Love this game

I haven’t followed Ryan Lavarnway much this season (truth be told, I haven’t followed much Minor League baseball this season, sadly) but knew enough about him to know that folks who have been following him liked him a lot and wanted to see him used this month.

He’s been with the team for a while but never got a true opportunity to contribute until last night…and let’s talk about that.

Regardless of how this season ends…there is no denying that those of us who saw last night’s game witnessed something remarkable.  Lavarnway started the season in double A ball in Portland and found his way to Pawtucket in June.  Given how they weren’t using him during the horrendous September they are having, it’s a fair guess to say he wouldn’t have started behind home plate last night had Varitek and Saltalamacchia both been dinged up over the last couple of days.  But they were and he did and last night was a night that they write short stories or make movies about.

The 24 year-old threw out a runner trying to steal third, made a great play to get a guy out at first and hit his first two Major League home runs, one being a three-run homer and the other a solo, to help lead the Red Sox to their 8-7 win…and help them live another day.  Largely due to Lavarnway, the Red Sox have an opportunity today to clinch or tie for the Wild Card.  It isn’t an exaggeration to say that without him in the lineup (and behind that plate) the Red Sox might not have won last night.

Moments like the ones Lavarnway had last night are the moments that keep baseball fans coming back season after season.  And it leads us to tonight…the Red Sox and Rays are in a tie for the Wild Card spot (as are the Braves and the Cardinals).  It might be a painful process but if we step back and really look at it this is how baseball should be played.  It’s down to the wire and there are four teams still competing for a playoff spot. This is why we watch, folks, this is why we watch.

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