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.