The Red Sox got a pair of home runs from a rookie making his first Major League start behind the plate, and needed both of them as they barely hung on for an 8-7 win in Baltimore last night. The win kept Boston tied with Tampa for the Wild Card playoff berth heading into tonight’s regular season finale.

If the Red Sox can somehow win two games in a row – something they haven’t done all month – they will very likely have to play again tomorrow in a one-game playoff with the Tampa Bay Rays, who are playing a resting Yankees squad tonight.

All square – Peter Abraham looks at things all tied up, with one to go.

Red Sox not closing book yet – Gordon Edes looks at what could be the final chapter in this Wild Card chase. Rob Bradford says that there is no one the Red Sox would rather have save their season than Jon Lester. Christopher Smith says that it is time to put up or shut up. John Tomase says that despite the collapse, this stretch run has been very exciting. Steve Buckley says that forgiveness can only come with a Wild Card berth.

Ryan Lavarnway Does More Than the Average Fill-In, Carries Red Sox Offense in Crucial Victory – Tony Lee looks at the 24-year-old rookie from Yale who may have saved the Red Sox season. Joe McDonald looks at the impressive performance both at and behind the plate for the rookie.  Alex Speier says that Lavarnway was well-prepared for this position. Scott Lauber has the rookie getting his homework done before the game. Sean McAdam has the rookie happy to contribute.

Sox in trouble even if they make ALDS – Sean McAdam doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the Sox if they somehow survive today and tomorrow.

I suppose I should comment on the trash submitted by Globe columnist Brian McGrory this morning. Entitled These Red Sox not a good fit for Boston, the column says

If you’re whining, moaning, wailing, or crying, get yourself a grip. This store-bought team never reflected Boston. It never paid homage to what the city and the Red Sox have traditionally been. This team, in short, never had a story and never had a narrative arc. If it did, it would read as follows: We should win more games because we spent more money.

He also lists off all the free agent busts of the last few years. I’m wondering though, what exactly makes this team any different from 2004 or 2007. Both of those teams had about the same or perhaps even less homegrown talent than this one has.

This column smacks of the ESPN the Magazine storyline of what New Englanders are, their puritanical and thrifty roots, and how all that in some way, shape, or form relates to how we cheer for our sports teams. Sports these days is all about spending money. The team that is ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East standings is the one that spent more money than they did. You can say that this team is not likeable, that’s a valid argument perhaps, but not a good fit for Boston? Had they sailed into the postseason without any issues would this column have been written?

Ironman now Alfredo Aceves’ role – Where would the Red Sox be without the Yankees castoff? Lauber’s notebook has the reliever shining for the third game in a row. The Globe notebook from Peter Abraham has more on Aceves, as do the CSNNE.com notes from Sean McAdam. The Red Sox Journal has Terry Francona shuffling up his lineup last night.

And yes, you did hear Mike and Lap Dog trashing Jacoby Ellsbury for four hours yesterday. He’s not their type of player. Not enough of a Trot Nixon-like “Dirt dog.” Leave it to Matty in the Morning on Kiss 108 this morning to take Felger to task, mentioning the irony of Felger and his “musical theatre” background calling Ellsbury a pretty boy…

Seymour leads Raiders revival – Ron Borges looks at how the former Patriot has transformed the entire Oakland franchise and brought it back to its nasty roots. Chris Forsberg says to get ready for the ‘what-ifs’ in regards to Seymour.

What might have been: Bill Belichick, Oakland Raider? – Christopher Price notes that Al Davis interviewed Belichick for his head coaching spot twice during the 1990s.

Bill Belichick’s Job Interview With Raiders Spurred Patriots’ Dynasty and 19 Other Thoughts – Jeff Howe also touches on the interview in his 20 thoughts for the week.

Patriots didn’t have things covered in the secondary – In reviewing the loss to the Bills, Greg A Bedard notes that once again, the big issues were with the secondary.

First Impressions – Oakland Raiders – Greg Doyle looks at some key Raiders and what they’re saying out in Oakland. Greg A. Bedard also looks at the Raiders. Glen Farley says that the Raiders and Patriots are unfamiliar foes.

Nowhere to run for Patriots – Karen Guregian says that the Patriots need to get their running game going.

More roster turnover – Mark Farinella says that all the shuffling of the roster is an indication that Bill Belichick has no idea where is team is headed.  

Deion Branch OK with pattern changes – Guregian’s notebook has the receiver insisting all is good after getting shut out on Sunday. The Globe notebook from Monique Walker has the Oakland running game presenting a big test for the New England defense. The Patriots Journal notes that the Raiders prowess running the ball goes against league trends. The Enterprise notebook from Glen Farley has the Raiders preparing for a ‘finesse team’ in the Patriots.

Bruins roster takes shape – Stephen Harris has the defending champs starting to get their lines settled.

Room to go, and to grow, at center – Fluto Shinzawa has second-year center Tyler Seguin giving the Bruins from options at center.

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8 thoughts on “Red Sox Do It The Lavarnway

  1. So my 11 year old daughter asked me this morning why I was so agitated by the Red Sox. In her lifetime they had won 2 world series and been to the playoff 5 times. I explained to her that prior to 2004 every season ended like this one is going. Promise in the spring and early summer then disappointment. I explained to her about Bucky "bleepin" Dent and the ball rolling through Buchner's legs. We talked about how the Sox ownership under the Yawkey's was content to be second best to the Yankees. But mainly we talked about how this team, with new owners and what appeared to be competent management was on the verge of creating a new legacy. Giving up a 9 game lead with 21 to play. Its just exacerbating.

    Yesterday I could not listen to Felger and Mazz because they were focused on the wrong thing. That "heart" argument is silly. It might work for a game or two but in the end to only win 5 games in September…as a team you have to shut down. At the same time I could not listen to Big O and Holley because they want mock what is going on rather than be objectively critical of Tito, Theo and the players.

    It has been a roller coaster these past few days one that has 2 more "wickid" drops in it. If the sox hold on and make it to the playoffs…great…$180 mill can buy happiness even if it is only fleeting. If they complete the collapse…then we all can hand wring all winter as us "true" Sox were taught to do by our fathers and grandfathers years ago.

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  2. So Borges – who crapped all over drafting Seymour – now credits him with turning Oakland's entire franchise around?

    Is there anything he won't twist into a subtle dig on BB?

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    1. I wish this was Facebook so that I could like your comment. Borges’s legacy as a football writer boils down to plagarism, mindless and baseless claims that BB is overrayed, and portraying the Raiders as the model franchise. Impressive.

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    1. So you want the bitter Blue Hats (my name for those raspy, old sports radio callers who claim to been following the team before in invention of the light bulb.) to take over Fenway? Why can't people around here accept a younger, more upbeat faction within their own fanbase?

      It's like Stephen King said, "Massachusetts is a strange, angry little place".

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  3. What a surreal night of baseball in Baltimore and St. Petersburg. From the Sox up 3-2 when the heavens opened at Camden Yards to the Rays down 7-0 with six outs to go…and then to a rollercoaster of emotions culminating in Papelbon blowing the save at the stroke of midnight, followed moments later by a stroke from Longoria that just cleared the Trop's dinky little leftfield fence…fascinating and frustrating all at the same time.

    To bring this around to the local sports media, it feels like WEEI has been experiencing the equivalent of a 7-20 Sox September for the last two years. Now for the second straight October there will be no Red Sox broadcasts. Seems like a marriage made in heaven – a baseball team that assumed they couldn't miss the playoffs airing on a radio station that assumed they couldn't lose their #1 ranking.

    Also odd that the Sox haven't won a single playoff game since The Sports Hub went on the air, yet the Bruins have won a Stanley Cup…go figure.

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