Thank God they didn't play like this last October. After the ALCS, I could not have handled it.
Another night in St. Louis, another night of substandard starting pitching, ineffective bats, and a Cardinals team hellbent on giving Boston some kind of payback. They don't give rings for winning a three-game series in June -- although it seemed like Cardinals fan and FSN play-by-play guy Joe Buck had forgotten that -- but that's all St. Louis can do for now.
Matt Clement allowed six runs and six hits in two innings, but managed to hang around for four frames before handing the ball over to John Halama, Matt Mantei and Alan Embree. Only Mantei pitched poorly, walking one and hitting two, before being ejected in the midst of a somewhat bizarre flurry of five HBPs (Walker (2), Grudzielanek, Varitek and Youkilis).
Both Sox were plunked by Al Reyes, the shithead who drilled Nomar back in 1999, resulting in the wrist injury he never fully recovered from. Youkilis was hit in the right wrist last night, though Buck maintained that he "walked right into that pitch."
In the ninth inning, Terry Francona had Millar and Payton pinch-hit for Manny and Nixon, which meant by the time Boston loaded the bases, he was left with Vazquez to bat in Embree's spot. ... Did he give up on the game? Down seven with one inning to go, I can't say that I blame him. And even if some better pinch-hitter materialized and whacked a grand slam, the Red Sox would still have been trailing 9-6.
Some in the SoSH Game Thread were wondering if he pulled Manny just in case the beanballs kept flying, but I figured he wanted to give Millar a chance to hit in one of these games. ... Comic moment: Manny Ramirez settling under Abraham Nunez's fly ball in the third, slipping and falling, then getting back up in time to catch the ball. Followed by lots of smiles and pointing.
The Pirates scored four in the eighth to beat the Orioles, so we stayed four back. The Yankees lost in Milwaukee yet again, this time 2-1. In both losses to the Brewers, Jeter has made the final out with the tying run on base. ... Pedro Martinez threw 6.1 no-hit innings at Shea Stadium, finishing with a two-hit complete game victory.
Wells / Carpenter at 7:00.