I wasn't really looking for an omen yet when I woke up at 5 a.m. on Friday, nor as I stood outside in the San Francisco dark and rain at 6 a.m. to grab a cab.
A taxi pulled up and I plopped into the back seat. Told the cabbie I needed to get to the airport. He turned his head back forward, and the front of his ballcap, which he was wearing backwards, swung around and stared me down.
We talked baseball for the next 20 minutes, and half of my mind that whole time was on 2004, as I stared at the Boston B.
The Red Sox, before sweeping St. Louis in the World Series for their first title in 86 years, lost Game One of the ALCS to the Yankees, in New York. Ace Curt Schilling got drilled early, Boston managed to score some runs late, and the 10-7 Yankees win looked closer than it really was.
A lot like San Francisco 11, Texas 7 in Game One.
The Sox kept Game Two close but couldn't get anything going against Jon Lieber, failing to pick up their second base hit until the seventh inning. A close game that didn't feel that close. Final: New York 3, Boston 1.
Until the Rangers' eighth-inning bullpen disaster, a lot like the their Game Two loss to the Giants.
Boston had lost twice on the road to open the series. Lost Game Three at home, in fact, obliterated by a 19-8 score.
Won Game Four at home, in 12 innings.
Won Game Five at home, in 14 innings.
Won Game Six, back in Yankee Stadium.
Won Game Seven in Yankee Stadium.
I don't know if it's an omen, but it's recent history, and happens to be more than just precedent for a team to come back after dropping two post-season games on the road. Given where the Red Sox hadn't been in decades and looked like they weren't going to get once again, what they did in 2004 seemed even more impossible after falling 0-2. More than just precedent. Maybe inspiration.
I got to the airport and boarded Flight 488 to Phoenix, where I'd connect on another flight to Dallas. Was the flight number a nod to number 48, Colby Lewis, going eight innings tonight? Or getting eight runs of support? Or Lewis and, somehow, Jorge Cantu (number 8) getting the most camera time at the end of a Rangers win?
Maybe the better omen is what Lewis (8-3-1-1-3-7) and Jonathan Sanchez (2-3-2-2-2-1) did in their respective teams' decisive LCS Game Sixes. Texas needs to be patient with the volatile Sanchez, who led the Major Leagues in walks in 2010 (doppelganger C.J. Wilson was second). And Lewis feels like the right guy to remind the Giants why they shouldn't be this confident at the plate.
A reader emailed me to report that a sports talk radio station in San Francisco was planning a parade on the air yesterday, convinced that when the Giants return home, it will be to celebrate, not to play baseball. Good. Very good.
Kevin Millar is part of MLB Network's studio show this morning, and I'm back to thinking about Boston in 2004.
The last time Colby Lewis pitched, some of you bristled at Minka Kelly's appearance in my gameday report, because, you said, no girlfriend of Derek Jeter should be counted on as a Rangers rally point. Nonsense. "Friday Night Lights," man.
She's now part of the cast of "Parenthood," which is set in San Francisco.
Fear the Rally Minka.
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(c) Jamey Newberg