Live Blogging of ALCS Game 7

Due to popular demand, I’ll be live blogging from ALCS Game 7. All times Eastern.

7:56 PM – Welcome to Fenway Park. It is a beautiful night in Boston. It is a comfortable 67 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

7:58 PM – Joe Buck speaks in an advertisement for the game 7. “This is Game 7. There is no tomorrow.” And, “Who will be this year’s hero? Can Red Sox Nation, once again, prove that no matter the odds, they can again prevail?”

8:02 PM – Jennie Zelasko leads with a story about Paul Byrd. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Paul Byrd received nearly $25,000 in HGH. Byrd does not deny these allegations. However, he claims that HGH was prescribed to him by a doctor. Paul Byrd strikes me as a decent person, and I for one, believe that he has done nothing wrong.

8:04 PM – Coors Field was snowed in today. However, the players were still out on the field for a practice session.

8:08 PM – Kevin Kennedy mentions that it is ironic that C.C. Sabathia and Carmona, both nineteen game winners in the regular seasons, weren’t able to win in the ALCS, but Jake Westbrook came through. It’s not really ironic. It’s how baseball works. It’s unpredictable and sometimes the little guys come through.

8:10 PM – Kevin Kennedy continues and says that Victor Martinez has been the most consistent so far in the series. I agree with this analysis.

8:17 PM – Tim McCarver and Joe Buck take the stage. Jock Beckett is available in the bullpen tonight. This should be an exciting match-up!

8:21 PM – The temperature has dropped to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Jensen Lewis provides the starting lineup for Game 7

  1. Grady Sizemore
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera
  3. Travis Hafner (Pronk)
  4. Victor Martinez
  5. Ryan Garko
  6. Jhonny Peralta
  7. Kenny Lofton
  8. Franklin GutiƩrrez
  9. Casey Blake

Kevin Millar provides the batting order for the Boston Red Sox:

  1. Dustin Pedroia
  2. Kevin Youkilis
  3. David Ortiz
  4. Manny Ramirez
  5. Mike Lowell (“the biggest eyebrows in baseball”)
  6. J.D. Drew
  7. Jason Varitek (the captain)
  8. Jacoby Ellsbury
  9. Julio Lugo

1st Inning (Top)

8:24 PM – the first pitch by Dice-K is low, and ruled a ball.

8:25 PM – Popout by Sizemore on the second pitch of the game. One out.

8:26 PM – Asdrubal Cabrera grounds out to Dustin Pedroia on a fourth pitch. Two out.

8:29 PM – Dice-K gets major cheers on the crowd as he throws a 2-2 pitch. Dice-K apparently stared into his locker for an hour after the game in Game 3’s loss. However, he has a determined face tonight.

8:30 PM – Hafner, with a weak swing on a pitch up and away, fouls it off. So far, Dice-K has thrown five of six pitches equal to or faster than 96 MPH. Pretty impressive.

8:31 PM – Hafner strikes out against Dice-K. Inning over.

1st Inning (Bottom)

8:33 PM – Dustin Pedroia steps up to the plate to lead it off for Boston. Strike one from Westbrook on his first pitch to Pedroia.

8:34 PM – Pedroia’s second pitch is fouled off, quickly leaving Pedroia in the hole. However, on the third pitch, Westbrook goes with a change-up to Pedroia, who hits a liner to left field. So a single to start off the game for the Red Sox. It was an odd choice of pitch selection from Westbrook here; he should have gone with a fastball away or something similar.

8:35 PM – A quick 2-0 on Youkilis. Next pitch is another ball, leading to 3-0.

8:36 PM – Westbrook looks at a fastball. Next pitch – a groundball to left field. Fielded by Kenny Lofton. Runners on 1st and 2nd base for the Red Sox, with no one out.

8:37 PM – David Ortiz is up. First pitch he fouls it off to deep left. Second pitch is a ball inside,

8:39 PM – Ortiz swings on a ball outside. Nasty pitch by Westbrook. Next pitch is low and outside, and Ortiz looks. The count is 2-2. A 0.434 career average for Ortiz with runners in scoring position (RISP) for David Ortiz.

8:40 PM – Ortiz’s success with RISP in the postseason means nothing at this at-bat, as he strikes out for out number one.

8:41 PM – Chants of “Manny Manny Manny” in the crowd as Ramirez steps up to the plate. He quickly fouls off the first pitch. Joe Buck talks about Westbrook’s career path, including his stint on the DL earlier in the season. Also, Westbrook’s days with the Colorado Rockies and the New York Yankees are mentioned.

8:42 PM – Another pitch fouled off by Manny, followed by a nice fastball low and outside to see if Manny would chase. He doesn’t.

8:42 PM – Hard-hit ball toward Peralta. The ball takes a big bounce and gets away from Peralta. Pedroia comes in and scores from 2nd base. Score: Boston 1, Cleveland 0. What should have been a double play ball is credited as an RBI single for Manny Ramirez.

8:43 PM – Lowellis ahead in the count 2-1. Note that the last hit by Manny Ramirez came with two strikes, a continued success by Manny in that department. The count is now 3-1. On the next pitch, the ball is driven to left field. Quickly caught by Lofton, the bases are now juiced. Westbrook is really in trouble. Talk of someone beginning to toss in the bullpen is mentioned.

8:46 PM – J.D. Drew grounds out into a double play. A big “twin killing” turned by Cleveland. Cleveland escapes by giving up only one run in the inning. Boston strands three runners. The play was really close at first base, but the umpire ruled J.D. out. So a different scenario for J.D. tonight compared to last night. Last night he hit a grand slam with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first base; tonight, J.D. Drew grounded into a double play.

2nd Inning (Top)

8:50 PM – Victor Martinez is out in front of a 1-1 pitch, and fouls it off. Crowd is cheering for Dice-K to strike VMart out.

8:51 PM – Victor Martinez hits a line drive directly at Lowell. Caught for the first out of the inning.

8:52 PM – Dice-K is ahead of Garko 0-2. On the third pitch, Garko hits a chopper to Lowell. Playable, and an easy second out.

8:53 PM – On the second pitch to Peralta, he grounds out to Mike Lowell. A very quick inning for Matsuzaka. Joe Buck has to stop short in his spiel.

2nd Inning (Bottom)

8:55 PM – Jock Beckett has migrated to the bullpen.

8:57 PM – On the very first pitch in the inning from Westbrook, Varitek lines a ball against the Green Monster. Varitek is on with a double. C.C. Sabathia should start throwing in the bullpen, but there is no action in the Indians bullpen yet.

8:58 PM – Ellsbury is up and tries to bunt. In the pregame, Ellsbury was trying to bunt into a hat, and he was successful on two occasions. This guy seems very dedicated to the role.

8:59 PM – A little flair to left field from Ellsbury which just goes by Peralta. Varitek is unable to advance home. Runners at the corners. Still no action in the bullpen for the Indians.

9:00 PM – Westbrook tries a pick-off attempt at 1st base. He is ahead in the count, 1-2, to Lugo. Ground ball, and turned for a double play. However, Varitek scores from third base. It is 2-0 Boston. This was the 19th double play ball of the series.

9:02 PM – Dustin Pedroia flies out to Kenny Lofton for the third out of the inning.

3rd Inning (Top)

9:05 PM – Already six hits for Boston, with 0 for Cleveland. However, only two runs for Boston because of the double play ground balls induced by Westrbook.

9:06 PM – Kenny Lofton is up. Lofton doesn’t like the call on the second pitch from Dice-K, which is ruled a strike. Lofton has significantly cooled off in the ALCS since a torrid start in the first four games.

9:07 PM – “Can you name the 3 Hall of Famers who Played in the Game 7 at Fenway Park?” is tonight’s trivia question for the night.

9:08 PM – Lofton takes ball 3 to bring the count to full. On the next pitch, Lofton hits it to right. Fly-out to J.D. Drew. One out.

9:09 PM – Franklin Gutierrez is up. Looks at a 92 MPH fastball for a called strike. The next pitch from Dice-K is an 83 MPH ball.

9:10 PM – Dice K is ahead on a 1-2 count after a foul by Guitterez on the third pitch. Dice-K throws a pitch a bit outside to bring the count to 2-2. Another pitch low. Full count to Gutierrez.

9:11 PM – Gutierrez reaches for a pitch and flies out to Pedroia. Two out.

9:12 PM – On the seventh pitch of the at bat, Casey Blake hits a ground ball to center. The Indians have their first base runner in Blake.

9:13 PM – Grady Sizemore is up. He popped up his first time.

9:14 PM – Ball in the dirt from Dice K. Casey Blake immediately advances to second base. Great base running in this situation.

9:15 PM – Sizemore is behind in the count, 1-2, after fouling off another pitch.

9:16 PM – Time called by Sizemore. Dice-K throws a ball anyway. Sizemore looks at a pitch a bit high. Dice-K started to walk off the mound. Get back, it was too high.

9:17 PM – Sizemore continues the battle, fouling off another pitch. Sizemore desperately needs to get a hit here to get the Indians going. However, he swings on a fastball high, and strands Casey Blake at second base. Inning over.

3rd Inning (Bottom)

9:21 PM – Kevin Youkilis swings on the second pitch against Westbrook. The ball is fair and gets past the third baseman. This is the seventh hit which goes to the left. Lofton is busy at left field. With that hit, the Indians bullpen is now active, with Jensen Lewis warming up.

9:22 PM – David Ortiz steps to the mound with Youkilis at second base. Ortiz looks at the first two pitches, which are balls.

9:23 PM – The third pitch is a called strike, and the fourth pitch to Ortiz is lined foul. It looked like it bounced off a fan. Cameras pan to the Red Sox bullpen, in which a procession of bells is occurring.

9:24 PM – Ball hit to the right side, playable to Ryan Garko. David Ortiz is out, but he advances Youkilis to third base.

9:25 PM – Eric Wedge decides that Manny Ramirez should get a free pass to first base. Westbrook intentionally walks Manny. Runners at the corners for Lowell with only one out.

9:26 PM – It seems like Westbrook is unable to find the strike zone. He pitches two consecutive balls to Lowell. If he allows a hit, then he should be pulled from the game.

9:27 PM – Ball in the air to right field. Playable by Gutierrez. Youkilis tags and scores. The Red Sox have now scored runs on a double play and a sacrifice play. Westbrook grimaced after giving up that sacrifice fly.

9:28 PM – Westbrook continues to pitch. A picket fence is going on the Green Monster scoreboard. It looks like this in right field: | | | , symbolizing one run for each of the first three innings so far.

9:29 PM – On a 3-1 pitch, Drew flies out to deep left. Lofton catches the ball right near the Green Monster. Inning is over, but not before another run comes home for the Red Sox.

4th Inning (Top)

9:32 PM – Asdrubal Cabrera pitches on the first pitch he sees, popping out to Julio Lugo.

9:33 PM – Travis Hafner is up. He has been immensely struggling so far, going 0-16, with ten strikeouts in those at bats. He needs to at least get a hit to get something going for Cleveland.

9:34 PM – Travis Hafner finally gets through and hits a ball off the Green Monster. Played by Manny Ramirez, and a stand-up double for Hafner. Hafner is the second Indian tonight in scoring position for Cleveland.

9:35 PM – Joe Buck mentions that the Indians have hit 0.311 over the first six games (ALDS and ALCS), but over the last four games they have hit only 0.213.

9:36 PM – Victor Martinez grounds out to Dice-K for the second out of the inning.

9:38 PM – Garko is up, but is quickly behind in the count, 0-2. Fourth pitch of the at bat is lined foul.

9:40 PM – Garko just lined his fourth consecutive ball foul. On the sixth pitch, Garko checks his swing. Crowd murmurs in anticipation of a strike. The count is 1-2.

9:41 PM – Great at bat going on right now, as Garko gets a piece of the seventh pitch thrown by Dice-K. Count still 1-2.

9:42 PM – Dice-K throws an intentional pitch outside, hoping Garko would bite. Garko looks at it, and the count is 2-2.

9:43 PM – On the ninth pitch, Garko doubles on a fly ball to center field, which bounces off the Green Monster. Travis Hafner scores from second base. Boston 3, Cleveland 1. Still two out in the inning.

9:44 PM – Dice-K is up against Peralta, who represents the tying run. The first three pitches to Peralta are a 91 MPH called strike, 83 MPH ball, and 90 MPH swinging strike.

9:45 PM – Dice-K is struggling a little bit in this inning, leaving the breaking balls up. The fourth pitch is fouled off, and the fifth pitch is called a ball. On the next pitch, Peralta hits a squibbler to Julio Lugo. Peralta is out at first base by six steps.

4th Inning (Bottom)

9:49 PM – Westbrook is still in the game. He leads off the inning against Varitek. The first three pitches thrown, ranging in speed from 76 MPH to 93 MPH, are balls.

9:50 PM – After a called strike and a foul ball, Varitek is facing a full count pitch. On the sixth pitch, Varitek gets on base with a hit toward left field. Boston hits to Kenny Lofton continue. Lofton is certainly getting a lot of exercise out there in left field.

9:51 PM – Eric Wedge is saying that “it takes a lot to get on track” if he pulls Westbrook now.

9:52 PM – Ellsbury appears to bunt. He’s got fire in his eyes.

9:53 PM – On the next pitch, Ellsbury lines into a force out. Ryan Garko puts a glove on the ball, but it bounces away from him. Varitek slides back to first base, but since the ball gets away, he continues running to second base. Varitek is thrown out at second base, while Ellsbury makes it to first base.

9:54 PM – Two pickoff attempts toward 1st base are unsuccessful. Julio Lugo looks at 91 MPH called strike.

9:55 PM – Lugo gets a base hit to center field. Because Ellsbury gets a jump on the ball, he winds up at third base. The Red Sox are threatening again.

9:56 PM – Westbrook has now given up nine hits in 3 and 2/3 innings. That’s most unacceptable. Dustin Pedroia is at the plate, with Youkilis on deck. Westbrook alternates between a strike and a ball to Pedroia.

9:57 PM – Another pickoff attempt at 1st base by Westbrook. Crowd scatters mild boos. The count is 1-2 to Pedroia after a foul ball.

9:58 PM – The count is 2-2 on a ball in the dirt by Westbrook. Westbrook is either not committing to the strike zone or is having second thoughts pitching to Pedroia.

9:59 PM – Pedroia hits a hard ball, but playable. Lugo gets out near second base on a tag from Cabrera, and Pedroia is out at first base. Another double play induced by Westbrook. However, I think Westbrook should not pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning.

5th Inning (Top)

10:02 PM – Lofton, 0-1 so far, leads off the inning. Kenny Lofton singles on a line drive off the Green Monster. Manny Ramirez plays it bare-handed, and throws to second baseman Pedroia. Kenny Lofton slides to second base, but is called out. Replays indicate that the left hand of Lofton touched the base before Pedroia’s tag was applied. However, Lofton didn’t try to argue. In retrospect, he should have argued. But this was clearly a bad call by the 2B umpire.

10:04 PM – Franklin Gutierrez singles on a ground ball to center field Jacoby Ellsbury. One out in the inning still.

10:05 PM – Dice-K pitches to Casey Blake. Dice-K is ahead in the count, 1-2. On the fourth pitch, Blakes serves a blooper to right field. Gutierrez advances to third base. Runners at the corners now.

10:06 PM – Boston’s pitching coach visits the mound. Dice-K will remain in the game. Tim McCarver says that Hideki Okajima should enter the game, and I agree.

10:07 PM – Grady Sizemore is up to bat. The first pitch is a 90 MPH called strike.

10:08 PM – Sizemore fooled on a “gyroball” from Dice-K. Sizemore is behind in the count 0-2. The Fenway faithful are alive and cheering.

10:09 PM – Chants of “Let’s go Red Sox!” are all over Fenway Park. After a pitch high for a ball, Sizemore fouls one off.

10:10 PM – Matsuzaka requests a new baseball. Sizemore hits a ball into center field, caught by Jacoby Ellsbury . It serves as a sacrifice fly, and brings Gutierrez home. The score is Boston 3, Cleveland 2. This was only the second RBI by Sizemore in the ALCS.

10:11 PM – Asdrubal Cabrera comes up to bat. Two quick called strikes bring the count to 0-2. Dice-K follows with a high 95 MPH heater for a ball.

10:13 PM – Cabrera hits two consecutive foul balls, the second of which was a monster shot just right of the Pesky Pole.

10:14 PM – Cabrera fights off the 1-2 count to stay alive.

10:15 PM – After three consecutive foul balls, Dice-K pitches a ball 2. This pitched looked like a third strike. Everyone in the infield, including Mike Lowell and Julio Lugo, took at least five steps forward to their dugout.

10:16 PM – Another pitch, another foul ball. A great at-bat by Cabrera right now. The ninth pitch of the at-bat is a high heater, at which Cabrera swings. Dice-K gets out of the inning with a strikeout. Dice-K gives up only 1 run in the inning. Score is Boston 3, Cleveland 2. This is a close game, with a few close calls for the pitchers.

5th Inning (Bottom)

10:19 PM – Surprisingly, Jake Westbrook continues to pitch. He is on a short lease, understandably.

10:21 PM – Westbrook strikes Youkilis out on five pitches. The third pitch in the series was particularly nasty, dropping all the way to the ground, and Youkilis chase like a dirty duck.

10:23 PM – David Ortiz comes up to bat. Pitch sequence is a ball, foul ball, swinging strike, and another foul ball. On the fifth pitch, at 89 MPH, David Ortiz grounds out to shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

10:24 PM – It’s back to Manny Ramirez. After a foul ball and a ball, Ramirez looks at a strike.

10:25 PM – Westbrook throws a beautiful 95 MPH fastball which Ramirez looks at, again. Manny is struck out, and he is not happy with it. Inning over for the Red Sox, who are still leading by a run.

6th Inning (Top)

10:29 PM – Hideki Okajima comes into the game in replacement of Dice-K. His first pitch is a strike. On the second pitch, he induces Hafner to fly out to Manny Ramirez, who catches the ball at the warning track.

10:30 PM – With one out, Victor Martinez is up. Okajima pitches with a wild head jerk toward third base. Tim McCarver says they tried to “get his head on straight” in Japan. However, he was ineffective in learning a new technique, and has resorted to his old ways in Boston.

10:31 PM – Okajima starts off with two balls to Martinez.

10:32 PM – The next pitches are strike, ball, and strike.

10:33 PM – The crowd goes wild as Martinez is facing a full count. Martinez flies out to J.D. Drew in right field, for the second out of the inning.

10:34 PM – With two out and no one on base, Ryan Garko is up. On the second pitch, Garko hits a ball toward Julio Lugo, who throws Garko out at first base. Inning over. Three up and three down for Okajima.

6th Inning (Bottom)

10:38 PM – Wow, Westbrook is still in the game. Betancourt is in warming up in the bullpen, however.

10:39 PM – A strike, a ball, and a swinging strike to Mike Lowell. On the fourth pitch, Mike Lowell looks for a called strike. Westbrook strikes out Lowell, and thus retires the fifth Red Sox player in a row.

10:40 PM – J.D. Drew is up to bat. On the fifth pitch, he lines it to the 2B Cabrera. Two out in the inning. Westbrook is pitching way better now than he did in the first four innings.

10:42 PM – A 1-1 count to Varitek after a swinging strike and a ball. The third pitch is fouled off.

10:43 PM – Westbrook currently has thrown 93 pitches, 55 of which are strikes.

10:44 PM – On the 94th pitch, it is a beauty which Varitek chases. Another strikeout for Westbrook, who is looking like a different pitcher on the mound. It’s an amazing transformation, it seems.

7th Inning (Top)

10:45 PM – This is turning out to be a great game. Very tight, and still wide open for either team.

10:46 PM – Peralta is up for the Indians, and swings at the first pitch he sees. After two balls, Peralta flies out to J.D. Drew in right field.

10:47 PM – Kenny Lofton pops a ball to right field. Lugo calls off Manny Ramirez. Lugo drops the ball! It hits the webbing of his glove. As a result, Kenny Lofton reaches second base. Smart baserunning by Lofton here.

10:50 PM – After a called strike to Gutierrez, and a runner at second base, Okajima throws a ball.

10:51 PM – The Indians are looking confident now. Westbrook has retired eight Red Sox players in a row. He appears to be using the changeup more effectively. Even though the Indians are still trailing by a run, there is hope in the Indians dugout.

10:52 PM – Gutierrez gets a piece from a 1-2 offering by Okajima. The Red Sox fans are cheering very loudly right now.

10:53 PM – Hard-hit ball! It crossed over the bag! However, the 3rd base coach, Joel Skinner, holds up Lofton at 3rd base. What a foolish decision! Why not risk it? Lofton, who is one of the fastest runners in the game, would have made it home.

10:54 PM – And there you have it. On the first pitch to Casey Blake, he grounds into a double play. Mike Lowell to Pedroia to Kevin Youkilis. What a shameful conclusion to the inning. Indians could have tied it up. Blame the 3rd base coach, Joel Skinner, on this one. Lofton didn’t want to run through the stop sign, but maybe he should have. Indians still down by a run.

7th Inning (Bottom)

10:55 PM – Pitching change: Rafael Betancourt repalces Jake Westbrook.

10:56 PM – Jacoby Ellsbury is up to bat against Betancourt. After two called strikes, a ball, and a foul, Ellsbury hits it to 3B. However, Casey Blake makes a fielding error, and Ellsbury reaches to second base. Looks like that Indians team is still in the top half of the inning.

10:58 PM – Julio Lugo advances Ellsbury to 3rd base on a beautiful sacrifice bunt.

11:00 PM – Pedroia is up to bat. First pitch is fouled off.

11:01 PM – On the second pitch, Pedroia BLASTS the ball to right field. It is a two run home run! Boston takes a three run lead. Boston 5, Cleveland 2. What a monster shot that was. Pedroia gets his first two RBIs of the ALCS. This was also Pedroia’s first postseason home run.

11:02 PM – Meanwhile, after a swinging strike by Youkilis, Youkilis grounds out to Johnny Peralta on the second pitch.

11:04 PM – David Ortiz, who seconds ago gave a massive hug to Pedroia, is at bat. According to MLB stat tracker, Betancourt is throwing the ball at 84 MPH with a PFX of 14″.

11:05 PM – Ortiz flies out on a ball to Kenny Lofton. Inning over, but not before two more runs score for Boston in the inning.

8th Inning (Top)

11:06 PM – Looks like things are breaking apart for Cleveland. Needless to say, they have a difficult two innings ahead of them right now. They are against the odds because they are going to be facing quality pitching from the Red Sox now.

11:08 PM – On the first pitch by Okajima, Grady Sizemore plants an amazing bunt. Youkilis plays it and throws it to Pedroia, but Sizemore is one step ahead of the base.

11:09 PM – Decision is to be made at the mound right now. Should Okajima continue pitching, or should Papelbon come into the game right now? It appears as though Francona is going to stick with Okajima for the moment.

11:10 PM – Interesting fact – Papelbon hasn’t had any six out saves this season. He has had a five out save, but no saves with six outs.

11:11 PM – After a pickoff attempt at 1B, he throws a called strike to Cabrera. On the third pitch, Cabrera singles on a ground ball to center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Grady Sizemore advances to second base.

11:12 PM – Coaching visit to the mound. Okajima’s night is done. Papelbon is coming in from the bullpen to try to get a six out save. He must get out of the 8th inning, first, however.

11:14 PM – Papelbon has no postseason saves. He is coming in to face Travis Hafner.

11:15 PM – First pitch from Papelbon is a blazing 98 MPH fastball, at which Hafner swings and misses.

11:16 PM – Second pitch is 99 MPH heater, which Hafner fouls off. The third pitch is a high heater at which Hafner swings and misses. Hafner is gone on three straight pitches. Average speed for those three pitches is over 98 MPH. Absolutely astounding.

11:17 PM – The crowd is pumped that Papelbon is in the game. Papelbon confirms his next pitch with Varitek.

11:18 PM – Victor Martinez grounds into a force out. What should have been a routine double play isn’t turned, as Julio Lugo has a difficult time exchanging the ball from the glove to his hand after receiving the ball from Pedroia. Grady Sizemore advances to 3rd base on the play.

11:19 PM – Another 98 MPH pitch, this time leading off to Garko. The next pitch by Papelbon is a ball outside the plate. On the third pitch, Papelbon throws his first slider. It is called a strike.

11:20 PM – The crowd is going nuts! On the fourth pitch, Garko flies out to Jacoby Ellsbury in center. Inning over.

11:20 PM – Joe Buck makes the mistakes in saying that the Red Sox lead by two. In fact, they lead by three. Yet another mistake by Joe Buck tonight. He and Tim McCarver have made at least four mistakes in announcements among them tonight.

8th Inning (Bottom)

11:24 PM – Manny Ramirez leads off the inning for Boston. Ramirez chases the first pitch, and pops it up to Cabrera. One away.

11:25 PM – Mike Lowell steps to the plate. First three pitches from Betancourt are a called strike, a ball, and a foul.

11:26 PM – Mike Lowell fouls off another pitch. On the next pitch, Lowell shoots a line drive into center field. Lowell is on with a stand-up double.

11:27 PM – J.D. Drew, last night’s hero, is up. He is hitless tonight so far.

11:28 PM – J.D. Drew looks at a 94 MPH ball, and then looks at an 85 MPH slider for a called strike. The next pitch is a 95 MPH ball, followed by another 95 MPH pitch which is fouled off. Interestingly, the PFX of Betancourt’s pitches ranges from 9″ to 13″.

11:29 PM – J.D. Drew stays alive on a 2-2 pitch by fouling it off.

11:30 PM – J.D. Drew lines a ball to center field. The ball is cut off, and Mike Lowell scores from second base. The score: Boston 6, Cleveland 2. All of a sudden, J.D. Drew is playing well! That was his sixth RBI in the last two games.

11:31 PM – Varitek steps up to the plate, and still there is only one out. Boston is looking to put this game away right here. I think they have already won this gam. It was over when the third base coach for the Indians halted Lofton at 3rd base.

11:32 PM – Oddly enough, Varitek tries to bunt with J.D. Drew on first base. The bunt goes foul.

11:33 PM – Betancourt throws the second pickoff attempt of the at-bat. The next pitch is up and away, for a 1-1 count.

11:34 PM – Joe Buck brings up an interesting point. In this Game 7, we’ve only seen five different pitchers so far. We didn’t see C.C. Sabathia or Josh Beckett, who both were available in the bullpen.

11:35 PM – Varitek is facing a 2-2 count. He watches as Betancourt throws the third pickoff attempt of the at-bat.

11:35 PM – Varitek pops the ball up. Peralta and Blake collide near the foul line in left field. The ball bounces off the ground for a ground-rule double. J.D. Drew advances to third base. Things are falling apart for the Indians (not that they haven’t already). It’s just things are getting worse than they were before.

11:36 PM – Now Jacoby Ellsbury is being intentionally walked.

11:37 PM – Eric Wedge jogs out of the dugout to have a chat with Betancourt, Victor Martinez, and the rest of the infield.

11:38 PM – The bases are loaded, with only one out, and Julio Lugo at the plate.

11:39 PM – First pitch to Lugo is fouled off. The Indians are playing with the infield in, primarily because Lugo can run very quickly.

11:40 PM – Betancourt tosses a ball to Lugo. I am not sure why the Indians don’t go with a different pitcher in this situation.

11:41 PM – Betancourt throws a fastball to Lugo, which Lugo chases, to bring the count to 1-2. The 1-2 pitch to Lugo is fouled back.

11:42 PM – On another 1-2 pitch, Lugo strikes out swinging. The pitch was 86 MPH with 5″ break and a PFX of 10″.

11:43 PM – The first pitch to Dustin Pedroia, a 95 MPH fastball, is lined toward center. The play clears the bases, as J.D. Drew, Jason Varitek, and Jacoby Ellsbury all come in to score. There are still two out in the game. That was Pedroia’s 5th RBI for the night. He is one awesome rookie. Boston 10, Cleveland 2.

11:44 PM – Eric Wedge comes to the mound, clearly frustrated, and takes Betancourt out of the game. Jensen Lewis is coming into the game. And now you have to critique Wedge here, who should have pulled Betancourt after he allowed the bases to load. The Indians are done, and they have themselves to blame. Bad hitting and bad coaching tonight. Even worse managing tonight.

11:45 PM – Fenway Park is literally shaking.

11:46 PM – Kevin Youkilis is facing Jensen Lewis. On the third pitch, Youkilis absolutely DESTROYS Lewis’s offering. The ball hits off the Coke bottle, way above the Green Monster. Holy crap, what a monster shot that was! Now the score: Boston 11, Cleveland 2.

11:47 PM – Boston has now outscored Cleveland 30 to 5 in the last three games. Wow, what a blow out! But this game was so close for six innings.

11:48 PM – The inning still continues as David Ortiz is batting. This game has turned from a nail biter to being absolutely ridiculous. Can the Indians just not show up for the ninth inning? Can they just resign right now? David Ortiz strikes out for the third out of the inning, but it doesn’t really matter. Boston has a freaking nine run lead going into the ninth.

9th Inning (Top)

11:51 PM – Boston has a defensive switch: Coco Crisp replaces left fielder Manny Ramirez to play center field. Jacoby Ellsbury is moved from center field to left field.

11:52 PM – Papelbon delivers a 97 MPH pitch to Peralta, at which Peralta swings and misses. The next two pitches are fouled off, and Papelbon is ahead 0-2.

11:53 PM – Peralta lines a ball to center field to get on first base. Kenny Lofton comes up to bat amid a shroud of boos from the Fenway Park crowd.

11:54 PM – Kenny Lofton swings at a first pitch to left field, but Ellsbury comes up with a diving catch! Beautiful grab by Ellsbury. This play will make the ESPN highlights tonight as a web gem.

11:55 PM – David Ortiz has his champagne goggles in place, ready to celebrate.

11:56 PM – Papelbon faces Gutierrez. The first pitch is a 98 MPH fastball, called for a strike. The second pitch is also 98 MPH, and Gutierrez flies out to Coco Crisp! Two out

11:57 PM – Casey Blake, on the first pitch, flies to center field. Coco Crisp has a long run, but he comes up with a basket catch!!! And the RED SOX WIN THE PENNANT! What a fitting conclusion to the game! Coco Crisp comes in limping in to celebrate.

11:58 PM – Let the celebrations begin! Coco Crisp appears to be all right. Caps are being given out immediately. The Indians are all watching the celebration from their dugout.

11:59 PM – Tonight’s player of the game is Dustin Pedroia, who had 5 RBIs.

12:00 AM – Manny Ramirez is being interviewed. He says that he is “Proud to be here.”

12:01 AM – Jonathan Papelbon is being interviewed. He got a six out save in this game, which are pretty rare these days.

12:05 AM – The AL Pennant award is being given out right now. The NL pennant award is much bigger in size.

12:08 AM – Theo Epstein is being interviewed right now. He is speaking as champagne is spraying around the the clubhouse.

12:10 AM – Josh Beckett, who went 2-0 in the ALCS, is presented the ALCS MVP Award. Beckett certainly deserves this MVP Award. Beckett is expected to start Game 1 of the World Series.

With tonight’s win, the Red Sox win their 12th American League Pennant. They look to win their second World Series Championship this year when they take on the Colorado Rockies starting Wednesday. It should be an exciting World Series! Check back here soon for more news from the 2007 MLB Playoffs.


~ by mlb2007playoffs on October 21, 2007.

One Response to “Live Blogging of ALCS Game 7”

  1. […] Live Blogging of ALCS Game 7 – the second game which I live-blogged. It’s long, but there are a few quotable gems in there. […]

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