Friday, October 15, 2004
Any good Celtics fan will tell you "Green is Beautiful". Well, let's hope that the Red Sox keep that in mind, because as they return home tonight, they've got a piece of the biggest, most beautiful slice of green available in baseball: Fenways own "Green monster".
Fenway has been a place of strength this and most seasons for the Red Sox. Well, it will have to be tonight and for the following 2 games, because the Sox return home for Game 3 of the ALCS down 0-2 to the dreaded New York Yankees.
Tonight is a battle of generations of sorts: The crafty and experienced veteran Kevin Brown for the Yankees versus the youth and cornrows of Bronson Arroyo, who will be making only his second post-season start ever.
We all know the book on Brown. He'll try to find a way to win, even if his stuff isn't at it's best. That's what years of experience teach you: to ignore the pressure of the situation and to make whatever stuff you've got that night work for you.
The book on Arroyo is mostly yet to be written. Bronson and his now well known cornrows are perhaps one of the shining examples of the Sox overall baseball attitude. The attitude described earlier this season by Johnny Damon as "A bunch of happy, baseball playing idiots". Arroyo handled his first post-season start with what can only be described as near brilliance, considering his lack of experience and the pressure being exerted upon him by the Sox Nation. Arroyo pitched 6 innings, struck out 7 and only gave up 2 earned runs. The only thing from putting his post season book on the best seller list is the fact that he ended up with a no decision in a game that teammate and now ALCS Game 5 starter, Derek Lowe got the win in relief. (see this story, related to Schillings injury status: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2004/10/15/no_game_5_start_for_schilling/ )
Speaking of the "happy, baseball playing idiots", Johnny Damon will hopefully benefit from the return home, as his leadoff bat has been largely quiet all series thus far(0-8 with 5 K's). In game 2 alone, he went 0-4 with 4 strikeouts. Although he did have a mini-battle with Leiber in a 16 pitch at-bat. Let's hope Fenway brings back that fun loving smile and attitude that he had against the Angels when on the field. I don't know ab out anyone else, but in my opinion, it rarely seemed to be present in games 1 and 2 against the Yankees.
However, let's not leave Johnny on the hook alone. Most of the Sox bats have disappeared particularly the bottom of the order. Other than a couple guys making some noise in innings 7 and 8 of Game 1, they're all just as guilty of not playing up to thier capabilities.
It's time to step up boys. Not to bring up ghosts of the past, but COWBOY UP!
Game starts at 8pm EST on Fox.
Brown (NYY) vs Arroyo (Bos)