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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “2007 ALCS”

Uiningu Shotto [ウィニングショットƒˆ ]

ALCS Game 7: October 21, 2007 Indians 2 L: Jake Westbrook (1-2) ALDS: 3-1ALCS: 3-4 Red Sox 11 W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-1)H: Hideki Okajima (1)S: Jonathan Papelbon (1) ALDS: 3-0ALCS: 4-3 Highlights: Matsuzaka broke through at last as a playoff-caliber major league pitcher last night. Although not entirely brilliant, he displayed flashes of that artistry that that so transfixed his opponents at Koshien, the Olympics, and the World Baseball Classic. Over five innings his 88 pitches produced a line of six hits, two earned runs, no walks, and three strikeouts. In his final inning he allowed a sac fly that brought Cleveland within a run. To get a decision he had to convert Asdrubal Cabrera to an out with a runner on first. Battling the pesky second baseman Matsuzaka refused to relent until he unleashed his uiningu shotto, a phrase from the English “€œwinning shot” but equivalent to “money pitch.” Cabrera flailed at Daisuke’s high two-seamer to end the inning and begin the next chapter in Matsuzaka’s baseball Bildungsroman. Daisuke Matsuzaka showed that the Detroit pitchers’ fielding woes in last year’s Fall Classic were an isolated incident. The pitcher deftly knocked down Victor Martinez’s sharp grounder on one bounce...


ALCS Game 6: October 20, 2007 Indians 2 L: Fausto Carmona (0-1) ALDS: 3-1ALCS: 3-3 Red Sox 12 W: Curt Schilling (2-0) ALDS: 3-0ALCS: 3-3 Highlights: “Diné” is what people that we call the Navajo call themselves. Jacoby Ellsbury represented his people proudly with a 1-for-5 showing accompanied by a run and an RBI. Take note, Cleveland fans: this is an authentic Native American. Not Chief Wahoo, who, as Jonathan Zimmerman wrote in The Christian Science Monitor, should go the way of Sambo. The Red Sox loaded the bases in the first after Curt Schilling sat down the top of the order, one, two, three. It seemed so easy, A, B, C. Dustin Pedroia bounced the ball towards his counterpart Asdrubal Cabrera, who rounded second base, barehanded the catch, and threw across his body. Unlike cribbage matches against his manager, Pedroia beat the throw. He also motored hard to second on Kevin Youkilis’s ground ball to short, unnerving Cabrera enough that he couldn’t hold onto Jhonny Peralta’s relay. With none out, David Ortiz watched uno, dos, tres pitches from Fausto Carmona miss the zone. A generous Dana DeMuth called two strikes, the first less strikey than the second. But...


ALCS Game 5: October 18, 2007 Red Sox 7 W: Josh Beckett (3-0) ALDS: 3-0ALCS: 2-3 Indians 1 L: C.C. Sabathia (1-2) ALDS: 3-1ALCS: 3-2 Highlights: The faces of Cleveland fans in warpaint and framed by fake feathers fell ashen as their darlings failed to put away the Red Sox last night. Their defeat was welcome not only because it extended the series but also because it put a halt to the unremitting towel waving, wanton bigotry, and pointless percussion that fills Jacobs Field. Also, congratulations for ranking tenth in the AL in attendance with an average attendance of 28,098 a game in 2007; the stadium’s capacity is 43,345. Fenway Park attendance was fourth with an average of 36,676 per game while carrying a capacity of just 38,805 (for night games; slightly less for day games). Furthermore, the Jake’s ground rules are open to interpretation and misinterpretation: Fair batted ball that travels over the yellow line on top of the outfield wall (on the fly): HOME RUN. “Over” to me does imply lack of contact and the parenthetical comment affirms this. It seems that Manny Ramirez’s shot to right kissed the line before caroming into the field. If the...


ALCS Game 4: October 16, 2007 Red Sox 3 L: Tim Wakefield (0-1) ALDS: 3-0ALCS: 1-3 Indians 7 W: Paul Byrd (2-1) ALDS: 3-1ALCS: 3-1 Highlights: Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Manny Ramirez all crushed homers in the sixth inning. The rest of the team went 3-for-22... oh, wait, that’s not exactly a highlight. Well, Wakefield struck out seven... but he gave up five runs. Jon Lester pitched a brilliant three innings of relief... in a losing effort. I feel like a pet owner who abandoned her charge. Saturday morning I left for a conference in Toronto thinking all was well with my team. They had picked apart Cleveland’s pitching in a first-game, Gagne-proof lead. Boston’s postseason chances appeared hale and hearty. Just left them some dry food and water -- all should have been well. Overnight their spirit transformed from that of an independent, self-confident cat to that of a fawning, needy sugar glider. Postseason success dies because of short outings by starts and lack of baserunners from all parts of the lineup; sugar gliders give up the ghost when they get too lonely. Youkilis, Ortiz, and Ramirez were companionless on their jaunts around the bags. As I...

Gettotsū [ゲットツー]

ALCS Game 3: October 15, 2007 Red Sox 2 L: Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1) ALDS: 3-0ALCS: 1-2 Indians 4 W: Jake Westbrook (1-1)H: Jensen Lewis (1)H: Rafael Betancourt (2)S: Joe Borowski (2) ALDS: 3-1ALCS: 2-1 Highlights: The Red Sox grounded into three gettotsū, or double plays, last night. An example of English retrofitted for Japanese baseball, it comes from the phrase “get two.” The “o”€ sound is elided, just as the “u” in “Daisuke” is omitted. The Indians executed the plan to exploit Jake Westbrook’€™s tendency to induce ground balls with near flawlessness. David Ortiz, Coco Crisp, and Manny Ramirez were the rally-killing culprits in the first, second, and sixth innings respectively. In the first, Ortiz grounded sharply to Asdrubal Cabrera, who was camped to the right and behind of Ryan Garko at first. The wiry second baseman turned to the keystone sack where third baseman Casey Blake was stationed because of the shift and Blake then completed the circuit to first. The Red Sox outfielders’ twin killings were of a routine nature and hardly worth commenting on but for the increased consumption of Tums they precipitated. When Boston wasn’t making more pitcher’s best friends than a high school senior...


ALCS Game 2: October 13, 2007 · 11 innings Indians 13 W: Tom Mastny (1-0) ALDS: 3-1ALCS: 1-1 Red Sox 6 L: Eric Gagne (0-1) ALDS: 3-0ALCS: 1-1 Highlights: Manny Ramirez now has the most home runs in the postseason, although Fox would have you believe this is not a significant record since the postseason has more games than it did in the good ol’ days. I’m sure Fox broadcasters said the same as Bernie Williams compiled his 22 four-baggers. David Ortiz tied the postseason record of 10 for consecutive times reaching safely with the fielder’s choice in the fifth. Just as they did in the first game of the series the Indians sprung to an early lead. Grady Sizemore led off with a double that dropped between Manny Ramirez and Coco Crisp for a double. The spry center fielder scored with Victor Martinez’s wall-scraping two-bagger. And just as C.C. Sabathia proved more threatening in regular season play than the playoffs, Fausto Carmona faded in his ALCS debut. The former closer lasted just four innings, walking and striking out five. He began to sputter in the third, when the home team took the lead spurred by Crisp’s leadoff single...


ALCS Game 1: October 12, 2007 Indians 3 L: C.C. Sabathia (1-1) ALDS: 3-1ALCS: 0-1 Red Sox 10 W: Josh Beckett (2-0) ALDS: 3-0ALCS: 1-0 Highlights: I do not play “Dirty Water” before a win is official. It is not a rallying song; it is the imprimatur of an official win. Any other use of it should be frowned upon. I’m looking your way, Fox. Manny Ramirez joined Jim Palmer in baseball history despite Fox’s worst intentions; they are the only two players to have walked with the bases loaded twice in a postseason game. So, of course Fox played the buoyant ditty after Mike Lowell's inning-ending double play in the first. It took a mocking tone in that context, even though the local nine had managed to tie the game with an array of sharp grounders and smoking ropes up the middle. Dustin Pedroia, sparkplug that he is, began by spanking a pitch right back to C.C. Sabathia. Perhaps the close brush unnerved him. Perhaps, despite the dominance Sabathia demonstrated in his regular season campaign, he wilts in the postseason (for he should have lost his start against the Yankees in the ALDS but the Bronx Bombers bombed...


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