October 20, 2007 - 8:35 PM
BOSTON -- It's a Red Sox rout but keep it here to follow along on the road to Game Seven of the ALCS between the Sox and Cleveland Indians:
The bottom line: Sox win, 12-2, and it's Dice-K vs. Jake Westbrook Sunday night at 8:23 for the right to meet the Rockies.
Top-6th: Still 10-1 and it's one big party here. The Dropkick Murphys' version of "Tessie," which blew up here during the 2004 championship season, just brought down the house when it showed up on the video board. If you're a Red Sox fan, I guess you'll want to rock along. If you're a fan of the Indians you won't be able to stomach it. (Post-midnight update: The Red Sox just announced the Murphys are singing the national anthem prior to Game Seven)
End-4th: Grady Sizemore just got a standing ovation from Red Sox fans behind the Indians dugout for his spectacular diving catch in deep right-center off Jacoby Ellsbury that ended the Boston fourth. Pretty amazing fans in this place.
Top-4th: Let's recap the Tribe's alleged aces in this series:
---The line tonight for Fausto Carmona (left): 2+ IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 2 K.
---For the series, Carmona's numbers are 6 IP, 10 H, 11 ER, 9 BB, 7 K, 16.50 ERA.
---C.C. Sabathia in two starts: 10 1/3 IP, 17 H, 12 R, 12 ER, 7 BB, 9 K, 10.45 ERA.
---The ugly totals: 16 1/3 IP, 27 H, 23 ER, 16 BB, 16 K, 12.67 ERA. And a record about to be 0-3. Incredible.
Bot-3rd: J.D. Drew strikes again with an RBI single to make it 5-1 and Carmona is gone after two-plus innings. The crowd is going wild as Kenny Rogers is crooning "The Gambler" over the PA ("know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run"). As the fans were celebrating the run, we were hearing "Brass Bonanza." Remember that one? It was that horrendous music they played every time the Hartford Whalers took the ice. Betcha never thought I could mention them in a baseball blog! Hey, I've got to go to some "B" material here to keep you interested with the way this game is going.
It's 10-1 and TV sets across America are probably clicking off. Rafael Perez continued his implosion in this series, allowing both of his inherited runners to score and then giving up Julio Lugo's RBI double that made it 8-1. Things really fell apart on Kevin Youkilis' RBI single off the Green Monster. He was hung up between first and second but Asdrubal Cabrera's throw back to first hit Youkilis in the helmet and rolled away, allowing Dustin Pedroia to scoot home and put the Sox in double figures. Youk kind of stuck his head out, a la Reggie Jackson's hip in 1978, but there was no claim of interference. Maybe there should have been. But would it really matter?
End-2nd: The Tribe inched closer as Victor Martinez sent a take-that to the men in blue with a solo homer to right to make it 4-1. Carmona got out of a first-and-third jam in the bottom of the inning when David Ortiz bounced into a double play -- right into the shift as shortstop Jhonny Peralta made the play on the first-base side of second.
Bot-1st: Disaster for the Tribe as the Red Sox lead, 4-0. Carmona gave up two infield singles and a walk to Ortiz and the bases were quickly loaded. Manny Ramirez struck out and Mike Lowell's first-pitch fly to right was too shallow to score a run. An out away from escaping the jam, Carmona fell behind Drew, 3 and 1. Then the most unpopular free agent in Boston became Fenway's hero with a grand slam (right), a liner that barely cleared the wall in center. It took Carmona 36 pitches to get out of the inning and when it was over, Martinez had to be restrained from going after plate umpire Dana DeMuth. Manager Eric Wedge then got his money's worth. There were some close pitches, especially a 2-1 offering to Drew that was called low. A 3-1 count or a 2-2 count is a huge difference.
Top-1st: The Tribe came oh-so-close to taking a quick lead as Grady Sizemore launched a high drive by the Pesky Pole in right. Maybe it was too high. The ball looked fair but it went over the pole and it was tough to judge. Umpires ruled it foul. Hmmm. Schilling responded to get the Tribe 1-2-3, striking out Travis Kafner to end the inning (yes, I see the spelling there). The Tribe's PronK -- emphasis on the K -- is 0 for his last 13 with eight strikeouts.
(Photos: Associated Press)