|Game 8: April 14, 2009 ∙ 12 innings|
|Red Sox||5||L: Javier Lopez (0-1)||2-6, 3 game losing streak|
|Athletics||6||W: Sean Gallagher (1-0)||4-4, 2 game winning streak|
| Highlights: Ishiki no nagare means “stream of consciousness” in Japanese. For most of this game I tried to remain conscious.|
Top first: Mark Ellis and Bobby Crosby are versions of each other. I always forget which is which. Dustin Pedroia skips one past the third baseman. It’s windy in Oakland. I don’t know if Papi’s spit will make it to his gloves because of the gusts.
What if Eveland were a tourist attraction? There would be stand after stand of apple sellers (but some would hock pomegranates, figs, or grapes). Instead of Zoltan telling you a fortune you would put quarters into a glass case featuring a mechanized hissing snake.
With the shift on, no one was covering second on Papi’s ground out and Pedroia advanced to the vacant sack. Kevin Youkilis singled up the middle to plate Pedroia and the visitors have the lead. J.D. Drew doubles in Youkilis with a fly ball over Matt Holliday’s head for another run. One would think a Colorado outfielder would take better routes.
This is the team we were expecting.
Jason Bay walks on six pitches and Mike Lowell replicates Youkilis’s hit up the gut. Sean Gallagher warms in the pen; get ready for some water melon smashing.
Another Jason walks, but for Varitek it takes only four pitches. Nick Green enters the batter’s box; if he reaches it would be the first time the Red Sox bat around this season. Green strikes out.
(I jinxed it.)
Just before NESN cut away I caught a snippet of the public address announcer’s voice that proclaimed that Captain Chesley Sullenberger was at the game.
Bottom first: Ryan Sweeney finds the hole up the middle. It’s a theme for tonight, sing the Jimmy Eat World song. Orlando Cabrera just Vlade Divac-ed on that pitch “inside.” That exaggerated duck is just a touch less overdone than soccer player’s dives.
Bay shows Holliday how to make a catch in left on Jason Giambi’s fly ball. Jacoby Ellsbury can’t elevate on Holliday’s fly to center, though, and two runs score.
Jerry Remy conjectures that the long top half impacted Daisuke Matsuzaka. Cust must be dust. He bloops a single over Green for the tying run.
Nomah. No mas. Remy zinger: When you walk Nomar Garciaparra that’s doing something. It takes only four pitches.
The score is going to be 18-15 or some other ridiculous figure.
So, in Eveland, there would be other concessions besides apples and pomegranates. Baby back ribs! Available in five different sauces and three different dry rubs.
Another run driven in for the home team, this one by Travis Buck.
The Athletics bat around with Crosby’s RBI grounder off Mike Lowell that was retrieved by Green. Sorry, that’s actually Ellis. Oakland has as many runs as the number of times Eve’s name is written in the Bible.
Eveland would be so much less intriguing that Lilithland. Not the pallid Lilith of “Cheers” and “Frasier” but the mythological first wife of Adam. In Lilithland you would constantly have to be avoiding thousands of her malicious spawn. One attraction would be a roller coaster with cars in the shapes of demons.
Second inning: Crosby (not Ellis? Oh right, he’s already in the game) replaces Garciaparra at third. This time no mas for reals. Justin Masterson replaces Matsuzaka and comes through with a perfect inning. Just need five more of those and this game is in the bag.
Third inning: Cue the clown music! Holliday traps the ball but the umpires don’t see it. Youkilis dashes back to first but falls like an old growth tree under the onslaught of a logging machine and is doubled off. Buck makes a comical dive for Bay’s fly ball but Bay’s two-out double is for naught.
This game is going to go until 2 in the morning.
The later I go to sleep the more vivid dreams I have. Sometimes they are lucid dreams where I realize I am dreaming so I manipulate my dream environment, like when I imagined I controlled the elements and rode currents of air and caused thunderstorms and lightning (not very original, I used to read “X-Men”). Other times I dream of various violent things happening to me that inevitably leave me feeling as if something or someone is pressing down on my chest and strangling me. I try desperately to wake up but my body won't respond.
Fourth inning: The usually steady Drew allowed Cabrera’s ball not only to drop in front of him but slip by his glove for a single and error. It was about as lackadaisical as Manny Ramirez in his get me out of town phase. The only thing missing was rolling around the outfield trying to retrieve it. And dreadlocks.
Wikipedia reassures me that the terrifying moments frozen between sleep and awakening I have are common: sleep paralysis. What did we do before the internet? Made up stories about demons or ghosts sitting on our chest foretelling our doom.
Fifth inning: Cabrera rocks the hat with ear flaps, Joe Maddon like. Bay grounds out to Eveland and Youk crosses home. Then Lowell ricochets the ball off his counterpart to drive in the tying run. We are now exiting Eveland, please don't forget your belongings. Andrew Bailey's name is so boring I'd rather stay in Eveland and have another Parad-ice Lost ice cream cone.
Sixth inning: Ellsbury dives for Kurt Suzuki's rainbow but doesn't get the benefit that Holliday did on his phantom catch. O, Cabrera, of the delicate ears and hands, how lightly you dodge the missiles that are nowhere near your dainty extremities.
Seventh inning: The visitors try to capitalize on the other team's errors and free passes like AIG executives.
The home plate umpire sympathizes with me having to stay up late and starts calling the high strike. Ramon Ramirez in with an out remaining.
Eighth through tenth: Zzz. Finally get word on why Matsuzaka was pulled out: arm fatigue. I blame the Kōshien. Speaking of fatigue: zzz.
Eleventh: Is that Papelbon? Zzz.
Twelfth: Javier Lopez? Well, we’re losing this one. Buck was safe at first? Ron Kulpa just wants to go bed. Like me.