Amazing what a 3-and-1 cookie can do to jump-start a player, a team and its spirited fan base.New York Times:
Instead of challenging Drew, Carmona put himself in a dicey position by falling behind in the count, 3-1. Carmona is a talented pitcher, but, with the bases loaded, everyone at Fenway figured he would throw a fastball. Drew waited and got the fastball, a 94-m.p.h. pitch that could not have been juicier, and lined it over the center-field fence. It was Carmona's 28th pitch. Drew said that Carmona had pitched him the same way in Game 2, so "I knew what I was looking for."Dan at RSM has video of the blast.
Jeff Goldberg of the Courant writes that Drew has frustrated Red Sox fans "with his groundouts to second base and lack of emotion", but Curt Schilling insists that Drew's calm demeanor helps him succeed.
If it had been anybody else, the media, the fans that have railed on him [Drew] for six months, you wouldn't produce. You'd be stressed. Part of his personality that goes both ways, that upsets people and makes people have confidence in him, is that he is the definition of even keel. He doesn't snap. Tonight, he won the game in a situation when he could have easily been pressing.Schilling's post-season ERA is now 2.25 (128 innings) and he is one of only nine pitchers to get credit for 10 playoff wins. Schilling is also 6-0, 1.15 in nine post-season starts in Games 3-7 of a series and, in five starts with his team facing elimination, he's always pitched at least seven innings, has never lost and has a 1.37 ERA.
For the Spiders, C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona have started four games in the ALCS and have pitched a grand total of 16.1 innings, allowing 27 hits, 16 walks and 23 runs (12.69 ERA). Part of the argument that Sabathia deserves the AL Cy Young Award is that he pitched more innings during the season than Josh Beckett (241 to 200.2), but that extra workload may have been his undoing in October.
Drew's dong was the third post-season grand slam in Red Sox history (Johnny Damon, 2nd inning of 2004 ALCS 7; Troy O'Leary, 7th inning, 1999 ALDS 5). It was the first post-season grand slam ever hit by the Red Sox at Fenway Park. ... The Red Sox are the first team in LCS history to score 10 runs in the first three innings.
Francona, asked about the scrutiny of his decisions increasing in the playoffs:
As opposed to it not being intense around here on other days?Jonathan Papelbon, on Game 7:
I've got to be ready to go two-plus innings, or more. My whole goal is to be ready to pitch from the seventh inning on. ... I'm not sure what [Francona] is thinking about with Beckett [in the bullpen]. I know we have enough firepower to keep him out of the equation for now.Dice:
Emotionally, it is on.