Beckett to Cleveland: Not Yet!
(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)
Twice the 2007 ALCS has produced a dream pitching match up between Josh Beckett and C.C. Sabathia and twice, Beckett has out pitched the Cleveland ace. Sabathia didn’t pitch bad, but Cleveland’s inability to consistently get out Boston’s potent 3-4-5 hitters is beginning to add major drama to a series that seemed all but finished. Conceivably, the game was over when Kevin Youkilis powered a first inning Sabathia fastball deep over the left field fence. Beckett pitched a masterpiece and kept the Indians baffled all night with a mixture of high velocity heaters and hitter wrist twisting breaking balls. Beckett allowed one run–Grady Sizemore scored when Travis Hafner hit into a double play–gave up five hits, walked one and struck out 11 in running his 2007 post season record to 3-0. Though he’s only 27, Beckett is fast climbing the list as one of best post season pitchers in recent memory. In a game Boston had to win, Beckett proved once again he can put up a fight when the time is right.
Manager Terry Francona is looking like a seasoned coaching genius for making sure his ace had the proper rest necessary to come through with such a dominant performance.
Will Francona’s decision come back to haunt his team if they can somehow rally their way to a Game 7 appearance?
Manny, Manny, Manny. Man….you are damn sure one of a kind!
Manny Ramirez had the game winning hit, but is sure to catch mad wreck given he fails to run out of the batters box every single time he makes contact. His 390 foot RBI single was a double dressed in a Manny being Manny disguise. Yes, he may have thought he got it all, but his long drive didn’t prohibit his teammate Big Papi–who was on first–from scoring. His comments before Game 5 that he wouldn’t be all that upset (paraphrasing) if the Sox lost the series have predictably resonated with the media at large who need a sensational story to sink their yellow journalism tarnished teeth into. Get over it people. Manny Ramirez is one of the best post season hitters of all time. He’s locked in and truly has confidence he’s gonna give the ball a 350 foot plus 12 foot high ride every single time he comes to bat. Offensively for Boston this post season, he is the strah that stirs the drink. This guy is an amazing hitter and Boston fans would be foolish to feed into the media frenzy that is sure to envelop around the Boston left fielder leading up to Game 6. He comes to play and will shoot fear in any ace alive or dead–well maybe not this guy.
You have something great for the ages here Red Sox fans. It would be very foolish to physically or psychologically the Big Papi/Manny dynamic.
One can’t help but to compare Josh Beckett to former Red Sox fire baller Roger Clemens. It’s more than talent. Beckett seems to thrive on the feel of the game similar to the Rocket. He didn’t forget Kenny Lofton took his time getting in the box in Game 3 and seemed to flip that memory to nullify Kenny’s affect on the fans tonight. On a 3-0 count, Lofton dropped his bat on the next offering–which was clearly a strike. Beckett took exception and as Lofton was flying out on the next pitch, Beckett verbally let Kenny have it all the way up the first base line. If you read Kenny’s lips, he wasn’t saying I love you.
Here’s the exchange:
You gotta love an ace that steps up and becomes an intimidating leader Rocket Mike Piazza reminiscent. Boston has also shut down Travis Hafner, thereby nullifying a serious charge in Cleveland’s lineup. Hafner has struck out 5 times in the last two games and looks unsure of his above average hitting ability.
Boston has officially jumped back into the series and will throw grizzled post season hero Curt “yeah my sock was really bloody” Schilling in Game 6. This series is becoming more and more dramatic Manny moment by Manny lovin’ Manny moment and we shall see if the Cleveland Indians have what it takes to win a the game. They better do it big in Game 6, because Game 7 in Boston is going to be something to behold. Cleveland in Game 5 lost a great opportunity to give their fans a good night sleep. They never have clinched a post season series at home and haven’t been the last team standing since 1948.
C.C. couldn’t get the job done and it’s up to ace 1a, Fausto Carmona to slam the door shut and give Boston’s fans something to cry about pre-2004 once again.