Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sox and Rays Empty All Barrels

Sox fans are feeling a bit queasy as they disembark the roller coaster ride that was game two of the ALCS. The night started when all of us Sox fans wearing our best red shirts with the blue "B"'s on them them boarded the roller coaster car. The ride started out fun as we climbed high up that first hill, lifted by a Jason Bay two run double. But the hill did not last long as we came soaring back down the other side when Josh Beckett gave up a two run, game tying home run to Evan Longoria.

Back up in the third on a Dustin Pedroia solo home run, and back down again when BJ Upton matched the feat and Carl Crawford singled to score Longoria and give the Rays a 4-3 lead. This ride was a real thriller. When Cliff Floyd homered to extend the Rays' lead to 5-3, we thought the ride might be over. But three home runs by the Red Sox in the 5th inning, by Pedroia, Youkilis, and Bay, shot the Red Sox back into the lead.

The thrill was short lived when the Rays scored 3 run of their own in the bottom of the 5th to regain a 2 run lead. We were dizzy, stressed, and begging for the ride attendant to stop the thing. The Sox came back, tied the game, and the end was no where in sight. Into the wee hours of the morning we flew up the hills, down the slopes, around the bends.

Then came the 11th inning. The ride attendant decided to end it for us and sent Mike Timlin in, the final reliever on the roster. Timlin walked the first two batters he faced, and we saw the final bend in the ride approaching. A ground out sent the runners to second and third and Iwamura was intentionally walked as we felt the brakes on the roller coaster car begin to engage. Finally the car pulled up to the exit platform and BJ Upton himself escorted us off the car with a soft sacrifice fly.

Off to bed we all went, the Dramamine long ago worn off. As we slept we could still feel our bodies flying up the hills and soaring back down. It was a restless sleep, and during the night I had a terrible nightmare. I dreamed that the Red Sox were in the ALCS on the brink of a potential second straight World Series appearance. But in the dream, the Sox had lost last year's ALCS MVP. Josh Beckett, in the dream, was ineffective, lacked confidence in his fastball, and got burned with home runs whenever he went after a batter.

Then I woke up, and the dream had come true.

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