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Clemens.jpgIn about 15 minutes the Yankees and Red Sox will write the final chapter of their regular season battle for 2007. The Sox have coasted on an unbelievably hot first two months of the season, and seen their team regress as they head into the post season. The Yanks have been energized by youth and a few minor trades. Two teams heading in different directions, yet both probably headed for the same post season tournament.

Tonight, we'll see two of the oldest starters in the game face off. Curt Schilling is sporting a mid-high eighties fastball these days, surviving on smoke and mirrors. The Rocket is dealing with a damaged elbow, and decreased velocity. Who knows what either team can expect out of its starter.

The Ligers won again today, so the Yanks need a win to remain 3 games up in the loss column for the Wild Card.

The main question I have coming into this game is which nickname to go with for Papelbon. In the comments the other day frequent-commented Aaron put forth "Bon-Bon," I've been leaning toward "Pap Smear." Maybe we'll have our first Depressed Fan poll to decide a winner.

I'll be live blogging the game, leave your thoughts in the comments if you're watching along at home.
  • Mission accomplished! Do a Google search for "Youkilis is a sissy."
  • The Yankees have what is probably their best defensive lineup out there against Schilling. I think it's a good move, considering Schilling resembles Jamie Moyer, stuff-wise, these days.
  • Damon flies out to shallow right, Nancy and the dwarf collide on the play, but Pedroia holds on. Hard single to left by Jeter, one hop off the Monster. A-Rod grounds into a fielder's choice. Joe Morgan actually picked up on something, which shocked me. Schilling is going to the high fastball as soon as he gets two strikes. We'll see if he changes that up.
  • E-Damon, Ellsbury is on first, and he'll probably be running. Pedroia, fly out to right. SB Ellsbury. I'd walk Ortiz here, don't let him hurt you. Ortiz walks, on what looked like a pretty good pitch. Single for Lowell. 1-0 Boston. Clemens is leaving everything up in the zone, but that was just a well-placed grounder, wasn't hit hard. Fly out to left center for Drew. Two down, two on. Great, great play by Doug at first to end the inning. He dove to first to tag the bag before Varitek could get there.
  • In case you were wondering, Youkilis is nursing his sore labia, and not in the lineup tonight.
  • Fly out for Jorge. Cano pops out to second, on another high fastball. Melky grounds out to second.
  • Hinske grounds out to second. Fruity Flakes flies out to center. Clemens walks Lugo. He's going to be running. Ellsbury grounds out to first to end the inning, Lugo was running on the pitch.
  • Doug singles through the left side to lead off the third. Sac bunt for Molina. Man on second, one out. Damon gets sawed off, Lugo throws him out at first, replay shows he was safe, easily. You have to rally from bad calls. Jeter hits a rope to deep right center, but Nancy catches it. Doug is stranded on third.
  • Pedroia flies out to fairly deep left center. Ortiz Ks on a high heater. Clemens is hitting 94 on ESPN's gun, which leads me to believe their gun is fast. Lowell Ks, Clemens is starting to look very good out there.
  • Abreu just missed one. Fly out to right. Broken-bat ground out to short by A-Rod. Jorge flies out to center. 1, 2, 3.
  • Nancy strikes out looking, and whines about it. Varitek Ks. That's 4 straight Ks. Humpback liner to short by Hinske. 1, 2, 3.
  • Robbie Cano, Dontcha know!!! Opposite field bomb over the monster. 1-1. Cue the "Yankees suck," chant from the crowd. Melky grounds out to first. Doug flew out to center. Molina hit a weak grounder to first. The first run is always the hardest come by. Clemens needs to shut them down here, keep the momentum in the Yanks favor.
  • Count Chocula flies out to left. Lugo lines out to first. Great play by Doug to the Rocket to get Ellsbury. Another 1, 2, 3 inning. Skidmark is cruising. Time to put a lead on the board.
  • Damon grounds out to short. Jeter grounds out to short. Abreu pops out to shallow center. This is officially a pitchers duel.
  • Pedroia hits the ball basically as far as he can to right field, Abreu catches it about 20 feet in front of the warning track. Ortiz walks. Single to right for Lowell. First and second, one out. Nancy grounds into a fielder's choice. First and third, two outs. Sliding catch by Damon to end the inning. A-Rod is coming up, and Joba should be warming in the pen.
  • A-Rod flies out to shallow center. Posada hit a rope to right, Nancy chased it down. Cano grounds out to second. 9 straight retired by Schilling.
  • In comes Joba. Lead-off double for Hinske. Some idiot ran onto the field and stole Cano's hat. Sac bunt for Coco Crisp. Nice bunt. Hinske on third, one out, Lugo at the plate. Joba needs a K here. Igawa is up in the pen. Joba blows Lugo away with a 100 MPH fastball. This is the first native American vs. native American matchup I've ever seen, Ellsbury vs. Chamberlain. Ellsbury grounds out. HUGE inning for Joba.
  • Schilling is still in there. Melky Ks on a pitch in the dirt, that was ball four. Doug singles to left. Giambi is pinch hitting for Molina here, this is going to cause some potential problems. Jorge has to go behind the dish, which means they lose the DH. Unless they use a call-up to catch, which is also questionable. Single off the monster, Giambi moves to second on the throw. Second and third, one out, Damon at the plate. Damon saws off his bat and hits a humpback liner that drops in front of Pedroia, the runners hold because they don't know if it's going to be caught. Jeter's up, second and third, two out. Wow, Schilling just hit 95 on the ESPN gun, his hardest of the night. I have no idea why Varitek and Schilling need a conference on the mound after every f!cking pitch. JETER 3-RUN BOMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUCK IT BOSTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 4-1, Yanks. Boston fans, pictured below is a true captain. No "C" on the jersey needed.

    jeter.jpeg
  • Boston makes a pitching change, Abreu doubles off the lefty. Another pitching change, and A-Rod Ks.
  • Joba on for his second inning of work. Pedroia getting some chin music. Pedroia Ks looking on a big curve. Ortiz pops out harmlessly to left. Lowell notches the first earned run off Joba in his major league career with a solo bomb to left. It was going to happen eventually, it's a good thing it happened when the Yanks had a three-run lead, and there were no men on base, instead of happening when it could've cost the Yanks a game. 4-2, Yanks. Nancy strikes out looking to end the inning.
  • In comes Gagne in another mop-up situation. Posada Ks. Cano pops out to shallow right. Melky flies out to left.
  • Enter. Sandman.
  • Varitek walks to lead off. Hinske grounds out to first. Crisp grounds out to second, Varitek moves over to third. Double for Lugo. Nothing easy in this series. Tying run on second, two outs, Jacoby Ellsbury at the dish. 4-3, Yanks. Mo hit Ellsbury right on the knee. Winning run on first. Pedroia walks. Bases loaded for Ortiz, a hit wins it. It's gut-wrenching, but this is why we watch baseball, folks. Ortiz chokes. Yankees win.
Player of The Game: Derek Jeter.

The Yanks remain 3 games up in the loss column for the Wild Card. My blood pressure is dangerously high right now.