Boston 9, Baltimore 2. Derek Lowe threw six innings for his 15th victory, Bill "Professional Hitter" Mueller went 3-4 and raised his AL-leading batting average to .331, Manny Ramirez reached base 5 times (3 walks, HBP, single), and David Ortiz hit a moon shot onto Eutaw Street, which was the Red Sox's 214th home run of the season (a team record (when the night was over, the total was up to 216)). The price of getting the ball from the fan who caught it? "A cracked David Ortiz bat, a Jason Varitek bat, and three baseballs signed by Pedro."
Grady is shuffling the rotation so Pedro and Lowe will pitch the first games of the ALDS. ... And the bullpen will be given virtually no slack from now on. "We're not in a position where we're going to be able to leave the same person out there to get out of a jam," said Gump, after 144 games have already been played. The day this pudding-brained dolt is shown the door will be a joyous one in my house. ... Taking Milwaukee's Brooks Kieschnick as a role model, David McCarty wants be a pitcher/outfielder/first baseman next season.
BlogWatch: Tim Daloisio looks at 7 of the 16 most devastating losses this year. More tomorrow! ... Edward Cossette muses on J-Lo and John Cheever.
Missed Pitches: NESN continues to come back from commercials too late. And last night, they covered their ineptitude with lies. For starters, viewers missed the first pitch in the Red Sox 5th. Then, in the Boston 6th, Don Orsillo said Damon was swinging at the first pitch as he flew out to left. However, the play-by-play accounts at ESPN, CBS and MLB all said Damon flew out on a 1-0 count. So NESN actually missed two pitches to Damon. Tell NESN you'd like to watch the entire game. Email: email@example.com. Phone: (617) 536-9233.
The Yankees won 4-2 (Contreras wilted in the 5th and Rivera had a shaky 9th), so the Red Sox remain 3½ back in the East. Seattle blew a 4-1 lead in the 8th (Benitez!) and lost to Texas 5-4 in 10, so Boston's wild card lead is up to 2. (Oakland beat Anaheim 8-1.) WC-winning Odds: Boston 67.4%, Seattle 12%. ... Pedro/Jason Johnson at 3:05 pm.