An unexpected grandslam sends the Sox to the Series

It’s going to be a very red-tinged World Series — the Red Birds vs. the Red Sox.

The Red Sox took tonight’s game and the AL Championship title from the Tigers tonight in Fenway with a fielding error and the swing of the bat. Before the game was decided in the 7th inning, I have to give quite a bit of credit to the Tigers’ starter who was clearly in command through 6 innings, keeping the Red Sox to a single earned run (an RBI single) and just 3 hits. He was backed by a 2-1 lead of the Tigers’ offense (a 2-RBI single).

But things got messy in that 7th inning for the Tigers and the Red Sox just pounced. A lead-off double, a strikeout, and a walk pushed the Tigers to their bullpen, but a fielding error loaded the bases and then another pitching change. The pitcher throws what would proved to be his least effective pitch of the game as the Red Sox batter cleared the bases with a really pretty grand slam up into the Green Monster seats. Two outs and a pitching change later and the damage was done. It was 5-2 Red Sox, and the Tigers just couldn’t overcome it.

They gave the NLCS MVP to Koji Uehara, who was very consistent for the Red Sox as their closer. Uehara was consistent as their closer through most of the year, and he continued his clean pitching into the postseason. I personally cannot think of another Red Sox player whose contributions were more consistent or well deserved. Yes, it’s always a little bit of everyone, but for the MVP you’re looking for someone who stands out above the rest as superb. Tonight (and throughout this week) it was Uehara. Congrats! 賀詞

My updated postseason predictions: (*I was right // ^I was wrong)

  • NL Wild Card — Pirates over Reds (Pirates win over Reds 6-2 to advance as Wild Card)*
  • AL Wild Card — Indians over Rays (Rays win over the Indians 4-0 to advance as Wild Card)^
  • NLDS 1 — Pirates over Cardinals in 5 (Cardinals win over the Pirates in 5)^
  • NLDS 2 — Braves over Dodgers in 3 (Dodgers win over the Braves in 4)^
  • ALDS 1 — Red Sox over Rays in 3 (Red Sox win over the Rays in 4)*
  • ALDS 2 — Tigers over Athletics in 4 (Tigers win over the Athletics in 5)*
  • NLCS — Cardinals over Dodgers in 5 (Cardinals win over the Dodgers in 6)*
  • ALCS — Tigers over Red Sox in 7 (Red Sox win over the Tigers in 6)^
  • World Series — Cardinals over Red Sox in 6

Apparently, I’m still doing pretty well, sitting at .500 for my postseason predictions. And as you can see, like any good Yankee fan, I’ll be rooting against the Red Sox in the Series (much like I was for the ALCS). But if I’m being honest, I think the Cardinals and Red Sox are pretty evenly matched, so I seriously doubt it’s going to be some blowout or sweep. It’s still very much anyone’s game and title to win.

It’s actually going to be an interesting World Series this year with the two teams with their leagues’ best records are actually the ones who are going to meet in the Series. It used to always be the top team from each league that would face each other every year, but then the powers-that-be figured out they could lengthen the season and make more ticket money by adding play-off games, and then more play-off games, and then more play-off games. And now, instead of the top one from each league, we see the top 5 from each league has a shot at the title. Maybe, when I really think about, things worked out as it should. But then again, I tend to be a little “old-school” sometimes.

In Yankee news, after 3 straight weeks of what can only be described as rather contentious arbitration hearings for Alex Rodriguez’s appeal of his 211 game suspension, everyone is taking a break for a month with plans to resume the hearings mid-November. Though the hearings have been closed to the public, the public has been treated to all sorts of leaks and unconfirmed salacious stories since Day 1 of arbitration, thanks to leaks and rumors and assumptions. Seeing as I don’t go there, my readers are stuck with “the hearings are on break for a month”. Personal opinions aside, I think the sooner these hearings are done and the final decision on the appeal is made the better for Rodriguez, for the Yankees, and for baseball in general.

Go Yankees!

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