Oct 18

2013 Junior League Championship: Boston @ Detroit Game 5

Knotted at two.  Some idiots are opining that Boston should feel totally intimidated by last night’s loss and might as well pack up and go home.

Folks, they are going home, to the friendly confines of Fenway and the Green Monster under the watchful eye of The Great God Citgo.  The team that has to win tonight is Detroit otherwise we have almost surely seen the last of Comerica (and good riddance to all Ballparks named for a corporate sponsor and yes, I do include Citi Field unless they spell it with a “Y”.  Now, about what is and isn’t a “Stadium”…).  In any event if the Tigers drop 2 of 3 at home, they are in deep trouble and the Red Sox already have their split.

Not that last night wasn’t exciting.  Just the kind of game I like.  It was a desperation line up that worked for once.

Fans of the Tigers didn’t have to wait long.  They scored 5 in the 2nd from a Leadoff Single, and 2 Walks to load up with No Out.  After a Pop Fly the Sox Walked in a Run and Scored on a Sacrifice.  Corners 2 Out.  2 RBI Double and an RBI single and they were 5 up.  Not that they weren’t 5 up in Game 2 which they lost.

In the 4th the Tigers went for the kill with a Leadoff Double, an RBI Single, a Steal, a Sacrifice, and another RBI Single.  Seven unanswered, but Detroit was through for the night.

The Sox got on the board in the 6th, 3 straight 1 Out Singles, the last an RBI.  They struck again in the 7th with a Leadoff Single and an RBI Double.  They wasted the 8th and in the 9th, down 5, threatened another one of those Game 2 comebacks.  Leadoff Double, RBI Triple, KO, KO, and then Ortiz, mighty Ortiz at the bat-

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;

It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;

It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,

For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;

There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.

And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,

No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;

Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.

Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,

Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,

And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.

Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-

“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,

Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.

“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;

And it’s likely they’d a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;

He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;

He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;

But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;

But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.

They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,

And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;

He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.

And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,

And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,

And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;

But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.

Well, actually it was a fly to Center, but you get the picture.

So tonight Detroit is sending out Anibal Sanchez (14 – 8, 2.75 ERA R).  This post-season he has won 1 and lost 1 with a 4.35 ERA based on 10 and a 3rd innings allowing 8 hits and 6 runs all against Oakland.  Boston will counter with Jon Lester (15 – 8, 3.75 ERA L), 1 – 1 post-season  with an ERA of 1.84 based on 9 hits and 3 runs in 14 innings including a loss to the Tigers.

On paper a great matchup.

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