Under Pressure: Rays-Sox ALCS Gamer III

We don’t want to say today is a must-win game for the Red Sox because if it is, what if they lose? Does it make Game 4 a muster-win game? Or Game 5 a mustest-win game?

But it’s certainly not a game they can afford to lose. Jon Lester is now officially the only Pitcher Who Can Be Trusted this postseason. He basically needs to win every game he pitches for the Sox to have a decent chance of winning this or any other series in which they hope to play this postseason.

So let’s have at it. Productivity across New England (and at least one small part of Texas) is about to plummet. Comment away on all the must-winningness here.

68 comments… add one
  • Productivity in at least one part of California, also officially approaching zero.

    rootbeerfloat October 13, 2008, 4:32 pm
  • Wow, four-pitch first for Lester. Thanks, Tampa!

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 4:41 pm
  • Before I saw this gamer, I was just thinking about the Must Status for this potential win. I’ve decided that the various declarations of Must Winnitude for all games, 1-7, has become so cliched that they have actually transcended self-parody and once again become sincere statements of fact. Therefore, I agree that this game is a Must Win.

    FenSheaParkway October 13, 2008, 4:46 pm
  • I talked my boss into letting me get off at 4, so I got home just in time to see Pedroia’s laser show.
    GO RED SOX!

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 4:48 pm
  • Atheose – It is your job to recount anything you’re seeing on TV that the rest of us schmucks at our desks on the radio don’t catch.

    rootbeerfloat October 13, 2008, 4:50 pm
  • Opportunity wasted.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 4:52 pm
  • Okay, no problem RBF. Ortiz argued with the called 3rd strike, as it was pretty well outside. Youk’s beard is fearsome, as usual.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 4:53 pm
  • Another double for Lester. Just imagine if Ellsbury was getting on base. The Sox would be up 2-0 in the series and 1-0 in this game.
    Instead it’s 1-1 and 0-0. Papi was jobbed on that called third strike, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s suddenly developed the slowest swing in sports.

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 4:53 pm
  • My policy is to watch on GameDay, and get up to watch on TV, which is on the wrong side of the pillar from me, whenever there’s a scoring threat.

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 4:55 pm
  • Evan Longoria doubles Lester’s pitch count…

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 4:57 pm
  • Lester not getting the same calls Garza is–that 3rd ball looked like strike 3. Varitek held it for a few moments.
    Instead the lead-off man is on with a walk.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 4:58 pm
  • wait, lester doubled? are we already in the world series? that kid can do anything.

    sf rod October 13, 2008, 4:58 pm
  • One of the nameless broadcasters just asserted that Lester is the best pitcher in baseball right now. Not sure how Santana, Lee, Lincecum and Hamels feel about that.
    Unless of course he means right now as in the playoffs. In which case Hamels should be mad.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:00 pm
  • Youk’s beard is fearsome, as usual.
    You’re now our color guy.

    rootbeerfloat October 13, 2008, 5:01 pm
  • Wow, Lester’s curve is looking fantastic.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:01 pm
  • The broadcasters started talking about no hitters, and Aybar immediately singles to center.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:02 pm
  • FUCK, ball outside bounces off Varitek’s glove, runners advance. Bad play by Varitek.
    Ground-out immediately gives the Rays the lead.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:03 pm
  • Go away Tek.

    SF October 13, 2008, 5:04 pm
  • dammit

    rootbeerfloat October 13, 2008, 5:04 pm
  • Tek cost us both Longoria and the run, not holding the foul tip and then the PB. He’s so done in all fashions.

    SF October 13, 2008, 5:04 pm
  • Wow, does Jason Varitek have any uses anymore? Double play turns into an RBI groundout thanks to the passed ball.

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 5:05 pm
  • Cheapie 1-0 lead. The way this series has gone (I know, I know, they won Game 1), that will be the only run of the game.

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 5:06 pm
  • Wow, that curveball is looking sick. He’s throwing it for strike 1 AND throwing it in the dirt to put batters away. Looking great, despite the run on the board.
    Speaking of which, why the hell does Lester get an ER for that? That’s stupid.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:06 pm
  • This series is starting to feel a lot like the Cleveland deal last year – winning Game 1, then playing like garbage in the next few. Starting to think my “Rays in 7” was too generous to the Sox.

    SF October 13, 2008, 5:07 pm
  • This ump is sucking pretty bad as well… Inconsistent to the max.

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 5:10 pm
  • Broadcaster: “Sometimes when you’re hot it’s because you’re hitting the ball where the defenders can’t get to them.”
    …isn’t that the idea?

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:12 pm
  • Ugh, here comes Tek to somehow ruin this opportunity.

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 5:13 pm
  • Runners and 2nd and 3rd. Varitek is going to figure out away to GIDP here, I just know it.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:14 pm
  • Varitek watches strike 3 on the inside corner, good pitch. ‘Tek argues.
    Come on Cora!

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:16 pm
  • Cora hit’s a tag-up ball, but with 2 outs. Why couldn’t you do that Tek?

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:18 pm
  • this is nauseating.

    rootbeerfloat October 13, 2008, 5:18 pm
  • Is there a reason why Alex Cora is playing today instead of Jed Lowrie? The man had nine — NINE — runs batted in this year in 168 appearances, despite an 89 OPS+ and .270 batting average.

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 5:19 pm
  • The broadcaster asserted that Cora was in the game because his brother Joey is the White Sox bench coach, and the White Sox hit well against Garza. Horribly Aristotelian logic.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:20 pm
  • In other news, my girlfriend’s sister is a commodities trader, therefore I am probably a great evaluator of stocks.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:21 pm
  • No one with 179 plate appearances or more had fewer RBI this year than Cora. He ranks fifth for fewest RBI in a season with 175+ PA since 2000. (Donnie Sadler had five in 211 PA in 2001). I know RBI are situation dependant, but that’s a lot of suck. He just doesn’t need to be starting playoff games.
    And here we go with 2nd/3rd, zero out.

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 5:24 pm
  • Fuuuuuuuck hanging curveball

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:25 pm
  • How Iwamura keep killing us? He’s a terrible hitter against every other team in baseball.

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 5:25 pm
  • Wow. This game’s not worth watching anymore. This fucking series isn’t worth watching anymore.

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 5:27 pm
  • I suddenly feel ambivalent about making sure I leave work on time.

    FenSheaParkway October 13, 2008, 5:28 pm
  • Longoria too. Sigh.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:30 pm
  • cripes. Let’s hope this really wasn’t a “must win”

    rootbeerfloat October 13, 2008, 5:31 pm
  • Pull Lester, give Byrd some playing time.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:31 pm
  • I’m closing Gameday and not paying attention to the rest of the game. I did that for Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, and that worked out all right…

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 5:32 pm
  • Maybe Jacoby could get his first hit???

    rootbeerfloat October 13, 2008, 5:39 pm
  • Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t plan my day around trying to get home for 1:30. I’d have been heading back to work after THAT inning.

    Jackie (SF) October 13, 2008, 5:40 pm
  • At least Pedroia’s slump is over. Maybe Ellsbury will get hot around Game 4/5 like Damon did in 2004.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:43 pm
  • Oh well, in a span of four innings a season goes from a nearly likely WS berth to quite nearly over. Such is baseball.

    SF October 13, 2008, 5:46 pm
  • The Sox need to get Jacoby Lasik surgery, or get him a tutor who can teach him how to recognize pitches. He needs to guess lucky to be successful, that’s all he’s got right now. He has zero pitch recognition.

    SF October 13, 2008, 5:47 pm
  • Hey now SF, there’s no need to call us out of it. We had great comeback wins in our last two WS trips, why should 2008 be any different?

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:49 pm
  • Damon got hot in Game 7 in 2004. I just happened to be watching that game on DVD the other day, and his BA entering Game 7 was .103. And even in Game 7, though he put the nail in the coffin with the grand slam and two homers, it was Ortiz’s first-inning blast that really set the tone for that game.

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 5:50 pm
  • Ahh, thanks for the info Paul. It’s been so long since I’ve watched the DVD’s; I think I watched them in August 2006 after we got swept by the Yankees.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:53 pm
  • Pull Lester. Please.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 5:55 pm
  • more good news:
    the rays haven’t lost a game this year after being up by 4 or more.
    the sox haven’t come back all year in games they trailed by 5 or more.

    sf rod October 13, 2008, 5:58 pm
  • Ath, the Sox are playing a better team. They are not likely to come back. Sorry, don’t see it. The offense has FIVE dead spots, if you count Ellsbury and Ortiz (I think Ortiz’ wrist is f*cked, frankly, I won’t be shocked if he has surgery like a week after the last game of the season). I don’t see a comeback, in this game or in the ALCS. Call me a fatalist, but I see too many flaws to overcome Wake or Beckett’s next start, if it even gets that far.

    SF October 13, 2008, 6:01 pm
  • Kotsay singles. Keep that stranded runners total climbing.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 6:11 pm
  • So much promise, too. If Ortiz gets his wrist fixed, next year could be a fantastic season. Ortiz and Beckett healthy, Lester dominant, Ellsbury maturing, Lowrie for a full season, Bay comfortable…

    Paul SF October 13, 2008, 6:24 pm
  • “Ellsbury maturing”
    How will he do this without an eye transplant?

    SF October 13, 2008, 7:01 pm
  • Pedroia GIDP NOW????

    rootbeerfloat October 13, 2008, 7:25 pm
  • WTF. Rays up 8-1. This could be the series–unless Beckett miraculously recovers, and Wakefield wins tommorow, and Daisuke doesn’t revert back to Mr. Hyde, and ….

    SoxFan October 13, 2008, 7:46 pm
  • “Ath, the Sox are playing a better team. They are not likely to come back. Sorry, don’t see it. The offense has FIVE dead spots, if you count Ellsbury and Ortiz (I think Ortiz’ wrist is f*cked, frankly, I won’t be shocked if he has surgery like a week after the last game of the season). I don’t see a comeback, in this game or in the ALCS. Call me a fatalist, but I see too many flaws to overcome Wake or Beckett’s next start, if it even gets that far.
    Posted by: SF | Monday, October 13, 2008 at 06:01 PM”
    I second this. I really believed that the only way the RS would win this series was if Tampa came out intimidated or entitled AND they got some breaks.
    Ain’t gonna happen.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 13, 2008, 9:31 pm
  • Wow, that crowd is screaming Manny’s name. And he comes through with a single, tie game.
    I… I think I miss him.

    Atheose October 13, 2008, 9:59 pm
  • I feel nauseous. Manny is the only guy on our starting roster that is going to the WS.

    rootbeerfloat October 13, 2008, 10:41 pm
  • Phillies…the better team.

    Devine October 14, 2008, 12:35 am
  • Not to be too pessmistic or anything, but who do people like in a Phillies/Rays World Series?

    SoxFan October 14, 2008, 2:52 am
  • It’s a little early to throw in the towel, guys. And I say this as a YF. It’s a bit depressing to see your rivals so lacking in competitive spirit.
    Baseball fatalism is stupid, especially in the postseason. Lester gets roughed up today, true. You lose. Game previous, Beckett shits the bed in an epic fashion. But there are no guarantees in baseball and as much as I want to see the Rays knock the Sox out of contention, I’d like it a bit more if y’all didn’t go quietly into the night.
    Now, Rays/Phils? It’s going to be the Rays in 6. The Phillies just don’t have the rotation the Rays do, or the defense. That’ll be the difference.

    Optimist Prime [YF] October 14, 2008, 5:12 am
  • Boy, that one-run loss and all those stranded runners in Game 2 may really come back to haunt the Sox.
    What are the chances that Ortiz sits or is moved down in the order? (I’d say about 5%, tops.) And will we see Jacoby again, or is it Coco for the remainder of this series?
    Plus, since Byrd pitched last night, I guess that means Beckett for sure if there is a Game Six.

    Hudson October 14, 2008, 9:32 am
  • Note: A Phillies/Rays World Series means record low TV ratings everywhere except Tampa and Philly.

    Hudson October 14, 2008, 9:33 am
  • Thanks for the vote of confidence Optimist! If we see Shakey Wakey tonight I may start getting discouraged though.
    And I’d have to go with the Phillies. Rollins/Utley/Howard/Burrell are too fearsome not to. Having said that, I think LA pushes the series to 6 games before losing.

    Atheose October 14, 2008, 9:46 am

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