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Blog Entry

Great theater, as Sox and Rays go to final day

Posted on: September 27, 2011 10:44 pm
 
BALTIMORE -- Stop thinking. Just watch.

You thought the Red Sox were in good shape when they led the wild-card race by nine games. Wrong.

You thought the Red Sox were in trouble when you saw Tuesday night's lineup. Equally wrong.

Two Ryan Lavarnway home runs later, the Red Sox had their latest season-saving win, 8-7 over the Orioles. They've given up all of that nine-game lead, but they're tied with the Rays going into Wednesday's final regular-season games.

Stop thinking. Just watch.

It's great theater, without doubt stressful for the Red Sox and their fans, but fascinating for everyone else.

We get another day of it, maybe two more days, with a Thursday play-in game looming if the Red Sox and Rays remain tied after Wednesday.

But back to Lavarnway for a minute.

He began the season in Double-A. He was making his first big-league start behind the plate Tuesday, only because both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek were both hurt.

And he became the youngest Red Sox with a two-homer game since Nomar Garciaparra, who was the very same age (24 years, 51 days) when he did it in 1997.

Crazy.

Kind of like a Red Sox lineup with Jed Lowrie batting cleanup. Manager Terry Francona's reasons made perfect sense (the Orioles like to match up with their bullpen, and he wanted a switch hitter between David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez), but still.

Lowrie said he last hit cleanup in college at Stanford. Even there, he did it just nine times, because John Mayberry Jr. (now with the Phillies) was the Cardinal cleanup man.

Lavarnway . . . Lowrie . . . and don't forget Alfredo Aceves, who once again saved the Red Sox with 3 2/3 key innings out of the bullpen.

Aceves got eight outs. Starter Erik Bedard, a much higher-profile acquisition, got just seven.

"We can write this ending however we choose," Francona said Tuesday afternoon.

It's a wild story so far, wild in a bad way for the Red Sox. It was another wild night Tuesday, and much better for the Sox.


Comments

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:47 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:45 am
This comment has been removed.

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Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:17 am
 

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