Sunday, October 07, 2007


Diamondbacks win, and my record for playoff predictions this year is already better than last year. Woo hoo! The way it stands right now, I'll likely go 2-for-4 in the first round, and I'm fine with that. Baby steps.

By the way, I was at Fenway last night to see my fourth playoff walk-off. Here's how I rank them:

A distant # 4: Aaron Boone vs. Red Sox. On the one hand, this one still hurts. On the other hand, it made 2004 so much sweeter. Being there in person for this is the very definition of bittersweet. Forget about the fact that I'm a Red Sox fan... if I were even a neutral observer, this would rank as the best game I've ever seen. But I wasn't.

#3: Manny Ramirez vs. Angels. It was a tense game, but it wasn't a series clincher, an elimination game (for the home team), or even extra innings, so that costs it a little bit. However, that one swing by Manny gave me a much-needed reminder that he is still a force to be reckoned with. I'm roughly 15% more confident in the Red Sox' abilities to make a run now after last night's ninth inning.

#2: David Ortiz vs. Angels. A series-ending walk-off, after the Red Sox had already blown a 4-run lead on an opposite field Vlad Guerrero grand slam. The fact that the Sox were already up 2-0 in the series when it happened hurts it, but the fact that it clinched the series, and that the Sox were still chasing their elusive holy grail at the time, are huge... almost huge enough to finish it ahead of:

#1: David Ortiz vs. Yankees. This was the Game Five single in the 14th inning, not the Game Four home run in the 12th - the fact that I need to differentiate that still amazes me to this day. Here's what I remember vividly from this game: Ortiz cut a 4-2 deficit in half with a solo homer in the 8th inning, the Sox tied it up off of Rivera for the second time in 19 hours later that inning, my tickets were originally for Game Three, but a rainout postponed it, and the Astros-Cardinals game that night started three hours later than this game did... and it finished before this game. That was a crazy night.

As if I needed to make this clear, I am exceedingly lucky to have seen all of these games in a four year-span. In this century, the Red Sox have been involved in seven walk-off playoff games (one of them in Oakland), and I've been to four of them. This is a great time to live a mile away from Fenway Park.

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