The Baseball Update
Well, you win one, you lose one as the Sox swapped 7 run wins and losses with the Indians. To be honest, I went to bed as soon as I saw Gagne come out to pitch the 11th.
Three Things I Noticed: (1) Schilling actually did not pitch that badly, except for the mistake to Jhonny "don't spell my name right" Peralta. Unfortunately "not that badly" doesn't cut it in the ALCS. He wasn't his "all time best ERA in the postseason" best last night. (2) Papelbon was a stud as usual, which is good to see in case the Sox ever have a 9th inning lead needing protecting. (3) Manny Ortez is still hitting the cover off the ball. Ortiz is hitting .615 with an OBP of .783 and Manny is hitting .429 with an OBP of .652. Unfortunately, Manny blew a goldent opportunity in the first inning to bust the game open early (and get Carmona out of there early) by GIDPing.
Bonus Thing I Noticed: MEMO TO TITO, JAVIER LOPEZ CANNOT GET OUT LEFTIES. They hit .293 against him in the regular season. He's not a LOOGY. Stop using him as if he were one.
Bonus Bonus.... Varitek? Must be hard catching with that fork sticking out of his back. He is totally lost out there - 8 Ks in 21 ABs. Unfortunately, we have no other options unless Youk gets out the big glove again (would be nice to have Kelly Shoppach right about now - If we hadn't taken back bard in '05 in the Crisp trade, we might still have him. Big mistake by Boy Wonder).
A look at some blogs:
Soxnest wishes that Game 2 (like Rocky V and the 1994 NBA season) never happened.
Keep your Sox On has a typically lucid recap of last night's debacle.
Peter's Red Sox Forever had the same sick feeling when Gagne came in.
As an aside, it's hard to know why Gagne has been this bad since joining the Sox. Pitching coach? Injury? Mental issues playing in Fenway? Whatever it is, I have zero confidence that he'll be able to straighten it out this season. He should simply not be a late inning option.
Sox & Dawgs are also scratching their head at bringing in Gagne in a 6-6 game. Maybe in addition to my sister site, I should start Fire Tito soon.
Game 3 tomorrow night in Cleveland. Dice-K (yikes-K) vs. Westbrook. Should be a slugfest, although the way the series has gone so far, who knows.
Once again, quick picks as the Taxwife has breakfast ready. (as a reminder, using the same lines as the SG and Home Teams in ALLCAPS). Edited to note that the Saints are on the road and Seahawks at home this week
CHIEFS (+3) over Bengals
Jaguars (-6.5) over TEXANS
BROWNS (-4.5) over Dolphins
BEARS (-5) over Vikings
Eagles (-3.5) over JETS
Rams (+9.5) over RAVENS
Washinton (+3) over PACKERS I like that the SG uses the team nickname for everyone except Washington. Not sure if that's an ESPN editorial choice or not, but I like it.
Titans (+3) over BUCS
CARDINALS (-4.5) over Panthers Let's see. Delhomme out, Carr questionable. Oh my god... That.. that's Vinny Testaverde's music!!!
CHARGERS (-9.5) over Raiders
SEAHAWKS (-6.5) over Saints
Giants (-3.5) over FALCONS
Patriots (-5.5) over COWBOYS After last Monday night's disaster, I'm hoping for 38-3 Pats, but I'll expect 27-17 Pats.
That's all for now, taxes and death update later today.