It was a great night to be a fan of the Boston teams last night, especially if you were among the throng at Professor Thom's pub in the Village. There was a huge crowd in to watch the Red Sox-Orioles game as well as the Celtics Game 6 matchup with the Detroit Pistons.
The day started off with some bad news for the Red Sox on Friday, as Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the 15-day DL with soreness in the right rotator cuff. It doesn't sound serious, as it appears the Red Sox want to rest him. He will probably just miss two starts, and he will be replaced by either Justin Masterson or Clay Buchholz for the start on Tuesday night against Tampa Bay.
It was a bizarre night at Camden Yards, as the Red Sox opened with two runs in the first to take a fast lead. But in the second, with a man on third and one out, Terry Francona put on the suicide squeeze, with Alex Cora at the plate. Cora missed the bunt, and Coco Crisp was a dead duck. I can't remember the last time Tito tried that play. Granted the Sox have been hurting for runs lately, and Cora is a good bunter. I just hate that play, especially as the Orioles were playing the infield in at the time. And for the next ten innings, the Red Sox couldn't put a run across the plate.
Baltimore tied it on an unearned run and a home run by Aubrey Huff. Josh Beckett pitched six innings and struggled a bit, and went just six innings. The stars of the game was the Red Sox bullpen, who pitched six shutouts innings last night. Even Mike Timlin got through the 12th inning, as he got Ramon Hernandez to fly out with the bases loaded to end the inning. (As he was at the plate, I had flashbacks to the 2003 ALDS Game 1, as he won that game in the 12th inning with a bunt single with two outs against Derek Lowe. Spooky.)
As the Celtics were celebrating the first appearance in the NBA Finals since 1986 with a 89-81 victory, the Red Sox finally came through in the 13th due to some shoddy Orioles defense. Mike Lowell drove in one run with a single, and Coco Crisp's grounder that Freddie Bynum threw away brought in two more runs.
It was a win the Red Sox desperately needed, as the bad run of road losses was beginning to mount. And congratulations to the Celtics, and I can still hear the chants of "Beat LA! Beat LA!" cascading throughout the bar.
It was a great night to be a Boston fan, no matter where you took in the action.