You are getting this column a day later than you were supposed to, and for that, I apologize.
On a typical week, I hand in my weekly Red Sox column for Over The Monster on Sunday night after I’ve had some time to digest everything that has happened with the team throughout the week. I break down all the games, decide if it was a good or bad week, then I hop on the computer and just start pouring all of my Red Sox thoughts onto a blank document.
This past Sunday, however, I goofed up. The Red Sox had already won three of four games from the Yankees at Fenway Park. On Sunday Night Baseball, they were going for an improbable four-game sweep to stretch their lead in the AL East to a whopping 9.5 games. It was David Price taking the mound against Masahiro Tanaka. My fingers were crossed for a sweep, but my hopes weren’t up too high; sweeping the Yankees, especially in a four-game set, is just too hard to do.
Price came through in a big way, pitching six scoreless innings and lasting into the seventh with a 1-0 lead. But after he put a few runners on, Heath Hembree came into the game to relieve Price and gave that lead right up, with a little help from Xander Bogaerts. Before I even knew exactly what had happened, it was 4-1 Yankees. Okay, great.
This is where I messed up. Like I said, the sweep seemed too implausible, even though the Yankees were totally running on fumes (and you could see it in their faces). With the Sox down by three in the seventh, it kept feeling more and more like it just wasn’t their night, and to be completely honest, I was 100 percent OK with just taking three out of four. Nobody was going to hear a peep out of me.
I was planning on writing another “Quick-Hit Thoughts” column about the Yankees series, seeing as how we had seen plenty of exciting things over the four games, like Steve Pearce’s three-homer game, and Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi turning into Cy Porcello and Cy Eovaldi for a weekend. And since it felt like Sunday’s game was close to being over, I went ahead and started writing in the seventh inning.
By the time the bottom of the ninth inning rolled around, I had more than 800 words down about what a tremendous weekend it was for the Sox. They had won three out of four games against the Yankees during a series in which Chris Sale didn’t even pick up the baseball. They were coming out of the weekend and heading to Toronto with a 7.5-game gap between them and the Yankees. That was pretty darn good.
I looked up for a moment. Aroldis Chapman was on the mound for New York with two outs, the bases were loaded, and J.D. Martinez was at the plate. Almost instantly, he drilled a line drive straight into center field to score two, and then Xander Bogaerts hit a grounder to third base for what should’ve ended the game, but the Yankees couldn’t make the play at first. Bogaerts was safe, Jackie Bradley Jr. scored from second base, and we were all tied up 4-4.
I nearly dropped my laptop. I was stunned, even though I shouldn’t have been, because this Red Sox team is resilient on so many different levels. They are truly a one of a kind team that any baseball fan is lucky to watch, even if they aren’t a Red Sox fan.
I looked down at the open Word Document on my laptop… at the 800-plus words I had just written… for nothing. I couldn’t really formulate any thoughts, other than… Cody, you are a complete and total IDIOT.
One inning later, though, I didn’t even care. I was on the edge of my seat as Andrew Benintendi hit a little chopper back up the middle to score Tony Renda from second. Game over. Red Sox 5, Yankees 4. Walk-off. SWEEP!
Matt Vasgersian, on the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast, then said one of the truest lines I’ve heard in a while: “Andrew Benintendi has cemented his status as one of the biggest villains in the Bronx that this rivalry has seen as a long time.”
Does it get any better than that?
I highlighted the 800-plus words in my Word document and pressed DELETE. Once again, I was sitting before a blank document. But at that point, I had been so blown through the roof that I just couldn’t write anything. I didn’t even know what to write. I was struggling to form coherent sentences, and I figured if I tried to put anything into writing, it would just come out as some sort of three-year-old gibberish. I had to take the night off and collect myself.
So that’s why I’m writing this the day after, and why you’re getting this column a day late. Again, I apologize. The Red Sox did this to me. A valuable lesson has been learned: never start writing until the game is over. I won’t make that mistake again. Not with this Sox team.
By the way, this Red Sox team is amazing and I love them. I love this Red Sox team.
And with that, we are off to Canada.