Stayin’ Alive

Josh Beckett was HUGE last night for the Red Sox as he shut down the Indians, allowing just one run on five hits while going eight innings and striking out 11 in the 7-1 Boston win. The Red Sox now trail the series 3-2, but the series now shifts back to Fenway Park on Saturday night.

What can you say about Beckett? He was awesome, and has certainly proved that his 2003 postseason success was no fluke.

Dan Shaughnessy has the front page story for the Globe on Beckett saving the season for the Red Sox. Michael Silverman has more on Beckett’s masterpiece. Gordon Edes has the sports section game story of the Sox stayin’ alive for another night. Joe McDonald has Beckett and the Sox forcing a game six in Boston. Jeff Goldberg says that last night was just like old times for Beckett. Mike Fine has Beckett and the Red Sox bringing the series home for game six. Joe Haggerty has the Sox riding Beckett back home to Boston.

Sean McAdam has David Ortiz calling Beckett the best pitcher he’s ever seen in the playoffs – ever. Jackie MacMullan has Beckett adding to his postseason reputation with another ace performance. Alex Speier has Beckett letting loose on the Indians. Jeff Jacobs has Beckett not getting distracted by the Indians bringing his ex-girlfriend in to sing the National Athem or by Kenny Lofton’s antics. Steve Buckley has Beckett letting his pitching do the talking for him last night.

Tony Massarotti, not wanting us to enjoy last night too much, reminds us that there is still plenty of work to do, and they won’t have Beckett to bail them out anymore. Jon Couture notes that things are just never easy in October.

Rob Bradford tells us that Manny Ramirez belongs in the Boston sports pantheon alongside Larry Bird, Bobby Orr and Tom Brady. He also knocks Tim McCarver, which is always a good thing. Nick Cafardo has Manny continuing his hot hitting and helping keep the Red Sox season alive. McDonald looks at Manny’s home run turned single in the third inning last night.

Massarotti has Curt Schilling getting another chance to come up big for the Red Sox in the postseason. Bob Ryan says that if Schilling can get the job done tomorrow night, it won’t be in the same fashion that Beckett did it. Steve Buckley says that the Sox need to re-sign Schilling.

McAdam looks at another time that Beckett and Kenny Lofton had words in a game. Speier has Beckett and Kevin Youkilis as two guys who don’t buckle when their emotions intensify in a big spot.

Amalie Benjamin has Kevin Youkilis getting comfortable at the plate again. McDonald has Youkilis and Pedroia finding their groove at the plate last night. Goldberg has the pair providing a needed 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup.

Bradford has Bobby Kielty feeling more relaxed for last night’s start. Benjamin has more on Kielty, who once again found himself in the lineup against Sabathia last night. MacMullan says that Mike Lowell deserves a new contract from the Red Sox.

Art Martone has Kevin Millar appearing on FOX last night to give Red Sox fans a pep talk. McAdam has Manny speaking again after last night’s win. Haggerty says that part of the Red Sox struggles in games 2-4 in this series is because they’re walked away from their hallmark patient approach at the plate.

Ryan says that baseball players and baseball fans will never understand each other. He points to the Manny quotes from this week as an example.

A quick national look: Jerry Crasnick has Beckett breathing new life into the Red Sox. Albert Chen looks at Beckett’s unflappability in the postseason. Tim Brown says that maybe there’s a little idiot in these Red Sox after all. Tom Verducci takes some shots at Manny in his five cuts from last night.

Silverman’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis finally feeling healthy again, and it’s showing at the plate. Edes’ notebook has the top four in the Boston lineup coming up big last night. Goldberg’s notebook has more on the Beckett/Lofton incident.

David Scott has a look at the coverage from last night, and a scare for Eric Frede.

Indians

Jim McCabe has Grady Sizemore upset at himself for misplaying a drive off the bat of Youkilis in the seventh inning. Speier says that an Indians/Expos trade Made in Boston in 2002 really started the building of the current Cleveland team. Michael Vega has C.C. Sabathia improved, but not good enough for the Indians last night. Vega has Jhonny Peralta taking some kidding from the Red Sox at batting practice yesterday. Speier also says that the Indians are doing it right. Howard Bryant looks at the struggles of Sabathia last night.

McCabe’s notebook has the Indians crediting some veteran influence with helping them improve so much this season.

You can also check coverage from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Bruins

The Bruins had their home opener last night, and it was a 4-1 victory for Boston. Douglas Flynn has the Bruins packing some punch in the opener. Fluto Shinzawa and Steve Conroy also have the game stories from the Garden.

Kevin Paul Dupont says that the Bruins actually looked relevant and engaged last night. Stephen Harris says that these guys just might surprise you.

Shinzawa’s notebook has the Bruins setting high standards for their defensemen. Conroy’s notebook has 19 year old rookie Milan Lucic making a favorable first impression with the Bruins crowd.

Get more Bruins stories at Bruinslinks.com.

Patriots

We’ve got our weekly roundtable discussion over at Patriots Daily this morning.

Christopher L. Gasper looks at Donte’ Stallworth’s love of music and his adjustment to the Patriots offense. Dan Pires has Randy Moss emerging as a leader with the Patriots. Karen Guregian has Moss empathizing with Manny Ramirez having his Wednesday comments being blown out of proportion. Michael Felger has his Patriots Insider, with a look at how Wes Welker has become a playmaker for the Patriots. Robert Lee looks at whether Laurence Maroney will get the call for the Patriots this weekend.

Guregian has Chad Jackson feeling like he can still help this team. Mark Farinella has more on Jackson, who wants the chance to contribute. Christopher Price says that the Dolphins offense will be similar to the Chargers, so it should be somewhat familiar to the Patriots. Chris Kennedy has the Patriots running backs getting overlooked. Jeff Howe says that it is a long road each week to Sunday for NFL teams.

The Globe notebook has Maroney wondering if he’s going to play on Sunday or not. Guregian’s notebook has Maroney wanting no part of the “injury-prone” label. Farinella’s notebook has more on Maroney’s outlook for Sunday. Lee’s notebook has more on Jackson.

Catch up with the Celtics headlines on CelticsLinks.com.

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