Notes: Varitek is 0 for 10 in the ALCS and 3 for 24 in the postseason. … Jacoby Ellsbury (6 for 32 in the postseason) remains on the bench. … Longoria and Upton have 10 home runs. The record for a duo in the postseason is 14 by Barry Bonds and Rich Aurilia in 2002. … Mike Timlin has made 25 LCS appearances, tying Mariano Rivera’s record. … Kazmir’s last two starts against Boston: 7.1 innings, 12 hits, 14 earned runs. He faced them on Sept. 15 and again in Game 2 of this series.
UPDATE, 5:36 p.m.: Terry Francona was asked to compare his 2004 team with the 2007 team. Here is what he said: “The ’04 group was a group of guys that will never be replicated — Thank God. They were their own mold.”
Then we have Joe Maddon, who just started his pre-game press conference by revealing that he went to Harvard Square last night to have a few beers. “They had some karaoke going on, it was fun,” he said.
Francona can be a bit prickly at times but he’s very honest. Maddon seems like a great guy to be around. He’s a serious music fan and on a few occasions we’ve had a chance to talk about bands. He’s getting married next month and will backpack around Europe on his honeymoon.
YANKEES NEWS * * * UPDATE, 7:12 p.m.: Hank has emerged from the meetings and spoken. In a stunning announcement, it turns out that starting pitcher Joba Chamberlain will be a starting pitcher next season.
â€œThe plan as of right now is Chamberlain is going to be a starter. Everybodyâ€™s pretty much in agreement with that,” he said.
Here’s who was at the meetings: Hank, Hal, Randy Levine, Lonn Trost, Brian Cashman, Jean Afterman, Mark Newman, Stick Michael, Felix Lopez, Reggie Jackson and Tino Martinez.
â€œIt was a productive day,â€ Hank said. â€œWe didnâ€™t make any decisions today. We just covered all the things we need to fix. Everything is open. Weâ€™re willing to do anything that will improve us. It was more of a summary and quite a lot of discussion.â€
UPDATE, 7:28 p.m.: There’s a fire alarm going off at Fenway and a recorded voice said “There is an emergency in the building” and to leave via the nearest exit.
As far as I can tell, the only emergency in the building is that the Red Sox are 27 outs from being eliminated by the Tampa Bay Rays. But in case the place blows up, thanks for reading.
UPDATE, 7:34 p.m.: The alarm has ended. All is well.
UPDATE, 8:02 p.m.: Curt Schilling threw out the first pitch and bounced it.
UPDATE, 8:12 p.m.: Dice-K should have bounced that pitch as B.J. Upton just homered again. That’s 12 postseason RBI for him.
UPDATE, 8:48 p.m.: Home runs in a single postseason: Bonds (2002) 8, Beltran (2003) 8, Glaus (2002) 7, Upton is one of nine players with six.
I think the next team that scores wins this game. If Tampa gets up 3-0 or 4-0, Fenway will be a funeral home. But if the Red Sox score, the Rays will feel some heat and could falter.
UPDATE, 9:09 p.m.: I think you have to view this series as the rise of the Rays, not the demise of the Red Sox. Tampa Bay is a very, very talented team that is playing its best baseball. If they can keep his group together and healthy, this could be the best team in the division for a while.
As A-Rod gets older, Longoria is going to be the best player in the division. He is a tremendous talent.
21 outs away from Tampa Bay in the World Series. Just amazing.
UPDATE, 9:29 p.m.: Not to jinx anything here. But the Rays are 38-0 when leading by five or more runs. Of course Kazmir should stop walking so many guys.
UPDATE, 9:43 p.m.: So, Scott Kazmir is throwing a two-hit shutout through four innings in a potential clinching LCS game. Think the Mets regret trading a top pitching prospect?
This is why you do not trade Phil Hughes. You have to give kids a chance. Hughes has not had a chance.
UPDATE, 10:33 p.m.: They must be running a 2-for-1 beer special at Fenway Park. The fans are trying to get the wave started and now they’re cheering wildly for Papelbon coming in during the seventh inning while Boston is trailing 5-0. The actual fans who came to games before 2004 must be embarrassed.
UPDATE, 10:44 p.m.: Wait, don’t leave, they haven’t played Sweet Caroline yet! … Meanwhile, B.J. Upton just wrapped up the MVP you would think.
The World Series isn’t until next Wednesday. Prepare for a pile of Joe Maddon stories and the life and times of Jimmy Rollins.
UPDATE, 11:10 p.m.: Clearly Joe Maddon did not make a mistake starting Scott Kazmir. But why take him out with a two-hit shutout after six innings? I understand he had thrown 111 pitches. But the World Series is not until Wednesday. Kazmir had thrown more than 111 pitches twice this season. Leave him in, at least until he puts somebody on.
Now there’s a game again. Tampa still needs seven outs.
UPDATE, 11:38 p.m.: Dan Wheeler, the pride of Rhode Island, has allowed the Red Sox to get a little closer. If Tampa Bay kicks away a 7-0 lead you have to wonder how they will react when they get back home.
Meanwhile, the Rays don’t really have a closer. This is where that hurts.
UPDATE, 11:49 p.m.: Brutal work by the Tampa Bay ‘pen. Boston has scored seven runs in two innings. That was a 10-pitch AB by Crisp.
The only good news for the Rays at this point is that Boston has run through its bullpen.
UPDATE, 12:20 a.m.: Wow, what a choke by the Rays. They were seven outs away from the World Series.