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Looking ahead

Posted by Adam Kilgore, Globe Staff  October 2, 2008 10:01 AM

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Suppose two Red Sox fans -- Fan 1 and Fan 2, we'll call them -- are having a conversation. Fan 1 is an informed person who followed every piece of news for the last week. Fan 2 is a knowledgeable Boston follower who was in a coma from the moment before we learned about Josh Beckett's oblique injury until the moment Game 1 ended last night.

The conversation might go something like this:

Fan 2: "Hey, I just got out of a coma. Who won Game 1?"

Fan 1: "Sox, 4-1. Great game. Shoulda seen Jacoby and J-Bay."

Fan 2: "Oh, nice. So I guess Beckett pitched awesome, huh?"

Fan 1: "Actually, Beckett was hurt and Lester pitched."

Fan 2: "Dude, that's sweet! What a story he is. Man, really stinks that Beckett can't pitch, though."

Fan 1: "Oh, yeah. Actually, Francona says Beckett is going to be healthy for Game 3. He's pitching at Fenway against Joe Saunders."

Fan 2: "OhmyGodthatisfreakingawesome."

We know -- from Super Bowl XLII, Kevin Garnett's post-title screams, and Lyle Lovett marrying Julia Roberts -- that nothing is impossible. But the Angels, about 20 hours ago the favorite to win the series, are staring at a rather bleak immediate future.

Even if Daisuke Matsuzaka implodes tomorrow, the Red Sox took complete and utter control by winning Game 1. There are still some folks who are concerned about Beckett's oblique, and if he is hurt worse than the Sox are letting on, that basically invalidates the point of this blog post.

But if one month ago, someone told you the Red Sox will advance to the ALCS if Josh Beckett beats Joe Saunders at home and Jon Lester wins at Fenway, you'd be feeling pretty good about that, right? The Sox, it seems, are playing with house money right now.

How confident are you right now about the Sox moving forward? (Let us know in the comments section)

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