This is it. Today is

This is it. Today is the day. How often in your life have you had a Red Sox/Yankees game 7 with Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens on the mound? Never? Well tonight you have it. The dream matchup of perhaps all time. Dom Amore, Bob Hohler, and Jeff Horrigan have the game stories of the Red Sox 9-6 win at Yankee Stadium. Sean McAdam says last night was great, but there is an even bigger game tonight. Ah yes, tonight. Tony Massarotti Lenny Megliola Steven Krasner Gordon Edes and Dan Shaughnessy look at Pedro/Roger tonight, the game of the century. Bill Reynolds says tonight is a chance for the Sox to change their history. Yes, Gerry Callahan is still alive, though his pay column today is decidedly uninspired, as he attempts to do a “diary” type writeup of last night’s game. Kevin Gray looks at the Sox bats coming alive at the right time. Jeff Jacobs looks at the Sox smoking a Cuban…Jose Contreras. Bob Ryan looks at Nomar finally getting it done with the bat. Steve Buckley has a pay column focusing on Pedro’s moment. This is was the Red Sox got him for six years ago, to pitch them into the World Series. He’s determined to do it. Jackie MacMullan says you just can’t count this Red Sox team out, they just keep coming back to live another day. Howard Bryant says this game and matchup tonight of Roger vs. Pedro is nothing but fate stepping in:

If fate wasn't so convinced that Clemens and Martinez needed one last meeting to settle a simmering, overly incestuous relationship between two legends, two legendary cities and two franchises that will play each other for the 26th and final time this season, the Yankees would not have imploded in Game 6 last night and this series would be over.

Karen Guregian, David Heuschkel and Sean McAdam look at another huge outing by the Red Sox bullpen, notably Alan Embree getting out a jam by throwing a 97 mph fastball past Jason Giambi. On the flip side, Michael Silverman, Kevin McNamara and Peter May look at the Sox getting to the Yankee bullpen, notably Contreras. The bats also came alive, Steven Krasner looks at Nomar hopefully getting on track,Nick Cafardo, Heuschkel, and Rich Thompson look at various aspects of the offense coming to life. Art Martone says game six always seems to be the memorable one in a playoff series involving the Red Sox. Steve Buckley looks at an abbreviated outing from John Burkett — perhaps the last of his career? McNamara notes that the Yankees are looking forward to tonight as well. Peter May says none of the Yankees were hanging their heads in the clubhouse last night. Cafardo has a look at Trot Nixon redeeming himself in the ninth after a rough first few at bats. Tom Yantz has another look at the Pedro/Roger matchup. Lenny Megliola says we live for moments like tonight. Dave Solomon says tonight has the making of a classic. Kevin Gray says there’s nothing bigger than Pedro/Clemens. Michael Gee says it is unfair for anyone to criticize Manny & Nomar for smiling in the dugout during the game five loss. Jack O’Connell writes about Brian Cashman taking the heat for Jason Giambi’s struggles. Our pal, the clueless Buddy Thomas says Pedro is hardly the best pitcher in the game, because if he was, he would’ve taken the ball last night. Buddy says:

His team was on the brink of elimination and the ace of the staff was content to sit back and watch the No. 4 guy carry the load.

You can’t fake that kind of ignorance. Multiple sources, including ones linked above, state that Pedro told Grady he wanted to and would pitch last night. Grady made the decision to go with Burkett. Hohler’s notebook looks at Manny and Nomar bouncing back. Horrigan’s Red Sox notebook says the Sox are all business heading into tonight. Silverman’s Yankees notebook looks at Pettitte failing to carry the Yankees through to Rivera. McNamara’s notebook has a similar theme. Amore’s notebook also looks at the short outing from Pettitte. The Courant and ProJo also have some quotes from around the ballpark. Jerry Trecker looks at the FOX coverage last night.

Michael Smith looks at how the Patriots are preparing to deal with Jason Taylor, who always seems to give them fits. Michael Felger looks at the Patriots going down to Miami with something to prove. Tom Curran looks at the stiff challenge the Patriots face in stopping Ricky Williams. Mike Reiss has conflicted thoughts on the Patriots…should we jump on the bandwagon and think this is the time they win in Miami, or has it been a mirage? Alan Greenberg looks at the solidifying force in the middle of the Patriot defense, Richard Seymour. Michael Parente tries to explain how this defense has become so good, with so many people out. Christopher Price has a look at the ever-upbeat Tyrone Poole. Smith’s notebook looks at the challenge of facing Ricky Williams. Felger’s notebook looks at possible gamesmanship between the Dolphins and Patriots. Curran’s notebook looks at small improvement from Ken Walter, and an injury to Larry Centers. Parente’s notebook looks at the heat in Miami.

Mark Murphy and Shira Springer look at Kendrick Perkins, who has been a bright spot in the preseason with his rebounding. Murphy’s notebook looks at the Celtics falling to 0-4 on the preseason with a dismal showing in Detroit.