Irrational Exuberance

Tuesday, October 19th, 2004 @ 1:32 am | Sports

When my brother and I left Fenway Park Saturday night, the obituary for the 2004 Red Sox was already forming in my head. Emotionally, I was done. There had been good time, there had been bad times, and I was completely drained.

By the time Sunday’s game rolled around, I was at peace. I was ready to enjoy the game, win, lose, or draw. I can honestly saw I enjoyed the process of Game 4 more than any of the previous ALCS match-ups. I think I would have felt that way had David Ortiz not launched Paul Quantrill‘s 12th inning pitch into the Red Sox’ bullpen.

When the Sox took a 2-0 lead over the Yankees in Game 5, I told myself I wasn’t going to get irrationally exuberant.

When the Sox came back to tie the game at 4 in the 8th, I appreciated it.

When Fox showed Tim Wakefield, Derek Lowe, and Curt Schilling walking towards the bullpen, I swear I wasn’t getting goose-bumps. It must’ve been a draft.

During the extra innings, I looked down and saw I’d taken off my watch and was clutching it in my fist, the metal arm band digging into my skin. At that point, I realized the Sox had managed to pull me back in. Damn it all.

If the Sox manage to pull this thing out, David Ortiz has to be the ALCS MVP. He’s won the last two games with walk-off hits and he started the 8th inning rally with a massive homer off the Volvo sign behind the Green Monster (mmm, dented Volvo).

The Sox bullpen has been absolutely superb the last two nights. They threw at least 14 innings of scoreless relief (I don’t remember how many outs there were after Mike Timlin gave up his final run). Tim Wakefield pitched like it was the 2003 ALCS (minus the annoying walk-off homer, of course). Bronson Arroyo pitched like he did in the ALDS, as opposed to his performance in his aborted Game 3 outing.

It’s almost unfair that Mariano Rivera gets charged with a blown save for work in the 8th inning. He came into a nearly untenable situation, with runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out. According to Tango Tiger’s Run Expectancy Matrix, the average team gives up 1.9 runs per inning when faced with that situation. Maybe the number’s don’t completely work, since the Sox already scored one run on Ortiz’ homer off Tom Gordon, but Rivera still held the Sox to 1 run on a Jason Varitek sac fly.

However, he gave up the lead, so he gets a blown save. I believe the Fox graphic said that was the first time Rivera had ever blown back to back saves in the playoffs.

Hell, now I’m psyched for Game 6. Schilling versus Jon Lieber. Bring it on.

Oh yeah, there’s one other reason for Irrational Exuberance — Tony Clark‘s ground-rule double in the 9th inning that prevented Ruben Sierra from scoring. Now, I don’t believe in curses, but the Red Sox never get that bounce! I mean, if that ball’s an inch lower, it stays in the field of play and Sierra scores easily. Instead, Sierra’s sent back to third and Keith Foulke slams the door.

I hate to say it, but that was a Yankees Bounce. I’d say that was Jeffrey Maier snatching the ball away from Tony Tarasco or Chuck Knoblauch missing Jose Offerman by about a foot with the tag and still getting the call, except the rules were interpreted correctly this time. 🙂

3 Responses to “Irrational Exuberance”

  1. Eric Albert Says:

    ALCS MVP? The Red Sox radio broadcasters said that Ortiz could be elected mayor right now. If the Sox figure out how to win this thing, they might as well elect Ortiz God.

  2. Eric Blair Says:

    Yeah, but I don’t think the sportswriters get to vote on that other stuff, at least not in October 🙂

    …and having read most of the Boston sportswriters, I hope they don’t get to vote for God…

  3. Out of Cheese Says:

    Run expectancy

    Eric Blair pointed to Tangotiger’s run expectancy page tonight. Very cool….