Morning Answers to Questions Nobody Asked

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Each morning during the playoffs, we'll attempt to answer some questions about the playoff games that absolutely nobody asked. This could be helpful and fun or this could be painful and uninformative. Either way, it's another listicle in the listicle-ful sportsblogosphere.

  • What the heck happened there? I don't know. Nobody knows. Nobody can explain how the team with the best bullpen in the American League all of a sudden let their slumping opponent suddenly wake up and decide to start pouring on eight runs in three innings. Unless of course, you want to peg it as pure unmitigated luck. Yes, the Red Sox have some good hitters. Yes, even the Rays bullpen messes up once in a while. But if you don't believe that last night's events had less than a one-in-a-trillion chance of happening, then you're out of touch. That wasn't supposed to happen like that but it was absolutely amazing. And now we have more LCS action!

  • So who was right in this argument? Still too soon to tell, but with Scott Kazmir pitching one of the best games in his career in the single biggest moment of his life, I'm giving the advantage to Rob. Joe Maddon made the right call by starting Kazmir in that game, and despite the enormous bullpen failure, I'm calling that point/counterpoint in favor of the Clooneyest one among us. We'll know for sure when James Shields throws a 27 strikeout perfect game on Saturday night.

  • How awesome is the Fangraph for this game? Take a look at the Red Sox' odds of winning during the seventh innings stretch. They had a zero percent chance of coming back. Zero. That means they defied the biggest odds mathematically possible in their comeback. Take a look at play log, sorted by win probability added. J.D. Drew had two of the three biggest plays in the game by a country mile. We can almost ignore every single home run the Rays hit in their three games at Fenway because Drew has singlehandedly thrown himself to the top of the list of MVP candidates with his performance.

  • What are the Red Sox chances to win the whole bag of potatoes now? The team is still on life support. They're most likely sending the crippled body of Josh Beckett out on the mound Saturday night in their own personal hell, the Tropicana Dome, where they've won just one game out of their last 283 contests. Outside of three fantastic innings, their offense has been about as efficient as a sportsblogger at his day job. Worst of all, people actually think they can win this thing now. If I were Tito Francona, I would overmanage this ALCS a bit and throw Jon Lester to the mound in Game Six. It's a must win game, and he'd feel pretty dumb leaving the third-best pitcher in the American League on the bench while Beckett gets pounded like a veal cutlet out there.

  • What are you doing Saturday night? WRONG! You're coming online for the Game Six liveglog starring Sooze of Babes Love Baseball.

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How many people feel like idiots for leaving Fenway and/or going to bed before the thing ended?

At least 1. this guy.
/points at self

Folks who left Fenway early last night have been permanently banned from coming back. I heard it from someone who heard it from his sister who heard it from Marblemouth Menino himself.

Can't we just ban all Red Sox fans from everything?

/ducks CTC haymaker

Great. Now I get to mope around until Saturday thinking about last year.

JD Drew for MVP?
I feel sick.
Pass the Pepto.

It wasn't supposed to happen, but it did. Those Rays relievers looked like 13 year old schoolgirls in a bad part of town.

Joe Maddon has got to feel GREAT about going to his bullpen again.

Seriously, 8 runs in 3 innings? WTF? Give back all your stinking paychecks and apply for a job at Wendy's.

"If I were Tito Francona, I would overmanage this ALCS a bit and throw Jon Lester to the mound in Game Six. It's a must win game"

That wouldn't make any sense.

1) Lester would go on short rest.
2) There is no difference in importance for the Red Sox between game 6 and game 7. They have to win both. Yes, you can't play game 7 until you win game 6, but what's the difference if you lose in 6 or 7 games (besides a few more dollars for your team?)
3) So you pitch Lester on short rest in game 6. Then who goes in game 7? The aforementioned corpse of Josh Beckett? How 'bout Tim Wakefield?

I would put Beckett in in game 6, keep him on an extremely short leash, throw your bullpen to tatters if you have to to win it, then trust in Lester to take care of business in game 7, by which point the Rays' sphincters will be so tight they can use them as bottle openers.

I hate to point out the errors in comments, but I'm a dick, so here goes:

1) Lester pitched Monday. He'd have his normal four days rest.
2) Gotta win Game Six. Game Seven is merely an illusion right now.
3) I'd go with Corpse 'N' Knuckles in Game Seven and empty the pen. Bring back Oil Can Boyd.

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