CC Sabathia wasn't supposed to last just 4.1 innings. Sabathia wasn't supposed to give up eight runs. The Red Sox weren't supposed to throw around the Indians for 10 runs like Pedro Martinez did to Don Zimmer in 2003.
But, like we all know, baseball isn't scripted, no matter how magical some at-bats, innings, games, or seasons seem to be. Baseball is a game of numbers. A "may the best player win" type of game. Tonight, we may have seen the best pitcher win.
I said tonight's game featured the 2007 American League Cy Young Award winner and the runner-up. Which one's which? I don't really know. That's for you to decide.
No matter which pitcher takes the honors home in November, I believe we saw the better pitcher win tonight's game. Josh Beckett may not win any awards, but he has done something Sabathia hasn't this post-season: pitch like a Cy Young winner.
Actually, he's done it twice.
We've been waiting for this pitching match-up since the playoffs started. Every Red Sox, Indians and baseball fan has salivated in preparation of these two great pitchers toeing the rubber in the same game. We saw it tonight, but it was obvious who came out on top.
Beckett was really good tonight. He didn't match his performance from the ALDS opener against the Angels, but he didn't need to. He didn't need to pitch nine innings of no-run baseball. All he had to do was pitch six quality innings and hand it off to the bullpen to get some work in. He did exactly what the Red Sox needed.
In six innings, Beckett struck out seven while giving up just four hits, two runs and walking none. He threw just 80 pitches. Just 80! He could have easily pitched at least one more inning (maybe two) but the Sox didn't need him to or really want him to. Terry Francona figured Beckett could take a nice rest since the Sox were up 10-2.
Should we talk about the offense? Do we need to? Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz combined to go 4-for-4 with four runs, three RBI and five walks. Red Sox MVP Mike Lowell went 1-for-3 himself with three RBI and a walk.
Oh yeah, walks. The Sox had eight of them. The Indians had two.
Bobby Kielty starting in right field turned out to be a good decision. Kielty hit a bases-loaded single in the fifth to knock in two runs for himself. Captain Jason Varitek also had two RBI.
Once the Sox scored eight, I had to ask myself a question: can we save some of these runs to use against Fausto Carmona on Saturday? I mean, Bud Selig has to consider it, doesn't he? It's only fair considering Carmona cheats by throwing a 96 mph sinker. OK, it's technically not cheating, but that should be illegal.
Speaking of Carmona, the baseball magicians better start warming up their fingers for Saturday's showdown. They're going to have to whip up a doozy of a script to keep Carmona down.
Let's hope we see the same script tomorrow.