Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Yuengling Is Coming! The Yuengling Is Coming!

I wonder if Sam Adams would get pissed at his buddy Paul Revere if he rode from town to town yelling to the citizens of Massachusetts that Yuengling is coming to the Commonwealth.

For those of you who don't know what Yuengling is (it's pronounced Ying-ling), it's a beer from Pennsylvania, from the oldest brewery in America. It's a quality beer, in the same class as Sam Adams. Taste wise it's interesting like Sam, only more drinkable. It's good in a bottle but fantastic from the tap.

And after a 20-year absence it's returning to the Massachusetts market.

Those of us who have been introduced to Yuengling and fell in love with it are rejoicing. For years we've depended on friends and relatives travelling from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to supply us with Yuengling. There's a grey market (not quite a black market) trade along I-90 and I-84 of Yuengling Lager being legally smuggled to thirsty residents of Massachusetts.

Why has such an acclaimed beverage remained absent from Massachusetts markets?

That is where the Myth of Yuengling truly begins. Everyone has a theory to explain it. Some say that Sam Adams pressures Mass. lawmakers to keep Yuengling out. Others suggest that there's some obscure regulation about imprinting bottles and that Yuengling doesn't want to spend the extra money to do that. Even "official" explanations are cloudy and vague. When reading about this story one explanation from Yuengling was that in 1993 they left Mass. because demand wasn't high enough. Another explanation said they left because demand was too high and their out-of-state operations couldn't keep up. Which doesn't quite make sense that they would leave because demand for their product was too high.

Nobody seems to know exactly why Yuengling wouldn't cross the Hudson. But now they're returning. I wonder when they try to ship beer to Mass. in 2014 if their trucks will vanish into thin air when they try to cross the border.

Series Starts Over Again

Once through each team's rotation. The Tigers SPs did much better than the Red Sox. John Lackey was the only Sox starter who outclassed his opponent. Jon Lester was good, but not as good as Anibel Sanchez. Clay Buchholz wasn't good, and Jake Peavy was godawful. Only Detroit's bullpen struggles, Lackey's great start, and David Ortiz's grand slam have kept the series tied 2-2.

Jake Peavy didn't have it Wednesday night. Maybe if Dustin Pedroia turns a double-play then Peavy gets out of the jam and who knows. I'm not going to blame Pedroia for Peavy's poor pitching, though. Pedroia had one chance to bail Peavy out. Peavy had several opportunities to bail himself out.

It's easy to say this in hindsight: I wanted Peavy to be pulled when it was 4-0. He looked terrible. He struggled to throw strikes. And the strikes he threw were far too hittable. Brandon Workman or Ryan Dempster at least provided the possibility that the score would remain 4-0. And if it had, as the Red Sox scored a scattering of runs in the late innings, who knows what might have happened.

Then again, maybe Workman enters in the 2nd inning and gives up three straight homeruns. Who knows.

The Red Sox continue to struggle at the plate. Although in this game they scored their second most runs of the series. They also recorded 12 hits, which is how many they had in Games 1 through 3 combined. They out-hit the Tigers 12 to 9. However the Tigers were 4 for 9 with runners in scoring position, the Sox were 2 for 16. It isn't how many hits you get, it's when you get them.

Jacoby Ellsbury had 4 of those hits, and they mostly wasted. Shane Victorino, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Mike Napoli went a combined 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position. That's the 2 through 5 hitters, that's where the offensive production is supposed to be generated.

On the bright side, this is essentially now a best of three series and the Red Sox have homefield advantage. On the not-so-bright side they have to face Sanchez, Scherzer, and Verlander, and win two of three. Which they already have.

Game 5 Thursday night. Anibal Sanchez against Jon Lester. Time for Lester to be an Ace again.

Photo Credit:
Rick Osentoski - USA Today Sports