I noticed a subtlety in Jerry Crasnick’s write-up of last night’s absolutely inSANE game between the Red Sox and Rays—Game 2, in which the Rays tied the series 1-1 after pulling off a walk-off win in the 11th against Mike Timlin. (Why does Terry Francona bring in Timlin in extra innings anymore?? As soon as he comes in, I just know the game is over. I just know it. And the frat guys who live upstairs know it. And the waitress at Kelly’s Diner on the corner knows it. That guy from Sullivan Tire knows it. Mayor Menino knows it. My dog knows it. And, in fact, I suspect Mike Timlin knows it. Because all across New England, EVERYONE KNOWS THE GAME IS OVER WHEN MIKE TIMLIN COMES IN. I know he’s a lovely human being, and I know Terry Francona wants to show faith in his players, but come on. He’s shot. It’s over. Hand the ball to someone else. ANYONE ELSE. Even Paul Byrd! Even Tim Wakefield! At least with Wake, you have a 50-50 chance the pitch could float in for a strike.)
J.D. Drew, who had been plunked on his throwing shoulder by a 95 mph Grant Balfour fastball in the series opener, uncorked a weak throw up the third base line, and Perez scored easily to send the Rays into a celebratory frenzy.
“As soon as I drew my arm back to throw and follow through, I got that good charley horse from where I got drilled in the shoulder last night,” Drew said. “I didn’t have the best grip on the ball, so it kind of sailed a little bit to the right. I knew I had to be perfect. And when I released it, I knew it wasn’t.”
Beckett obliged reporters and answered questions at his locker after the game, but he was cryptic and tight-lipped about his performance and his health status. While the oblique injury appears to have transformed him from John Smoltz version 2.0 to Mr. Rocked-tober, he’s not about to use health problems as an excuse. And he still sounds like a guy who plans to pitch when his turn in the rotation comes around again in Game 6.
“I’m fine,” Beckett said at least four times during a two-minute interview. “It’s just frustrating when your team scores eight runs and you can’t win the [bleeping] game.”
I dunno, JD. Beckett’s badassery sounds pretty, well, badass, compared to your “explanation.” And Dustin MVPedroia played last October with a cracked hamate and we didn’t even know about it until later. And yet you’re blaming your weak-ass two-hopper on an HBP? That’s a thing that makes me go “hmm.”
But here, in the Boston Globe, is this conflicting report: “Drew didn’t make any excuses and didn’t lean on a recurring back problem or the throwing shoulder that got drilled by Grant Balfour in Game 1.”