Monday, October 18, 2004

Heroic

What the Sox have done these two nights, these 26 innings (hey fans, buy two tickets, see three games!), is heroic ... epic. But do you remember the ultimate scene in Glory? All those soldiers marching on the beach toward that fort, knowing most of them will not be returning? So our gallant Sox are now marching, heads held justifiably high, into the cauldron of Yankee Stadium. What destiny might they shape for themselves there?

To their advantage: the Yankee pitching is wafer-thin, they know they can get to Rivera, the Yanks have had two shots at finishing them off and came up short, the Yanks have the burden of keeping the "Curse" alive, and a sense that they are playing with house money at this point.

To the Yanks' advantage: home for the last two, the Sox pitching is also thin, still got the best lineup money can buy, and history--not the "Curse," but the inability of any team to go from 0-3 down to a Game 7.

Wild cards: Schilling's ankle, the lack of an off-day, the effects of winning/losing two long games on consecutive nights, and which team can relax, feeling they can shape their destiny. Who comes out flat Tuesday night? The Yanks jumped on the Sox in Games 1-3, but have lacked that put-away ability the last two nights.

I think I read that 25 teams have gone down 0-3. The Sox are the fourth to force a Game 6. So what has happened so far is no small accomplishment. I am delighted for those fans who got to see the Sox win the last two home games of the series. I revel in their ability to keep the faith.

In Game 6, most of the pressure is still on the Sox. If somehow it goes to Game 7, most of the pressure would be on the Yanks. Forgive my fatalism, but I will be one shocked Sox fan if I am watching the Sox play again on Wednesday. They have to be running on fumes at this point. But I am so happy for them--for Damon, who scored the winning run, for Wakefield, who got the win, for all of them (since these have been two total-team wins)--for being so, so clutch in these two amazing victories. The only problem is, moral victories is not what they intended to gain in this series. Their heads are now high, but they are still having to attack that fort, not defend it.

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