel it in my bones that they’re going to win the game? Certainly. Can I think straight today? Nope. Heck, even the most dominant closer in maybe forever can’t help me out. He gave up baserunnes at a lower rate than anyone else ever this year. But, as I’ve said, it’s not like I can rest my nerves on a devastating fastball. He’s tricking people into missing his splitter. Much like a Rivera cutter, sometimes the trickery goes away.
So, I stress.
Of course, the other reason in baseball related. Game sevens are the worst. For the same reason a one game wild card is unfair, so is a game seven. One play can throw it all away. One terrible obstruction call. One error on a damp ball. One anything, and it’s all over. Plus, it’s not like the Sox have Smoky Joe Wood sitting back there to start. While I have faith in Peavy…I don’t have that much. And as much as people like to say “everyone’s available” that hardly ever actually works. So, I’d prefer to stay away from another game on Halloween. I’d much prefer being able to dress up tomorrow as a fan of the World Champions. Win tonight!
Sox in six.