Even when the Red Sox win one somebody has to make the game interesting. When Manny Ramirez stepped up in the 7th inning with runners on first and second, he had a perfect opportunity to finally come through for the Sox in the playoffs. Ramirez laced a single to center. The first big hit he had in eight games. However, instead of hustling down the line, he raised his hand in celebration as he jogged to first. When Edmonds came up throwing to the plate Ramirez was unable to take second while Cabrera easily took third.
David Ortiz then singled in Cabrera. If Ramirez had taken second he probably would have scored. Instead he was stranded at second base to end the inning.
After costing his team a run in the bottom of the seventh, Ramirez was out to blow the game in the top of the eighth. With runners on first and second Renteria hit a single to left. Marquis was held at third. Ramirez then bobbled the ball and Marquis scored.
Larry Walker followed again with runners on first and second. He hit a short fly into left field. Ramirez came on to make the catch. A catch he could have made in stride but instead decided to make a sliding catch. The only problem is he forgot the ball. Ramirez knee caught on his slide and he popped up. The ball landed on the back side of his glove and sprung free.
One runner scored and the Cards had runners on second and third with one out. Luckily for Manny, Kevin Foulke brought his game and retired the final two hitters of the inning.
After botching back to back plays the camera was nearly fixed on Ramirez. He had a look on his face that every ball players has had at one time or another. That look of knowing you let down eight other guys. As the camera stayed focused on Manny, the expression on his face allowed you to feel what he was going through. That torture of knowing that you may have cost your team the ballgame.
Luckily for Manny his teamed rallied back to win the game. I had predicted Ramirez to be the Series MVP and I still think that he will come through in a big way. If he wants a shot at MVP he has a lot of catching up to do.