Show No Mercy
If there's one thing we know in Boston, it's that the playoffs are merciless. The action just keeps happening, and no one gets cut a break.
Yesterday I fled work at 4pm and rushed to the nearest local watering hole, where the waitressing is awful, they don't carry the beer I like, and no one I know would be there, BUT! they are nearby and have a wide-screen TV that was sure to be showing the Red Sox game(Although if there was a wide-screen TV in all of New England not showing the Red Sox game, its owner is officially out of the club).
A stranger and I bonded over how goddamned hard it was to get just a simple Mickey Light in that godforsaken place. By the time Manny hit his three-run bomb over the center-field wall, just a little bloop, no pointing, no gesturing this time, that stranger and I were high-fiving.
He told me he had to go to the UK tomorrow on business. We exchanged tips on acquiring Sox scores from remote distances. They better have TVs over there, he said.
I'm sure they do, I said, but I doubt they're showing baseball.
After Manny hit that home run, Angels in the outfield were standing around just kind of looking at each other. They were dumbfounded by the 8-0 score. It was, I'll admit, a little bit sad to see the stadium full of ThunderStix deflate--but that's the human being in me talking. The Red Sox fan in me wouldn't care if the whole damn place went up in flames with every Red Sox run.
No mercy. No mercy for Curt Schilling, who was nails through 6 2/3 and then, suddenly, combined for a one-two punch to the stomach of anyone Bleeding Red: he made a three-base throwing error to first when it should have been an out, and came up after the error clutching at his right leg.
I called my father. What the fuck, I asked him. What the fuck.
We'll get out of the inning, he said, don't worry, they got Whiplash up in the bullpen, not to worry, we're gonna win.
But Curt, I said. But Curt.
He'll be fine, my father said, although he was listening on the radio just like I was, and didn't know any better than I did whether Curt would be all right.
In the top of the eighth inning, Doug Mientkiewicz did the unthinkable: he scored Johnny Damon on a bunt single. That's right. Do not attempt to adjust your browser settings. Dougie Malphabet bunted. The Red Sox played small ball and tacked on an insurance run. The ailing Curt was lifted and our relievers were crisp.
The Red Sox had scored seven runs in the fourth inning, a new club post-season record. They pounded the Angels into submission yesterday behind ferocious starting pitching, near-impeccable defense and devastating offensive artillery. Every member of the Sox lineup reached base in the course of the game yesterday.
It might seem like overkill. But this is the postseason. And there is no mercy.