That tight–faux confident–smile on the face of Red Sox Nation is a starched mask that hides a collective tension of “Waiting To Exhale.”
Since the Sox went from “Worst to First,” let’s watch the trailer for the cliff-hanger movie “Home Field of Dreams.”
[In order of first to worst]
Parker (12-7, 3.74)
Maurer (4-8, 6.48)
Lester (15-8, 3.67)
Chen, W (7-7, 4.03)
- The A’s lose their game today [starts at 4:15 EST] and the Sox win Home-Field Advantage through the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series, and pop the corks before their game at 7:15.
- The A’s win their game and the Sox beat the Orioles and pop the corks after their game at 7:15.
- The A’s win and the Sox lose today and we head into the final game of the regular season with the Sox just 1 game in front of Oakland.
Lackey (10-13, 3.52)
Tillman (16-7, 3.62)
Gray, S (4-3, 2.90)
Ramirez, Er (5-2, 4.56)
- The Sox beat the Orioles and make the A’s-Seattle game at 4:10 irrelevant and pop the corks after their game at 1:35. The A’s finish 1 game behind the Sox and can hope to play the Sox in Fenway in the ALCS.
- The Sox lose and the A’s beat Seattle and it comes down to the First Tie-Breaker: head-to-head play, which will NOT settle the question, since the teams are even at 3-3.
- We move on to the Second Tie-Breaker: winning percentage within a team’s own division, but, since both teams play their last three games against teams in their own division, and they are tied with the same regular season W-L record, the issue is still not settled.
- We move on to the Third [and final] Tie-Breaker: best record since the All-Star break against AL teams.
Brace yourself for a sudden rush of shit to the heart:
Ready? The Sox lose to Oakland and the A’s get Home-Field Advantage through the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series.
Then the road to the World Series at Fenway [AL team won All-Star game] is through the Oakland Mausoleum with all the wacky green and yellow hurdy-gurdy and games played on shaky ground in the Oakland daze.
For those of you still able to hold your breath and remain conscious:
Today’s game Preview:
|Athletics||Mariners||4:10pm||Parker (12-7)||Maurer (4-8)|
Parker is emerging as the future A’s Ace and is 6-1 in his last 10 starts’ take a look at his 10-game ration for Ks to Ws: 3-1 [45/15]. Seattle’s batters have managed a cumulative .214 BA against Parker.
In his last 10 starts Maurer is 2-1 and his last win was against Oakland on 8/20; when a pitcher gets only three decisions from 10 starts, it makes you wonder.
Former Sox Reddick [.667, HR in 3 ABs] and Lowrie [.571] have had the most success against the RHP and Oakland’s batters have smacked a cumulative .340 BA/ .700 SLG/1.089 OPS against Mauerer.
The bookies will make the A’s heavy favorites for this game.
Sunday game preview:
|Athletics||Mariners||4:10pm||Gray (4-3)||Paxton (3-0)|
The fate of the Red Sox may hang on two Rookie starters in this final game and, it looks like a toss-up, but Oakland manager Melvin will go pitching staff “all-in” to get the best record in the AL and the advantage of playing the AL WC team.
In his last 10 starts Gray has been inconsistent [4-3], but his 3.00 ERA and 56/17 K/W ratio are impressive.
Raul Ibanez and Nick Franklin are 1 for 3 against Gray and Franklin nicked him for a HR.
Rookie lefty Paxton allowed just 4 hits and no walks while striking out 10; since making his MLB debut on Sept. 7, Paxton has 21 strikeouts while allowing just 18 baserunners over four starts with a 1.50 ERA and a 21-7 K-W ratio.
“We are also in a position where we control our own destiny — the rules are the rules,” Farrell said. “The schedule is not going to be fair to everybody. Everybody plays 162, but the fact is we played more games than anyone before the All-Star break, so you can say that might be a benefit on our part to get off days late in the season. Hopefully it doesn’t come into play.”
Seattle Manager Eric Wedge just announced his will not be back to lead the Mariners next seasons and is a Red Sox alum.
“Began his professional career in 1989 after being selected in the 3rd round of the June draft by Boston coming off a National Championship at Wichita State… made his ML debut Oct. 5,1991 with Boston…in 1992 he belted all 5 of his ML homers in 27 games for the Red Sox…selected by Colorado in the November, 1992 expansion draft in the 2nd round…spent most of the 1993 season on the Major League disabled list with an elbow injury…signed back with the Red Sox in 1994...made it back to the big leagues for the final time with the Red Sox in 1994……embarked on his managerial career in 1998 after undergoing 8 surgeries over the course his playing career that ended his career after the 1997 season.” http://mlb.mlb.com/team/coach_staff_bio.jsp?c_id=sea&coachorstaffid=124029
So, in the last game of the season, if all the marbles are on the line for the Red Sox, will Wedge go “all-in” and treat the game like the 7th game of the World Series?