Heidi Watney just finished fumbling her way through another post-game interview. The Red Sox star of the game just finished answering her muddled, predictable questions: each one ending in some form of “how were you able to do that.” None of this is really news (other than the fact there was a Red Sox star of the game, implying a win). The story here is the player answering those questions. No, Jacoby Ellsbury did not get asked to talk, even though he hit ANOTHER home run, this time giving the Sox a 2-1 lead. Yes, Heidi tossed softball questions to a Yale product who probably could have better explained the current world economic crisis: rookie catcher Ryan Lavarnway.
Ryan WHO!? La-varn-way. Phonetic. Phenomenal. Phuckin’ clutch. Lavarnway is the Red Sox reigning two-time Minor League Offensive Player of the Year. But you couldn’t predict this one. Early in the game Francona had a soundbyte explaining his decision to go with Lavarnway over banged up starter Jarrod Saltalamacchia: “maybe he’ll run into one. Otherwise, we’ve got Salty to finish off the game.” Ahh Terry, you sly fox. You meant run into one or TWO. As in Lavarnway would clobber not one but two (not Green, we’re in Baltimore) MONSTER home runs. The first a three run homer to provide a 5-1 lead. The second an insurance run making it 8-4 at the time, ended up being the difference in an 8-7 win in which Sox relievers tried as hard as they possibly could to blow the game.
So now, the Red Sox live to see another day. They actually trailed the Rays by 1/2 a game in the win column tonight for about an hour. Red Sox ace Jon Lester is on the mound tomorrow. Beyond that, nobody knows what to expect from these Red Sox. The team who started the year 0-6, is trying to finish the regular season on a two-game win streak, something they haven’t had since August. The win tomorrow will only ensure a one game playoff with the Rays. And as sure as Alfredo Aceves’ arm (three straight appearances, 3 2/3 innings tonight) is held together with toothpicks, crazy glue, rubber bands and Bengay, that one-game playoff WILL happen if the Red Sox win. There’s no way the Rays go out tomorrow and lose to the Yankees spring training split squad team. The Yankees threw their top four relievers in the loss tonight, so none will be available tomorrow. They earned that rest. All the Rays have to do is beat up on second or third rate pitching. Red Sox fans earned a pacemaker and some Zantacs in watching a month with just six wins, and a nine game lead erased.
But what about that one game playoff? Who would even be pitching? The Rays will have lefty phenom Matt Moore, who has only struck out 15 batters in 28 outs. The Red Sox? Reports today said they were looking into trading for a guy to start one game, then not even be available for the playoffs. Desperate? That’s worse than taking your cousin to prom. It’s having your mom PAY your cousin to go to prom with you. For $161 million this season, that’s what the Red Sox money will get them. That, or John Lackey. Now, the cousin coming to prom doesn’t look so bad, does it?
What’s going to happen? Who knows. The Red Sox might go out and have a classic double figure scoring day and the Rays could get shutout by no names. That’s the beauty of baseball. My money’s on a one-game playoff in Tampa Bay. Rookie phenom versus disgruntled mouth-breather with the highest single season ERA in Red Sox history (Lackey). Advantage: Rays