The Boston Red Sox are headed to their second World Series in four years after a rousing 11-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the American League Championship Series last night at Fenway Park. Dustin Pedroia picked up five RBI in the last three innings of the game to break open what had been a close game. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched five decent innings, while Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon each pitched a pair of scoreless innings in relief.
David Scott has a look at the local post-game coverage, including more antics from Butch Stearns.
Dan Shaughnessy has the cover story for the Globe, as the Sox won their seventh consecutive elimination game. Jeff Horrigan has the Sox returning to the World Series with a vengeance, having “humiliated the Indians in every sense” in coming back from a 3-1 series deficit. Gordon Edes observes that there were a lot of different paths which led to this result for the Red Sox. Joe McDonald says that this is a team that was built for the postseason and World Series, and now it is headed there. Jeff Goldberg says that last night all the bubbly belonged to the Red Sox, while only the bitter taste of heartbreak returned to Cleveland. Art Davidson has the Sox series-bound once more. Jon Couture says that the Sox earned this trip to the Series. Joe Haggerty has the Sox getting past a pesky Indians squad to earn another World Series berth.
Tony Massarotti examines how the Red Sox are creating a new tradition, one that has nothing to do with past failure. Sean McAdam says that there is really nothing to be afraid of with these Red Sox anymore. Jeff Jacobs says that these are certainly not our father’s Red Sox. Bob Ryan calls this “about the most tension-filled rout I’ve ever seen.” (and what’s with the “Omigawd” in there…twice?) Rob Bradford has a look at the seventh inning, a frame he calls “the most memorable inning of the Sox’ season.” Bill Burt notes that this is what it was like to be a Yankees fan all those years. Steve Solloway has the Sox right back where they belong.
Nick Cafardo has GM Theo Epstein enjoying his success and taking pride in the accomplishments of the Red Sox over the last five years. Buckley notes that some of Epstein’s controversial moves from last offseason paid off big in this ALCS. Michael Silverman has Terry Francona managing his bullpen perfectly last night, not needing to use Josh Beckett or any other starters in relief. Bill Reynolds says that it is not easy to make it to the World Series, and for the Red Sox to be going twice in four years is an incredible accomplishment. Alex Speier looks at an amazing five year ride for Red Sox fans.
Amalie Benjamin has rookie Dustin Pedroia coming up huge for the Red Sox in the clutch last night. Steve Buckley has more on the undersized Pedroia standing tall in the clincher for the Sox. McDonald also has a look at Pedroia, noting that the rookie had a bit of a sinister laugh while talking about his home run last night. Rom Chimelis has Pedroia having a blast in game seven. Brown has more on the Red Sox Rookie of the Year candidate coming through in a big way the last two games. Alan Greenwood has Pedroia getting a chance to break out his seldom-seen home run trot last night.
Steven Krasner says that while Dice-K still struggled last night, he did end up with better results. Massarotti says that Daisuke Matsuzaka did just enough to help the Sox to victory last night. McAdam says that last night was Matsuzaka’s best outing of October, which isn’t saying a whole lot, really. David Brown, however, says that Dice-K came through when it counted for the Sox. Reynolds says that it was karma and inevitability which led to Dice-K being on the mound to start game seven.
Kevin Paul Dupont has Kevin Youkilis continuing to swing a hot bat in the postseason. McAdam says that the mood was low-key in the clubhouse prior to last night’s game, especially in comparison to the 2004 edition. Speier notes however, that on the field, these Sox never go quietly into the night. Jeff Howe says that the Red Sox were just the better team for the last three games. Kevin Thomas has the Sox accomplishing their mission last night. Greenwood says that last night was another one for the ages.
Shaughnessy has Kevin Millar coming back to inject a little 2004 feeling into the night, as well to provide some comic relief for his ex-teammates. Bradford notes that as far as it can be determined, the Red Sox are the first team in baseball history to trot out an active player from another team to throw out the first pitch of a postseason game. McDonald has more on Millar coming in, and asks who’s next? Doug Mientkiewicz?
Daniel Malloy looks at the method behind the madness of the clubhouse celebrations. Reynolds says that home-field advantage certainly does matter in the baseball postseason. Dan Lamothe says shame on us for ever doubting the Red Sox. Dupont has celebrated artist Thomas Kinkade doing some work at Fenway yesterday during the day. John C. Drake looks at the celebration after the game in the streets of Boston.
Edes’ notebook has Josh Beckett being named ALCS MVP for his dominant outings in the series. Horrigan’s notebook has Beckett focused on the bigger prize of the next round. The Projo notebook has Francona keeping Jacoby Ellsbury in the lineup for the second straight night. Chimelis’ notebook has more on Beckett collecting the MVP. Couture’s notebook has more on Millar coming back to Fenway.
Jim McCabe has an Indians rally getting snuffed up after Kenny Lofton was held at third on a ball on which he could’ve scored easily. Dom Amore has more on the Indians chances getting stopped at third base. Daniel Malloy has Jake Westbrook settling in and finding his groove last night.
Cafardo has Indians pitcher Paul Byrd defending his use of HGH, while Silverman has Byrd disappointed with the timing of the news about his HGH purchases, with some whispers going around about possible conflicts with George Mitchell, Major League Baseball’s independent investigator on performance enhancing drugs being a member of the Red Sox front office. Kevin McNamara also has Byrd upset with the timing of this. Amore has Byrd insisting that the HGH was prescribed by a doctor for a medical condition.
Get more angst from Cleveland from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
McCabe’s notebook has Indians manager Eric Wedge sticking his guns as far as his quotes about it not mattering where the games were played.
The Patriots continued their march through the NFL schedule with a 49-28 dismantling of the Miami Dolphins. Tom Brady threw six touchdown passes in the win, which put the Patriots at 7-0.
Karen Guregian says that the Patriots showed little mercy on the winless fish yesterday afternoon. Christopher L. Gasper says that even 35 years later, the ’72 Dolphins might’ve been better competition for the Patriots yesterday. Mark Farinella says that the Patriots brought their own afternoon thunderstorm to south Florida yesterday. Ian M. Clark notes that the Patriots defense lost a little intensity in the blowout, but that is about the only negative you can come away from yesterday with. David Heuschkel has more on Brady’s record-setting 6 TD performance. Shalise Manza Young has the Patriots pulling off a bit in the second half.
Mike Reiss looks at the amazing performance of Randy Moss, who just went up and grabbed two long touchdown passes despite being doubled teamed both times. Christopher Price has his 10 Things We Learned Yesterday. Jim Donaldson acknowledges that these are tough times on the Patriots beat.
Michael Felger asserts that there was “no excuse for the display of football the Dolphins put forth” yesterday afternoon against the Patriots. Jackie MacMullan pulls a phrase from her childhood to describe yesterday’s Patriots performance: they smucked them. John Tomase has Brady picking up more ground on Peyton Manning’s TD record.
Rich Garven and Dave Brousseau have Wes Welker burning his old team yesterday with another pair of touchdown catches. Guregian has Laurence Maroney getting back out on the field. Felger compiles the best and worst from yesterday’s game. Andy Kent says that the Dolphins defense just had no answers for the Patriots yesterday. Young weighs in with the game analysis from each side of the ball. Young notes that one Patriot did have a bad day – Matt Cassel.
Reid Laymance and Brousseau examine Willie Andrews bring back a 77-yard kickoff return after Miami had scored to make it a 14-7 Patriots lead. Farinella notes that Andrews got his moment in the sun with the return. Heuschkel notes that Andrews made the most of the rare opportunity with the return. Donaldson says that it was an impressive run for a guy better known for making tackles than breaking them.
Guregian’s notebook has Kyle Brady getting in on the scoring act over the last two weeks. Gasper’s notebook finds the Patriots fourth quarter QB shuffle interesting. Farinella’s notebook has Maroney seeing light duty in his return to action. Young’s notebook has more records falling yesterday afternoon in Miami.