There was Marco Scutaro, standing on second base, having just hit a double that drove in what would ultimately be a World Series winning run. He looked stern, but content. On the other side of the diamond, Ryan Theriot was popping back up from a slide across home plate, and sprung up screaming. The dugout was engulfed in anarchy.
The San Francisco Giants were now three outs away from winning a World Series. And the feeling was immediately one of inevitability. This was going to happen. Propelled by an incredible rotation, timely hitting, an MVP catcher and a rolodex of role players like Scutaro, the Giants were just minutes from capping a legendary year.
Just a few days after the St. Louis Cardinals had pushed them within a game of elimination, the San Francisco Giants were standing in a downpour, celebrating the final out of a 9-0 drubbing in Game 7 of the NLCS.
In an October packed with improbable outcomes in both leagues, the Giants’ roaring comeback topped every storyline. Where Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner failed, journeyman Ryan Vogelsong and a resurgent Barry Zito thrived. While Bustery Posey and Brandon Belt were relatively quiet, Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence paced the lineup.
And in the middle of it all was Marco Scutaro, an afterthought plugged into second base at the trade deadline, batting .500 and propelling the Giants to another pennant. There was Scutaro, who had spent more than half of his Major League career working to prove that he deserved a spot in a starting lineup, holding his NLCS MVP trophy, his 14 hits tying an LCS series record.
Scutaro's next dirty jersey will read, "COLORADO."
The Hot Stove season is no season at all. It’s the worst of all worlds, a thick stew of rumors, trades, worries and superstitions without the one piece of the game that makes all that nonsense manageable — actual baseball games.
I actively avoid rumors at this time. I’m not interested in who might sign where as much as I am when I actually do. Then, weighing lineups and juggling batting orders can bring a lift in the dead of winter between Bruins games.
But one bit of business for the Red Sox, coming off back-to-back third place finishes, struck a somber chord with this fan — Marco Scutaro, pencilled in as 2012’s starting shortstop, was off to the Colorado Rockies for a relief pitcher and salary help. With him goes one of the few old-world ball players the Red Sox have had in recent years, outside of Dustin Pedroia. Continue reading
“This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper“
— T.S. Elliot, “The Hollow Men”
With all due respect to the amazing Mr. Elliot, on Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox found a way to end the world with both.
As Jonathan Papelbon’s pitch flaired back into left field, bringing the winning run across for the Orioles, the slow September march to death reached its terminal phase, slowly and tragically, like some tormented screenplay, the demented wet dream of a jealous fan. Continue reading
Jed Lowrie has followed through on a few hits this year, to say the least.
Editor’s note: Last night’s powerless display will not be included in the discussion below. Oy.
There was a time not long ago when I was convinced I’d never see Jed Lowrie play meaningful innings with the Boston Red Sox. Beset with injuries (a broken wrist, mono, insert other ailments here) in rapid succession, Lowrie looked not injury prone, but cursed.
It’s no stretch to say that those fears are now unfounded. Lowrie is playing every day, hitting everything in sight, and may or may not have saved four babies from a burning building this weekend.
Living out in Arizona, I experienced his debut and initial success from a distance, catching games on ESPN, reading how he’d run with the starting shortstop position when Julio Lugo was hurt, and watched him prove he belonged in the playoffs — he hit .364 in the American League Division Series against Anaheim, and struggled along with everyone else in the Championship Series against Tampa. Continue reading