Saturday, October 20, 2007

Boston beats Cleveland to stay alive; Canadian Soldiers at bay

Cleveland, Oct 19, 2007 – When the Boston players began Thursday night’s game with the Clevelands, their backs were to the wall. Trailing three games to one in the American League Championship series, the Hubsters needed a win just to stay alive as the teams met at Jacobs Field. When it was over, the Crimson Hose succeeded in holding off the Clevelands, benefiting from a five-hit effort by ace Josh ‘Waiting for Godot’ Beckett, outscoring the Erie Lake fellows 7-1.

In the game, the latter half of the Boston order continued to struggle, but a first-inning solo home run and a sixth-inning run-scoring double by First Baseman Kevin Youkilis greatly helped the Townies’ cause.

After the sixth-inning double, and after Indian’s manager Drake Heartfelt replaced starter Mongo Sabathia with relif pitcher Raphael Betancourt, Youkilis scored on a sacrifice fly driven by clutch-hitter David Ortiz.

It was the third inning when Ortiz, who had walked, scored on a long-single by Manny ‘Manny being Manny’ Ramirez. On that occasion, Ramirez, who had been criticized nationally for show boating on several recent home runs, sauntered jauntily toward first base after hitting a humongous clout. As he shook hands with the BoSox’s First Base Coach, Bum Phillips, he somewhat sheepishly realized that the umpiring crew were enforcing the Clevland’s ground rules this evening, deigning a ball that hit the ledge of the right field stands to still be in play.

At first he did stay. What could have been at least a double, turned into a single, but Ortiz had scored, and the margin proved enough. Credit is due to the Cleveland fans. They delicately avoided interfering with Ramirez’s wallop, probably unlike their parallels in Philadelphia, Manhattan, Queens or Boston.

The Boston team continued to add to its lead, with 12 total hits, and two of the latter order’s representatives [J. D Drew and J.D Lugo] even got hits. J.D. Salinger did not play. In the case of Lugo it was a welcome bunt, often a very handy tactic for those with bat impaired. Canadian Soldiers, the strange alien insects that Cleveland employed to cloud the minds of the New York PinStripers during the earlier playoff round failed to appear, despite balmy 64-degree weather as the National Anthem played.

Some Cleveland fans began to exit before the game was over. At the end, the members of the Boston crew congratulated each other and their fans drew new inspiration. Saturday night, when they meet again, their backs will once again be to the wall.

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