540pm- We're coming to you live from Mick's Pub in Willoughby, Ohio. Great big corned beef sandwich, fries, Killian's Red and a small taste of Bushmill's for kicks. Iif you're on the east side of town, just east of Lake West Hospital on RT 20 (in the plaza behind Chipotle) stop in. You won't leave hungry or disappointed.
Your game log tonight will come from the ‘Garage Majal' at Weber Avenue. That would be the ‘Lead-Quarters' folks. Home base for www.theclevelandfan.com ‘s sports prognosticator Lead Pipe. And I'm pulling double duty this evening. Weber Avenue Poker League action and a game log. You can check out the Weber Ave facility and the league itself at www.weberavepoker.com.
Take note of the weekly winner in the each of the first two weeks of Weber Ave league play. It should truly come as no surprise that gambling is another hobby. Pretty much completes the picture, no?
Here's the key for tonight: Step on the Red Sox' mother-humping throats. Do not remove the cleats from their necks and do not allow them off the mat to catch their breath.
Finish them tonight.
810pm- No double duty for me. My AA is crushed by some Chachi's AJ and now I Can turn my full attention to Joe Girard saying he doesn't want the Yankees managerial job. Which obviously means Joe Girardi is in deep negotiations to become the next manager of the New York Yankees.
815pm- The Indians are going with their nine best tonight. Franklin Gutierrez is in right field and Ryan Garko at 1B with Victor Martinez behind the plate.
The Red Sox are going with their nine best too. Bobby Kielty replaces JD Drew in right field.
819pm- Country singer Danielle Peck, Josh Beckett's former girlfriend, sings the national anthem tonight. Nice work Bob DiBiasio. If you could now have Josh Barfield and Chris Gomez go out there and dry hump her leg that would complete the little head game with Beckett.
821pm- "Bobby "Block of Wood" Kielty reads the Boston line-up. Apparently Eric Gagne couldn't get through the 7-8-9 hitter in the lineup when he gave it a try.
822pm- CC Sabathia delivers strike one to Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia bounces out on the next pitch. The first pitch from CC was 94mph. I like that far better than 97 and to the screen.
824pm- Kevin Youkilis jumps all over that 94mph fastball and loses it in the humanity on the Home Run Porch. 1-0 Sox.
826pm- David Ortiz strikes out swinging. Two outs.
826pm- Manny Ramirez stands in. Still not opposed to sticking one in his rib cage.
828pm- Ramirez doubles to left center when Lofton takes a bad route to the ball. That brings up Mike Lowell. CC needs to get an out to re-establish some confidence.
829pm- Sabathia gets his out when Lowell singles to right but Ramirez is thrown out by 15 feet by Gutierrez.
832pm- Beckett faces Grady Sizemore.
834pm- Sizemore hits a handle shot down the left field line for a leadoff double.
836pm- Adrubal Cabrera laces a line drive single to right. Sizemore has to see the line drive through the infield and advances to third base. Travis Hafner to the dish.
838pm- Hafner bounces into a double play as Sizemore scores. 1-1.
839pm- Martinez extends the inning with an opposite field single. Three hits already off Beckett.
842pm- Garko goes down on strikes. One run apiece.
847pm- CC gets Kielty on strikes. No discernible difference at all thus far in swapping for Kielty for Drew. But CC needs to find some presence and attitude. He looks like he's feeling his way instead of just trusting some great stuff.
850pm- CC hits Jason Varitek with a 3-2 pitch. Better than a walk.
853pm- Coco Crisp strikes out on a fastball down Broadway. He's JD Drew-lost at the dish right now. In fact, the top of the Boston order could consider suing the bottom 4 guys for support.
854pm- CC gets Julio Lugo on a pop out to Gutierrez.
855pm- George Clooney is doing voice-over work for Budweiser. Good to see him with a decent gig. I hadn't seen nor heard from him since late this afternoon.
859pm- Jhonny Peralta sees a steady diet of breaking balls and strikes out on a 2-2 curveball.
900pm- Kenny Lofton chops one back to Beckett for the second out.
903pm- Gutierrez draws a two-out walk. Casey Blake steps in. By the way, Tim McCarver is now like one of my kids; he can yammer on all night and I barely hear him. I just nod at the TV out of habit, like I'm interested.
906pm- Blake is down on strikes.
Beckett is wearing a length of rope around his neck that you could tie-off a 40-foor Sea Ray with. I'm thinking it was a gift from his life partner. I hear that's JD Drew.
Both pitchers with 33 pitches through two innings.
912pm- Pedroia goes deep in the count and lines a leadoff single to right field. Very nice at bat.
914pm- CC needs some outs early in the count. He's deep against Youkilis here.
915pm- That'll work. Youkilis bounces into the 1-6-3 DP.
918pm- Sabathia walks Ortiz with two outs. So much for conservation of effort. Ramirez in the box.
920pm- Manny drives a ball off the top of the yellow line in right center field. The umpires get together and decide it stayed in the park. Ortiz scores. Ramirez is standing on first base with a single because he jaked it again and walked out of the box. A 360-foot lazy-ass single. Pathetic.
McCarver calls Ramirez's actions ‘ridiculous'. McCarver is finally right.
825pm- Lowell strikes out. 2-1 Sox.
928pm- Grady down on strikes for the first out and Beckett's fourth strikeout thus far.
932pm- Pedroia steals a hit from Cabrera with a nice, diving play and Hafner strikes out.
Hafner has now struck out in 5 of his last 6 at bats and grounded into a double play the time he did make contact.
Pitch Counts- Sabathia 59, Beckett 42.
936pm- Kielty immediately becomes more productive than Drew with a leadoff single to right off CC.
937pm- Varitek advances Kielty to second base with a single. Time for Crisp to make a productive out with a bunt. I mean, with the large number of outs he's making, one or two should at least move a runner.
938pm- Crisp is bunting and bunts the first pitch foul.
Two bunt attempts, two foul balls. 1-2 count.
940pm- Crisp waves at strike 3. How pathetic is JD Drew that Crisp still has a spot in the lineup.
941pm- Speaking of pathetic, Lugo grounds into a 6-3 DP and the Red Sox threat is de-fused. But with the way Beckett is dealing, this looks a lot bigger than a 2-1 Red Sox lead.
947pm- Beckett is in a groove. Martinez, Garko and Peralta go down too quickly to log. The Tribe had a big chance in the 1st inning to grab a lead and get Beckett early but they allowed the Boston ace to escape and settle in.
951pm- CC throws three pitches and gets two outs on groundouts by Pedroia and Youkilis. He desperately needs a quickie. And, let's be honest, who amongst us doesn't sometimes need a quickie?
953pm- Ortiz ruins the flow of the inning and my veiled sexual innuendo with an opposite field single to bring up Ramirez.
958pm- Ramirez walks (at the same pace as he runs, incidentally) and it's 1st and 2nd with two out for Lowell.
1001pm- Lowell misses extra bases by an inch or two with a pea down the 3B line and then gets hit with a pitch to load the bases for Kielty.
Here's the biggest at bat of the night thus far.
1003pm- CC is wobbly. Overthrowing again and its 1-1 on Kielty. The 1-1 is 97mph but nearly to the screen. Kielty gets another fastball and misses badly. 2-2-pitch coming and it's again high.
3-2 now and the runners will be moving.
1004pm- CC makes the biggest pitch of his season and the Sox leave them loaded as Kielty flies to right. Those innings take a lot of you. CC threw 3 pitches for the first two outs and then 21 more to get out number three. The Red Sox offense is keeping the Indians in this game.
Pitch Count after 5 innings- Sabathia 93.
1008pm- Lofton flies out and Beckett barks at him on the swing. Lofton and Beckett come together at the mound and are separated by a bunch of guys wondering what the hell just happened. Beckett clearly yelled at Lofton on the swing and seems to be feeling really comfortable with himself. Might be the hair rope JD Drew made him.
1014pm- Beckett, clearly affected by the altercation with Lofton, gasses Gutierrez on a 97mph fastball. On the black.
1015pm- Blake singles with two down to turn the lineup over to the top.
1017pm- Sizemore bounces a single off Lugo's glove and moves Blake to third base. Two-out hit required. Cabrera in the box.
1019pm- Cabrera goes down on a wicked sequence of pitches from Beckett. 2-1 Boston after 5 complete innings. Beckett has thrown 67 pitches. Not many have been hit hard.
1023pm- CC makes quick work of Varitek with a ground ball to Peralta.
1025pm- CC induces another groundball from Crisp on some rare contact from Coco.
1027pm- Lugo feebly fans for a quick inning of work from Sabathia. The level of ‘suck' from the bottom third of the Red Sox order is hitting new highs with each plate appearance. If the Indians come back to win this game Crisp, Drew and Lugo should seek alternative forms of transportation for the trip home.
1032pm- Hafner makes it 6 of his last 7 at bats with a strikeout.
1033pm- Martinez grounds out weekly to Lugo. Two down.
1034pm- We're at the point that Beckett is going to need to make a mistake and an Indian is going to have to capitalize. Garko stands at the plate.
1036pm- Garko is the 9th strikeout victim. The late innings approach. The Red Sox may go straight from Beckett to Papelbon. Keeping this close benefits the Indians should the series go back to Boston. Beckett won't come out until at least the 9th inning unless the Red Sox get a comfortable lead and that means he's less likely to see a whole lot of action this weekend, if any.
Sometimes you have to look hard for that silver lining.
1040pm- Pedroia finds the gap in right center for a leadoff double. The Indians bullpen is in full fire-alarm mode.
1042pm- Youkilis hits the same gap for a triple that scores Pedroia. Sabathia is done. Gutierrez gave up on a ball slicing at him and away from Sizemore. Sizemore made a diving attempt but the ball hit off his glove to give the Sox a huge run and another one 90 feet away.
Sabathia disappoints again. Never in a groove, always pitching out of trouble.
Rafael Betancourt comes into a thankless situation and Ortiz will greet him.
1047pm- Ortiz hits the sacrifice fly to Lofton for the first out and a 4-1 score.
1052pm- Betancourt strikes out Ramirez with a terrific slider. Two outs. Lowell climbs into the box.
1053pm- Lowell flies out to Sizemore. Raffy Right has been straight-up money. He is again tonight. Tribe hitters this evening? Well, not so money.
1058pm- Peralta grounds out to Lowell for the first out.
1102pm- Lofton grounds a ball through Beckett's legs for an error on the Sox pitcher and a base runner on for the Tribe with Gutierrez up.
1104pm- Gutierrez makes contact (gasp) but lifts a soft fly ball to center for the second out.
1107pm- Blake is strikeout victim number 10. 7 complete and a 4-1 Red Sox lead.
1110pm- Rafael Perez replaces Rafael Betancourt to start the top of the 8th inning.
1115pm- Perez with an auspicious start to the inning. He just walked a comatose JD Drew. A drunken midge puts together better at bats than Drew yet there he stands, half asleep at 1B.
1118pm- Perez throws away a Crisp ground ball and the Red Sox have runners on 1st and 2nd base with one out. The two most God-awful hitters on either roster have reached against Perez.
1120pm- Let it all out boys. Julio Lugo bunts for a hit and the bases are loaded for Pedroia. Get this all out of your system now and tonight.
1124pm- It's an epidemic. Boston scores a run when Tom Mastny relieves Perez and Victor simply whiffs on catching a Mastny fastball to Pedroia.
1128pm- Mastny walks in another run. 6-1 Sox.
1131pm- Ortiz hits a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 7-1. I hear a fat lady singing loudly. Three runs on a single hit.
1134pm- Mastny strikes out Ramirez to keep it at a touchdown. Barring a 3 or 4 run Tribe inning here I may call it a night and skip the 9th inning. Just so as not to acknowledge this blowout Red Sox win.
1138pm- Sizemore flies to left. I'm rooting for a collision on a pop up involving Lowell, Varitek and Beckett right now that leaves players strewn all over the infield and arms and ankles facing the wrong way.
1141pm- Cabrera strikes out looking.
1143pm- Hafner puts a ball a play. Not hard, but in play. Lugo throws him out to end the 8th inning. End of eight, 7-1 Boston.
1147pm- Lowell flies to center. One out. Please, just 5 pitches and 5 swings so we can end this miserable night.
1148pm- Drew shows his mettle and toughness and his knack for the big moment by doubling with one out in this 7-1game. The guy is simply nails.
1150pm- Varitek taps back to Mastny and is thrown out at 1B while Drew moves over to 3B.
1152pm- Crisp mercifully blows and grounds out to Mastny. Bottom of the 9th is next.
1156pm- Jonathan Papelbon comes in for an inning of work.
1158pm- Victor strikes out to start the 9th.
1200am- Garko doubles to center with one out. Peralta in to hit against Papelbon. 8 more hits and maybe they get to Gagne.
1204am- Peralta grounds out to Lugo. Tow outs.
1208am- Lofton walks. Gutierrez up to swing at some high fastballs.
1212am- Gutierrez flies to center. That'll do it.
That was depressing. A chance to close it out here wasted by a tremendous outing by Becket and the Indians not taking advantage of what few opportunities they had. Still, there's a 3-2 lead to take back to Boston and Fausto Carmona on the hill.
But it's going to be a long day tomorrow thinking about what might have been here tonight and what might be waiting in Beantown.