364 days ago I wrote a post called “Keeping the Faith, Part 2.” At that time Boston was in a 3-1 hole to the Cleveland Indians in the American League Championship Series, and they were getting ready to face CC Sabathia in game 5. One year later, I find myself in a similar position, full of hope and optimism and sitting in front of my laptop. Can Boston make another comeback and crush the hopes and dreams of Rays fans everywhere? I not only hope so, but I’m going to give the reasons why.
- Scott Kazmir is pitching tonight. Why would Joe Maddon do this? He is either hoping that Kazmir rebounds from his last several poor performances and pulls out a win, or he’s that confident that “Big Game” James Shields will be money in game 6 at Tropicana Field to win it in front of the home crowd. Whatever the reason, I giggled a little when I saw Kazmir as tonight’s starting pitcher. This series is at least going back to St. Pete.
- The Red Sox have played horrible baseball. This the all-or-nothing, backs-to-the-wall scenario that shows a team’s character. Like Gene Hackman said in The Replacements, “winners want the ball.” The Red Sox are the defending World Series Champions. Let’s start acting like it.
- 1986, down 3-1 to the California Angels in the ALCS. 2004, down 3-0 to the NY Yankees in the ALCS. 2007, down 3-1 to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. They’ve been here before and have won. They will do it again.
- Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. There is no way in hell that these guys throw another crappy game like their last time out.
- Big Papi actually got an extra-base hit last game. The offensive flood gates are officially open.
- There is no way that the Rays can keep up with their 8 home runs a game pace. MLB is going to start charging them for lost baseballs.
- Dice K is a ninja. The Rays won’t know what hit them.
- Jason Varitek got the hole in his glove stitched up, so no more inning-extending passed balls.
- The Sox only have to win three measly games. A three game winning streak is nothing. They’ve done it 16 times this season.
So now you can see how obvious it is that Boston will rally back and win this series. I almost feel bad for the Rays…