Friday, June 30, 2006

Some hot Coco, if you please

Boston Globe photo by Jim Davis
What a game last night! It totally lived up to its pre-game hype. An incredible pitching match-up - two old warriors, each with 200+ wins, battling it out. Schilling was awesome - only 9 pitches in the first inning. Glavine - I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed watching him pitch for the Braves. He works fast, decisively. The Sox really made him work, though - no strike outs, working the counts - he left in the 6th with a pitch count of 102, after giving up a homer to Sweet Mark Loretta (who has now hit in 12 straight games - hmmm, 12 games...).

The defense? We've now gone 16 straight games without an error. There was plenty of opportunities for that to change, but the Sox made some fantastic plays - they could have filled all ten spots on SportsCenter's top 10 this morning. Lowell with a bare-handed scoop of a bunt, Loretta and Youkilis' scramble at first, Schilling's pick-off of Franco at 2nd. And of course what will from this day forward simply be called "The Catch." In the bottom of the 7th, with the Mets threatening, Wright lasered a liner deep, between left and center. I think everyone - from the fans to the teams on the field - immediately conceded the hit and RBI. But not Coco Crisp. He literally flew in out of nowhere, leapt and grabbed the ball. Absolutely amazing. I loved the reaction shots of pitcher Mike Timlin - his jaw dropped and he starts yelling "Wow!" The ESPN announce crew immediately called it the play of the year so far. And how did he celebrate?

Photo from Surviving Grady
Why, by having another Red Bull! He told ESPN after the game that he'd just had a Red Bull before the catch, and "Red Bull gives you wings." Do I smell an endorsement deal here?!

And just as both NESN and ESPN are re-hashing The Catch at the bottom of the 8th, Ortiz steps up and launches one into the dead center bleachers. Talk about putting an exclamation point on both The Catch and the game.

So, now they've won 12 in a row. On this round of interleague play, the National League East is 0-for-12 against them. It gives one serious pause - is the NL that inferior to the AL? You look at how the AL has done in this round of play, and the only NL teams with winning records in interleague are Colorado and Florida (who we face this weekend). What set the Sox off on this tear? Here's Kevin Youkilis in today's Globe:

``Guys were upset losing three games in a row in Minnesota," recalled Kevin Youkilis (game-winning RBI, one defensive gem). ``We sort of got mad in Atlanta, but that's where we got our fans back. Then coming home was great. It was a long homestand and we got to enjoy the good times in Fenway Park."

Atlanta - where they got their fans back. There was a HUGE contingent of Sox fans at those Atlanta games - some of the Braves players were quoted in the local papers as being very put out by the "Let's Go RS" chants they had to listen to. When you're a fan, you sometimes wonder if your support and cheers really help your team. This shows it does - they hear it, even if they don't acknowledge it. Makes me SSOO glad I cheered as loud as I did during those games. Glad that I got out there early each day, greeted the team as they ran out onto the field to practice, chanted their names during BP. I feel like I'm a part of this winning streak, too.


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