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ALCS Game Four: Becks to the Wall

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A bobble and a drop. Last one. I swear.

I'm not quite sure what to write here.

The Red Sox just couldn't hit any Indians pitching tonight. Yes, they hit Paul Byrd hard (hard) but it was only twice. Manny Ramirez then hit Jensen Lewis hard (hard) but it wasn't enough.

Three home runs sounds like a lot. Sounds great, actually. If you told me the Sox hit three home runs tonight before the game started, I'd probably tell you the series is tied 2-2. But home runs don't win a game. It's the hits and walks before the home run that win the game.

I'm not really happy with Terry Francona's decision to yank Tim Wakefield when he did. Wake was certainly struggling, but I really think he would have been able to get the next out. I think starters work harder than relievers (in this case Manny Delcarmen) to get the outs when it's a big jam. I'm not saying Manny D didn't try hard, I just think it's natural for a pitcher like Wake to really bare down and get the outs.

You can throw the old line at me about pulling starters when they start to struggle in the playoffs, but I just don't agree with that. Four runs is four runs, but I'd rather see Wakefield get himself out of the jam then waste a guy out of the bullpen. I honestly think Wake would have stopped the bleeding and maybe pitched another inning if Francona allowed him to go.

It doesn't matter now though. All that matters is one game. Game five. Another showdown between the 2007 Cy Young winner and the runner-up. The "do-or-die game" for the Red Sox. If the Red Sox win this game, then all that matters is the next game. Game six. Rinse. Rather. Repeat.

It's up to you, Mr. Josh Beckett. We need our ace to win this game and we're not going to look anywhere else. We can't look anywhere else. You need to bring that flaming fastball and crooked curveball. We need the stopper to bring us back into this series.

Here's another thing we need: key hits. That hasn't happened for days. Dustin Pedroia, Julio Lugo, and JD Drew, to name a few, need to start getting on-base. Everyone else I didn't note: just hit the ball.

And one more message, this one to all of Red Sox Nation: keep the faith. This series is not over.