Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'd like to be wrong... but I'm not going to be...

I got to turn this one on in the fifth, just before the Rays' David Bartlett hit just his third home run of the year to tie it up against the exceptionally shaky Josh Beckett. In the next inning, Not So Big Game James Shields gave the game back to the dead man wearing Jason Varitek's jersey, and another single after that. After a pitching change, Bartlett made a bad error on a throw, which was (of course) followed up by the inevitable David Ortiz RBI.

There's 12 more outs in this game, and a whole 'nother game tomorrow, but there isn't much more to say than this: it's over, and Boston will win.

You could, of course, have said the same thing as soon as Game Five was over and Boston had pulled off a seven-run comeback. It's very simple; the dynamics of the series had changed. Tampa had acquired A Past. Boston is just going off the same script as always. And it's hard, really, to see how the Phillies will stop the avalanche in the next series.

You see, Boston's on auto-pilot right now. And it doesn't really matter that their starters are hittable, their middle relief is questionable, the bottom half of their lineup seems like they can be pitched to, and that they won't enjoy their de facto road field advantage.

And until they lose a game they shouldn't lose -- say, with a Papelbon meltdown, or a stolen home run, or some other divine intervention moment -- they're just going to keep doing what they do.

Make all the defensive plays. Get all the breaks. Hit with two men out. And win. No matter how much you'd, well, rather that they didn't...

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