Wait... Hold on... Let me see if I have this straight...
The Red Sox, who won the 2004 ALCS after being down 3-0 against the Yankees, lost? The Red Sox, who won the 2007 ALCS after being down 3-1 against the Indians, didn't win? The Red Sox, who were down 3-1 before battling to a game seven in 2008, are going home?
Is the ALCS a best of nine now, or did I miss something?
No, I'm afraid we didn't miss anything. They actually lost. We weren't having a nightmare. Lowrie did actually ground out to second, and Tampa Bay did actually celebrate on the infield like it was 1999.
The Sox really did only manage to get three hits. Lester really did lose his second consecutive start for the first time in his career. The Red Sox really did leave the bases loaded in the eighth. It was all real. All of it.
Stop slapping yourself! You aren't dreaming, and it's leaving a nasty red mark on your cheek.
In truth, I have to admit that I wasn't entirely surprised. You just don't stand a chance when you go up against Disney writers. You may have been fooled into thinking the Sox had a chance after Game Five, but they didn't. The writers just didn't want the series to end too quickly. Makes for better drama if the series goes all seven.
So, here it comes: Rays vs. Phillies. Truly an epic showdown that I am sure will absolutely enthrall me as I watch the two-minute montages each morning on SportsCenter.
Before we move on, though, let's get some closure by seeing exactly how the Rays managed to win the 2008 ALCS:
- In Game One, the Red Sox jumped to a 1-0 lead in the series by outscoring the Rays by infinity percent. Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out 17 and only walked 41. Other than that, nothing really exciting happened.
- In Game Two, both pitching staffs proved that, together, they can be just as terrible as anyone else. They allowed a combined 24 hits and 17 runs, including an estimated 21 homers (mathematicians are still counting), including two from the scrappy elf who goes by the name Dustin Pedroia. When the dust cleared, the Rays were determined to be the winner.
- In Game Three, Jon Lester felt that the nine runs from the night before was just about right and decided to do it again. The problem was, Garza didn't share Lester's enthusiasm, and the Sox only managed a single run en route to a 2-1 Rays lead in series. B.J. Upton and Desperate Housewife combined for 17 home runs, which destroyed the record set by the other amazing dynamic duo of baseball history: Bert and Ernie.
- In Game Four, Tim Wakefield took the ball and promptly allowed five runs in 2.2 innings. Not to be outdone, Manny Delcarmen stuck his tongue out at Wake and proceeded to allow five runs in only 0.1 innings! It's that kind of internal competition that makes the Red Sox organization so great!
The Sox made a valiant attempt at a comeback in the bottom of the eighth by scoring two runs to pull within 20, but their efforts fell short and the Rays took a commanding 3-1 series lead going into Game Five.
- In Game Five, B.J. Upton and Housewife kept hitting home runs, sometimes even when it wasn't officially their turn to bat, and going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Rays had a suffocating 7-0 lead. They were only seven outs away from a trip to the World Series, when the writers at Disney decided a win in five games wasn't good enough.
So, they pulled a few strings and arranged a remarkable comeback by the Red Sox, highlighted by a pair of home runs from J.D. Drew and David Ortiz and a few thousand heart attacks throughout Greater Boston.
- In Game Six, something awesome might have happened in the first inning but we'll never know thanks to the lovely people down at TBS. Evidently, one of the errand boys accidentally unplugged the only hair dryer, and none of the announcers could figure out how to get it to turn on again. Fortunately, the situation was fixed and the game came back on just in time to discover that the Rays had taken an early lead.
It didn't matter, though, because the Sox would take the lead back in the third and never look back. It was looking pretty grim for the Rays, and all of Red Sox Nation was feeling pretty smug.
- In Game Seven, something terrible happened and I'd really rather not talk about it. I mean, the game was yesterday, and if you can't be bothered to remember then I don't want to tell you anyway.
So there you have it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a nap until 2009. Wake me if the movie gets released early for Oscar consideration, though. I'm curious to see if they cast Denzel Washington to play Joe Maddon.