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Red Sox Resurrection

Filed under: — jen d @ 10:07 am

Marathon nail-biters stretching over extra innings into the morning hours; records broken, and broken again; foul plays, reversed calls, bloody pitchers; and, of course, uniformed crowd-control. It’s been one heck of a series.

The Sox managed to finish last night’s game in the alotted 9 innings, for a change, but there was no relaxing of the giant band of tension that’s been stretching from Fenway to Yankee Stadium over the past week. Tonight it’s gotta snap, but in which direction, nobody knows.

It was an amazing game. Schilling came back, after injury and a disappointing Game 1 performance, bleeding through his sutures, to pitch the Yankees straight back to the dugout for 6 solid innings before Bernie Williams finally caught New York a run in the 7th. This, after Sox Mark Bellhorn managed a 3-run homer in the 4th, surprising himself out of his own postseason slump and propelling the Sox into a 4-0 lead that wouldn’t be challenged again until the 8th, with Cairo and Jeter pulling together a few hits that cut the lead in half. AT 4-2, Red Sox, Alex Rodriguez made a crucial blunder that might have cost the Yankees a final win: on his way to first on a hit that would have brought Jeter home, or at least advanced him to 2nd base, A-Rod decided to play football and slap the ball out of Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo’s hands as he tried to evade an out at 1st. Anyone watching the game on camera could clearly see what Arroyo later referred to as a “karate chop” by A-Rod, but to the Yankee fans, managers, and even a few of the umpires, it wasn’t immediately caught. To their credit, the umps conferred and reversed the call; A-Rod was out and Jeter was sent from home all the way back to base 1.

And then the fun started. The Yankee fans started throwing bottles and other debris down from the stands; Francona wanted the Sox off the field to avoid any riots (and further injury, no doubt), and the umpires called in extra security to line the field and keep a very unhappy fan base from further making fools of themselves, as NY announcers made special appeals over the loudspeakers to uphold the special “standards of Yankee Sportsmanship” and knock it off.

The Sox didn’t score another run all night, but closing pitcher Keith Foulke came in to win the game in a torturous bottom of the 9th. Boston was on its hands and knees to the very end, though, as Foulke walked two men onto the bases and loaded Tony Clark at the bat: 3 balls, 2 strikes. But Clark swung at the final pitch and missed, helping the Red Sox make history as being the only team in Major League Baseball ever to come back after 3 straight losses to force a game 7 in a series. In this series, no less, against the Yankees, their all-time nemesis.

It coud go either way. For right now, we’re riding high with the knowledge that we didn’t go so gently, after all. Ortiz and Bellhorn; Wakefield, Schilling and Foulke– they’ve redeemed themselves against the odds these past few nights, and the Sox as a whole have risen up to defy almost certain death. They may go down again tonight, but at least they’ve been swinging. And if they should win? Well, let’s just hope Boston can take it!

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