It’s not nice to fool with the baseball gods. That’s a small “g,” since these gods come in many shapes and sizes and are often times found in the minds of players, who sometimes fancy themselves as gods.
The gods were not happy Thursday night at Fenway Park with two down in the seventh inning and Tampa Bay leading the Red Sox 7-0. You really have to rile them pretty good to enable the likes of this Sox comeback.
Thanks to our friends at the Elias Sports Bureau, here is just how riled they were.
The Sox are only the second team to win a postseason game when trailing by seven or more runs. The other was the Philadelphia Athletics in 1929. The A’s were down eight in the seventh and won 10-8.
The Sox are the first team to win a postseason elimination game when trailing by six or more runs.
In the 108-year history of the Sox, they have won only four regular-season games when down by seven or more in the seventh inning or later. The last time that happened was 1961.
Whoa doggie! That was some shaking of the heavens.
What miffed the ghostly watchers? Start with the Rays’ dugout.
By the seventh inning, the smiles were many and the players were gesturing as to how the pitches came to the plate that they hit for home runs.
Shoulders were being gently punched by teammates in that camaraderie that comes to winners.
On TBS the announcers were engaged in an analysis of the imagined Philly-Tampa World Series. Let there be nothing but empathy here for the announcers.
When the game appears to be decided and the end of the baseball broadcast year is at hand for TBS, announcers naturally wander beyond the game seeking something to hold the audience.
Interestingly, Ron Darling, one of the announcers, joined in this analysis but prefaced his discussion with an “if this score holds up” disclaimer.
Darling’s disclaimer is interesting because he played for the 1986 New York Mets, when the Mookie Wilson ground ball and the sign that erroneously appeared on the Shea Stadium scoreboard for a split second that congratulated the Red Sox on a World Series championship during that Game 6.
Darling has seen the baseball gods up close.
Then there was the interview with former Tampa GM Chuck LaMar during the seventh inning on Thursday. He was being congratulated for his work with the Rays in his eight years there.
The intent was to let the world know LaMar was part of the building process that had taken TB to the World Series.
Oops. The great irony here is that LaMar is now a scout for, that’s right, the Phillies.
When the game became an analysis of the Phillies’ speed vs. that of the Rays, the gods had had enough.
Timber. The game ain’t over till it’s over. There are 27 outs in a baseball game. The last three outs are the toughest to get. Don’t give up at-bats.
Game 6 tonight.