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It was not all that long ago when I, along with about 99% of Red Sox Nation, would have been happy with a .500 season and perhaps a Jon Lester bobble head giveaway. It’s strange to think that two years ago at this time, any such giveaway would have resulted in a mass showering of the before mentioned resemblance upon the field at Fenway, as Mr. Lester, and his beer and chicken consuming teammate, Mr. Lackey, were far from fan favorites. Now, as visions of duck boat parades dance through our heads, the Sox are preparing for ALCS, and will be looking to the duo to continue their season of redemption.

But, although they nearly fulfilled my prediction of taking three straight from the Rays in the ALDS, I have to say I was left feeling a little concerned by some unanswered questions regarding Mr. Lackey and Mr. Buchholz. Neither of them were what I would call effective. Lackey was given the start of game two so he would be pitching in Fenway and he barely made it through 5.1 innings. Although he got the win, a stronger lineup probably would have knocked him out earlier. As it was he gave up 4 runs, on 7 hits and 3 walks. Buchholz’s stats were similar as he gave up 3 runs, on 7 hits, and 3 walks, in his 6 innings on the mound. Other than James Loney, who was at .500 going into the fourth game, and Evan Longoria’s big 3 run homer, Tampa Bay’s offense was less than impressive, and in general not very timely. And then there’s Wil Myers, whose .063 (1 for 16) would stand out more if her hadn’t set the tone for game one with his total misplay of Papi’s ground rule double early in the series.

Just about the time I finish typing this, Red Sox Nation should know who their opponent will be in the ALCS. I think Oakland may be the better matchup for the Sox, in part because their spacious coliseum is a better venue for Lackey’s next performance. (A better place to throw a fly ball pitcher.) In addition, their having to go game five and then travel to the East coast, has got to make things a bit more difficult for the A’s. There are some people who believe that facing the Tigers with a less than 100% Miguel Cabrera is preferable, but I fear that they may posses a little too much power pitching to make for a favorable matchup. At any rate, I’m guessing the Sox in 5, unless Detroit wins, then I’m going with Boston in 7, with Buchholz going in game 2.

(UPDATE: The Tigers beat the A’s, and nearly no-hit the Sox in a 1-0 Game 1 win, but Boston rebounded with a miraculous come from behind win late in Game 2 to even up the series.)

HUBLET ALERT#1: (4-2)

Will Gronk ever return? (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)
Will Gronk ever return? (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Can somebody please explain to me why Rob Gronkowski was carried on the roster if he wasn’t going to play until game 6 ? I have to believe that Coach Bill expected him back sooner than that otherwise he never would have wasted that spot on the 53 man roster. At any rate, I doubt that he’s going to be enough of a factor for the Pats to beat the Saints, and they will likely fall to 4-2. (UPDATE: Gronkowski continued to sit out in Week 6, but the Pats eeked out an exciting win in the last minute of the game.)

HUBLET ALERT#2: SHORT MEMORIES

Have Giants fans gone off the deep end? (Mike Stone/Reuters)
Have Giants fans gone off the deep end? (Mike Stone/Reuters)

I was surprised to hear on a couple of the sports talk shows I listen to, the  questions being raised as to whether or not Giants’ Coach Tom Coughlin should be fired now, and if they should go for the first pick in the May draft, and use it for a quarterback. (It’s interesting how quickly the discussion around Eli went from is he elite, to should he be replaced.) I would have thought those questions, if appropriate, might have waited  for the end of the season. Maybe I was most surprised, given the Giants history over the last six years or so, that so many people were so willing to completely count them out. Anyway, stay tuned…

Featured image courtesy of: Ally Thibault/Suffolk Journal

Jerry Ballgame

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.

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