Take a deep breath this morning. Take it all in. You taste that? You feel that? That’s Boston karma.
Take a deep breath this morning. Take it all in. You taste that? You feel that? That’s Boston karma. Or it could be the stench of Fausto Carmona. Or the dying carcass of the Cleveland Indians. Boston, backed into a corner and a game away from vacation plans twice now, laid a 12-2 shiner Saturday night on the Indians to even this best-of-seven ALCS at three games apiece. The Red Sox managed to hit Carmona harder than they did C.C. Sabathia on Thursday in Game 5. Really, who among us thought Jake Westbrook and Paul Byrd on short rest were better options? They could not have been worse than options Nos. 1 and 2. Sabathia and Carmona have pitched like bloated jellyfish this series. Curt Schilling might be 40, and his belly might hang over his pants, but he isn’t afraid. He welcomed the pressure. Cleveland’s aces cower from it. The Red Sox collected 27 hits in two games off Cleveland’s best two starters. They couldn’t have done any better spending an afternoon at Sluggers-n-Putters. Boston’s bats were so hot they managed to upstage the old man making perhaps one last stand on the mound in a big game. Three years ago, Schilling pitched while bleeding in Game 6. On Saturday, the Indians couldn’t stop the bleeding. So what were you doing in the first inning when Manny Ramirez, who could hit a BB with a tree twig, came to the plate with bases loaded and nobody out in the first inning? Why not just take a blindfold and a cigarette to the mound? But Carmona struck out Ramirez. Then he got Mike Lowell on a weak fly to right. All he had to do was get ahead in the count to J.D. Drew, whose initials stand for Just Don’t ... throw him a meatball. Drew had been Boston’s albatross with runners in scoring position (0-for-6), and Carmona served up a lean steak on a plate. He got behind in the count 3-1 and grooved a sinker down the middle of the plate. Drew took it to dead center, and the grand slam had Yawkey Way rocking. Fenway Park echoed as chants of “FOW-STO, FOW-STO, FOW-STO” rattled in Carmona’s head. Carmona gave the Red Sox two solid innings of batting practice. Tee ball came back in the third. Carmona walked Ramirez on five pitches and Mike Lowell on four. Drew singled to center, and Denver has never seemed farther away for the Indians. Wedge had enough of watching his No. 2 make throwing strikes look like giving birth. Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” played as Carmona trotted to the dugout . “You gotta know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away. Know when the run.” The gambler died in that song, too. And as if losing another series-clinching game wasn’t enough of a kick to the stomach, Boston’s heavy damage came from Drew, rookie Jacoby Ellsbury and Julio Lugo. Those three knocked in the first eight runs. Ellsbury hasn’t had an at-bat in this series, and Lugo came into the game batting .167, which isn’t good in horseshoes or hand grenades. That’s like losing to Larry, Curly and Moe. Of course, when you’re manning up like The Wiggles, that’ll happen. Cleveland’s comedy of errors reach a season high in the third. The Indians committed two errors, which will get you 15 yards for piling on in the NFL. It was only appropriate that Wedge went to Aaron Laffey. Hardy-har-har. While Carmona and Sabathia have been MIA this series, there is an APB out for Travis Hafner. Anyone seen the speeding car that stuffed Hafner, arms and legs bound, black sack over his head, in the backseat? He struck out in his first at bat, then left two more runners in the third when it would’ve helped morale to get something going. Hafner hasn’t gotten a hit since Cleveland evened the series in Game 2. If this guy would have been around Boston Harbor during that Tea Party thing, he’d have come up dry. He’s a contributing factor to the predicament the Indians are in today. They spent the last two games one win away from baseball nirvana. Now, they’re one loss away from disaster. And embarrassment. Reach Repository sports writer Todd Porter at (330) 580-8340 or email@example.com.